Horror Podcasts Pt. 2

a0081784028_10

The NoSleep Podcast

https://www.thenosleeppodcast.com/

“In the spring of 2010, a new forum appeared on Reddit.com. It was called “Nosleep” and the concept of this forum (or “subreddit”) was to be a place for people to post original scary stories about frightening experiences. It was an online version of telling spooky stories around the campfire.

A year later, as Nosleep was growing at a rapid pace, one member named Matt Hansen proposed the idea of doing a podcast where some of the top stories from Nosleep would be narrated in audiobook style. The response was quite positive and over the next few months a small group of members endeavored to put together what would come to be known as The Nosleep Podcast. On June 13th, 2011 Episode #1 was released.

David Cummings assumed the role of host and producer and it was decided to release a new episode every two weeks. Producing the podcast has been a learning experience from the start with many Redditors volunteering to narrate and help produce the shows.

The podcast has been well-received from the very beginning. Through word-of-mouth advertising the number of regular listeners has grown steadily. Reviewers on iTunes consistently rate 5 stars and the podcast ranks quite high in its “Arts” category.

The Nosleep Podcast has proudly featured stories from authors who have gone on to publish their stories. Notably, the “Penpal” series from Dathan Auerbach and “99 Brief Scenes from the End of the World” by T.W. Grim.”

The Nosleep Podcast is my favorite horror podcast by far.  The production is top-notch and the voice actors are amazing.  NoSleep has a free and a premium version.  The free version typically features the first three stories with an ad at the beginning of the episode.  The ad is acted out in horror fashion by the shows regular voice talent.  The premium version features an additional two stories, typically rounding out episodes to an hour and a half of content.  In addition, every season for premium subscribers features additional special episodes.  NoSleep also does tours where they do live shows across the US and Canada.  It’s definitely worth checking out!

 

pseudopod

 

Pseudopod

http://pseudopod.org/

“You’ve found the world’s premier horror fiction podcast. For over a decade, Pseudopod has been bringing you the best short horror in audio form, to take with you anywhere. We pay our authors professional rates for original fiction and we reach more people every week than any other short fiction horror market.

In 2016 we celebrated our 10th Anniversary. For details, check out our YEAR10 page.

Are you new to Pseudopod? Don’t let our decade of content daunt you. We’ve assembled a list of stories that show the strength and diversity of our offerings. Check it out here (or at the “For New Listeners” link under “Episodes” on the bar above”

Pseudopod is an award-winning podcast that focuses on Sci-Fi and Horror.  Stories are user submitted and acted out by the podcasts voice actors.  Host Alasdair Stuart opens each story talking about the themes and meanings behind certain elements of the story.  The voice sometimes include recognized actors from TV shows and such.

THF_Logo_iTunes

 

The Hidden Frequencies

https://thehiddenfrequenciespodcast.podbean.com/

“There are places in the dimension of sound where the walls between universes are thin. In these fragile pockets of static, lies the ability to hear the alternate realities of millions of maybe-people in countless could-be worlds; where the status quo is different from our own. With a keen ear and an open mind we may tune in to these sound waves of the strange, the bizarre and the otherworldly.

They are: The Hidden Frequencies.”

 

 

“The Hidden Frequencies Podcast was created to the great science-fiction/horror anthology shows that influenced a generation of American audiences: shows like The Twilight ZoneThe Outer LimitsX Minus 1Tales From the Dark SideTales from the Crypt and more.

Each episode of the show is a self-contained story: a journey to an alternate earth in an alternate time, where ordinary people must reckon with the extraordinary. Every week, The Frequencies reveal another strange, complex or horrifying world as created by skilled writers at the top of their game and brought to life by a star-studded cast of talented professional voice actors.”

 

Hidden Frequencies is AMAZING.  It’s a brand new podcasts, having debuted its first episode at the beginning of October.  It features some of the production team and voice actors of The NoSleep Podcast.  Having grown up on shows like the Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt, this podcast dredges up nostalgic feelings like no other.  Production is amazing.  It’s like a more horror themed version of Twilight Zone with all the weirdness and themes from the original.

-Andre

Advertisements

Horror Podcasts Pt. 1

Just in time for Halloween I’ve decided to drop a few of my favorite horror themed podcasts for scary stories to keep the scares flowing!

