There is a reason that small screen devices and their like were created; The world is a fast moving place with long periods of doing nothing. Periods where you wish to be entertained instead of staring at the old man opposite who appears to have discovered a whole new universe up his left nostril.
But what if you don’t want to watch a small screen? Or if you can’t because you’re driving or even trying to get to sleep? Or what if the whole back catalogue of music that you have has been heard so many times it’s just beginning to get on your nerves?
Well, welcome to the best of both worlds. The ever-growing world of the podcast. And when I say ever-growing, I kid you not. It seems that every day the world and his brothers all want to throw new podcasts at the world.
Well, Girls and Ghouls, we’ve sifted through the detritus and have attempted to save you time and energy by pointing you to the best horror that the pod cast universe has to offer.
And just remember little pod-people, all of the ones listed here are at the best price there is - absolutely and completely FREE.
A nice little collection of stories this gruesome lot. On the whole they are well written and well vocalised. There only appear to be sixteen in the collection at the moment but, that being said, it is a great introduction into the world of podcast horror.
All of them begin with an extremely ‘Twilight Zone’ theme tune introduction and voice story lead in. There was a reason that the original ‘Twilight Zone’ approach became a classic way of introducing new stories and it is applied extremely competently and effectively in this horror anthology. By the time I reached the last of the five stories I randomly picked from the selection I came to expect, and be thrilled by, that audio opening. A very good sign.
Ghost County USA. (24 mins) Best listened to in the dark, this one, as the sound effects and the musical score are both top notch and, as one man is responsible for every voice, every written line and every song choice, it really does do him honour to be able to close your eyes and see the different people he is portraying.
Set on the old predictable ‘un-mapped highway’ going into the predictable ‘huge accident area’ you feel at home and, indeed, like you are travelling alongside the ‘hero’ of the piece. All the boxes ticked? Well it’s a bit of a sneaky little story. Like a good joke, it takes you down an well recognised avenue until you become genuinely complacent enough to be jolted upright with the ending. It’s very reminiscent of the best parts of the 80’s film ‘Creepshow’, and I mean that in a sincerely flattering way. A good place to start listening. Rating:- 4/5
Love and Murder. (32 mins) Thankfully, this highly predictable and bland number is over quite quickly. Man, Partner, Partners wife. Man gets into trouble. Needs money. Does bad things. Is heard by Partners wife. Kills Partners wife. Goes to confessional in church. Unexpectedly confesses to who? Any guesses? Nothing unexpected. At all. That’s all she wrote. But hold on! What’s this? There is another untitled story on the back of, and completely separate from, this one. Another short little number. But this one? This one had me switching the light on because it was frankly so creepy.
So, I checked twice. There is nothing in the blurb on the podcast to even tell you that it’s there or what it’s about. So, I will warn you that it is there, you know, just so that you bother to sit through the first story to get to it - but I will not, however, tell you anything about it. Get it yourself, in my opinion it’s worth it. Rating:- 2/5, Unknown Story:- 4/5
The Bug Doctor. (25 mins) Ever went to the doctors with a complaint only to be told that it doesn’t exist? That you are just a hypochondriac and that itching, that twitching that is driving you crazy is all in your mind? So, it being all in your mind, you go to a psychiatrist. Except SHE tells you that it’s not in your mind, either.
It turns out that you’re not sick. You’re not crazy. You’re just an attention seeking time waster. Well, this is what is happening to Ross. He knows it’s there but no-one else does. His wife despairs of him and believes he keeps hurting himself to try and prove that there is indeed something there. What to do?
The thing I liked most about this particular story was sheer truth in the reactions of the characters. Each one is believable. Each one has their own agenda. The story itself isn’t great. It is even a tad pedestrian. But it is still very much worth a listen for a spare half-hour. Rating 3/5
The Man In The Chair. (23 mins) I’m not sure whether this one was a wasted half an hour or not. A man, in a chair, in a room with one bare bulb and a hidden speaker. One the other end of the speaker are a group of people who are going to punish him for whatever he is guilty of. The premise of the story is that everyone is guilty of something.
Okay. So far so good. Then it just goes downhill. Its writing is self-indulgent and self-important. It seems to want to make a point without ever getting to one and the ‘Hitchcock’ ending? Where things are suggested but never mentioned? Are never actually suggested strongly enough to worry the listener or, indeed, make the listener care one way or the other. The acting, as always, is great, but the rest of it? At the end I couldn’t even take it or leave it. Mainly because I couldn’t care enough about anyone in it to ever, ever, take it. Rating 1/5
And God Looked. (27 mins) Down in the Louisiana swamp-lands where, “The air’s as warm as blood and twice as wet.” we have some full blooded religious nut-jobbery going on. An intriguing little story and well worth the listen. That’s as far as I will go with the story-line because anything else would require a major spoiler alert. Let us just say that at one point a wallet belonging to one deceased “Richard Bachman, Portland, Maine” is found.
This has that same beautiful revulsion to it that is so beloved of gore-fans the world over. Well written, well acted and well, well, well, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Give it a listen, most definitely. Rating 4/5
On the whole, the podcasts in the Night Terrors series are well worth a listen. As with any Anthology there will be those stories that are great and those stories that are not quite so good. The majority of the Night Terrors hit the good and upwards button with only a few falling foul of the mark. But remember - that is just my opinion. The entire lot may be like Gold-dust to you. Whichever way it turns out to be, I wholeheartedly recommend them. Even if you choose not to stick with Night Terrors in particular. Who knows, you may be a pod-person and not even know it. OVERALL RATING:- 4/5
Find out more about Night Terrors and more at Darkerprojects.com. Who also do Science fiction and other, more esoteric projects:-
“We are a darker audio drama company who present to you original projects such as Tales from the Museum, The Byron Chronicles, and The Falcon Banner in addition to our popular Star Trek and Doctor Who interpretations. To listen, download audio or subscribe to our podcasts.
As always in the ill-omened darkness, you'll find the most breathtaking surprises, so be sure to stay tuned! If you feel inspired or are daring to take that leap, Join Us! We're always looking for talent, be it voice acting, writing, art or in the sound editing department. If you want to comment on one of the audios or just want to ask a question, register on our forum or drop a note to Eric Busby, our Overlord, and he'll get back with you.”
Review by Peter G Staff (Pod-Master General)