600x600bb

Knifepoint Horror

https://knifepointhorror.libsyn.com/

1200x630bb

The Drabblecast

https://www.drabblecast.org/

We are a weekly audio fiction podcast featuring short and flash fictions from a variety authors. Our singular focus is off-beat, funny, eclecticism in science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

The Drabblecast ran its first episode in February of 2007. In the early days, Norm and college friends and then editors Kendall Marchman and Luke Coddington wrote most of the episodes. But soon a listenership grew, and the Drabblecast began publishing stories contributed by its fans. Later, professional authors got involved. Names like Tim PrattMike ResnickBen H. Winters, and Mur Lafferty have appeared on the podcast.

The Drabblecast is the winner of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Parsec Awards for Best Speculative Fiction Audio Magazine.”

Drabblecast has amazing production and Norm is one of the best hosts I’ve ever heard.  Stories are typically user submitted and the team chooses which one to produce.  Drabblecast is returning from a long hiatus, bringing its first new story to life on Halloween.

19048525_10155375119727486_1066097231_o_1

Lets Not Meet

http://www.letsnotmeetpodcast.com/

“Let’s Not Meet is a true horror podcast. These are stories of real encounters with creeps, murderers and psychos. Told in the form of a campfire narrative, Let’s Not Meet sets out to prove that real monsters are not that of fiction novels or horror films. The real monsters are the humans that walk among us every day of our lives.
The tales told in this podcast are from the Let’s Not Meet forum of reddit.com. Join Andrew Tate every Sunday for new episodes.”
I love Let’s Not Meet for the simple fact that the stories are real.  The  reality of the storeis adds an extra level of creepiness to it knowing that people exist like this in the world and you’re one unlucky instance away from running into them and having your own story to tell.
-Andre

Mandy Review

mandy

Mandy is a 2018 action/horror film starring Nic Cage and Andrea Riseborough.  Nic Cage is Red, a logger living in the wilderness with Riseborough who plays Mandy.  They live a good life until one day Mandy catches the eye of a psychotic cult leader, setting in motion a gruesome revenge story as Red rampages through the cult.

Spoilers

The acting in Mandy is excellent.  There are no cheesy or over the top performances in this one.  My favorite performances are those of Cage and Roache, who plays the cult leader Jeremiah Sand.  Cage delivers a solid performance as he portrays a broken man consumed by a hunger for revenge as he slaughters hellish demon bikers and crazed cult members to avenge his wife Mandy.  There was one scene that takes place in a bathroom that can best be summed up as “classic cage.”  Roache on the opposite end portrays Sand as a manipulative, psychotic fanatic who I’m pretty sure is on LSD the entire time.  He manages to control everyone under him through intense psychological manipulation to the point where they would die for him or sacrifice each other at his will.  He’s also a failed musician who doesn’t take too kindly to criticism, hence his reaction to Mandy laughing when he plays his music as he tries to impress her.

The presentation of the movie is excellent.  Sound is slowed down, distorted and manipulated to help lend to the sinister feel of the person speaking or the events taking place.  For some characters their speech comes off as though they were underwater or as if it were coming from all around you.  The cinematography of this movie is amazing.  Scenes look like something painted by a skilled artist.  The use of color and combined with blackness in certain scenes gives more of a feel for whats going on rather than the actual spoken lines.  The movie also uses good-looking psychedelic animation when showing what a character is dreaming about.  This movie is all over the place artistically but in a good way.

The story is a fairly predictable revenge movie.  Red violently carves his way though all obstacles to get revenge on the man responsible for Mandys death.  There were a couple of more unique parts to the story though.  For instance, the biker gang that kidnapped them for the Sand.  They were supposed to be demons I guess.  They looked like cenobites from Hellraiser and I wish there had been a bit more focus on them as they were pretty interesting.  The movie also had an amazing fight scene with two guys battling it out with chainsaws of all things.  Also towards the end we see imagery indicating that the events occurring aren’t taking place on earth.  Perhaps Red died or he’s hallucinating everything taking place, we did see him use LSD earlier in the movie.

Overall Mandy is a great movie, for certain people.  Its one of those rare really artsy horror films that’s an homage to eighties b-movies.  The story is a predictable revenge flick, there’s nothing surprising about it but the way its told is what makes it special.  The unoriginal story is more than made up for by excellent production and great acting.  Mandy is one of the best horror movies released this year and it’s definitely worth a watch.

9/10

-Andre

The Strangers: Prey at Night Review

strangers prey at night

The Strangers: Prey at Night is the 2018 sequel to the original The Strangers movie released in 2008.  This time out, the trio of masked killers sets their targets on a family of four in an isolated trailer park.  What ensues is a long night of terror and bloody murder, because “why not?” The Strangers: Prey at Night takes everything that was good about the original movie and throws it out.  This time out, the movie has everyone doing the absolute dumbest things possible in order to get themselves killed and the killers are elevated to be essentially a supernatural presence at times before they’re eventually dumbed down as well.

SPOILERS

Multiple times during this movie I found myself asking “why would anyone do that?”  Where do I even begin?  The family travels to a remote trailer park owned by their aunt and uncle who we see brutally murdered in the opening scenes of the movie.  The strangers remain after killing the couple as they hear a voicemail letting them know that they’ll have new victims arriving.  So the family shows up and doesn’t find uncle or aunt anywhere, just a note saying to take your room and they’ll see them the next day.  At dinner someone makes a comment that upsets the teenage daughter, who promptly leaves the trailer to go off alone into the night to sulk, mom and dad send her older brother to go and retrieve her.  The two kids end up discovering their aunt and uncles corpses and rush back to their parents to let them know what happened.  Instead of calling the police right there, the father, asking “is this some sort of joke?” has the son lead him to the bodies to verify.  I guess this is a family that likes to joke about finding the murdered corpses of their family members often?

With mom and daughter alone back at the trailer one of the masked killers sets after them armed with a knife.  There’s one moment where shes standing in the kitchen facing both of them and the two women stand there and stare at her, like hit her with a chair or something.  The killer chases the two women who lock themselves in the bathroom where the mother helps her daughter escape through the hatch in the ceiling to her safety.  While the daughter is safe on the roof reaching down for her mother the killer is breaking through the door.  Mom makes no attempt to try and climb out with her daughter.  The killer gets through the door and enters the bathroom, embracing the mom in a hug from the back before she stabs and kills her.  Mom never even turned to face the killer for some reason, she essentially accepted death as soon as her daughter got out, does she not have survival instincts?

The dad and son after verifying that it wasn’t a prank head back to the trailer and find mom dead and daughter missing.  What do they do now?  Obviously hop in the car and drive around the area really fast yelling the daughters name out of the window.  They crash and dad is pinned in the wreckage while son escapes with a loaded gun to find his sister.  The sister is being chased by the male killer through a woods area where she hides from him among a series of large cement tubes.  In the tube shes in, one out of a lot of other tubes, another of the masked killers jumps out from the dark to scare her.  Was this killer hiding in that tube all night waiting for that moment?  Did they plan to guide her to that exact tube for that scare?  I imagine the killers were using walkies and great effort to coordinate this and I find it hilarious.

Screen-Shot-2017-11-16-at-9.22.09-AM

Sister escapes and runs into brother as they’re chased by a killer.  Brother remembers that he has a loaded gun on him and aims it at the killer, the same one that killed his mom mind you, before turning and running away for some reason.  They end up abandoning it later of course, and he ends up separated from his sister.  While running the sister ends up on a road where a cop happens to arrive to help her.  They’re in the middle of the road and there’s really no cover for anyone to sneak up on them, yet the cop ends up getting killed as hes speaking to the girl because I guess the killer was invisible when she walked right up behind him.  Why are cops always useless in horror movies?  After this the roles essentially switch and the killers become as dumb as possible for some reason.

Sister grabs the shotgun from the cops car and runs off into the woods pursued by the killer.  The killer chasing armed with a knife while the girl still has the shotgun.  At some point the daughter realizes this and shoots her pursuer mid mass before finishing her off with another shot.  She was already dying but sure, waste your last bullet.  Back with the brother, hes being pursued though a store when he grabs a golf club to defend himself.  Eventually hes confronted by another killer armed with just a knife again, and they have a stare off before he realizes he has the upper hand.  He manages to kill this stranger as well before hes attacked and injured by the last remaining stranger who leaves him for dead.

 

The-Strangers-Prey-at-Night-horror-movies-41435557-500-281

This is where things get really ridiculous.  The sister heads back to the police car in an attempt to escape when the remaining killer rams into her with his indestructible truck.  He rams her several times, rendering the officers SUV useless except his last ram left him stuck to the SUV unable to move.  The daughter notices that his truck is leaking gas heavily and throws her lighter into it causing the truck to explode.  She hobbles away, seemingly safe before, surprise the killer survived his truck exploding! No really, he survived.  Not only did he survive, the truck is still fully operational whilst on fire.  The killer pursues her before cornering her and attempting to finish her off with his ax instead of just running her over.  He keels over and its revealed that he was impaled by a shard of glass.  The explosion was just a minor annoyance, its the glass that did him in. The daughter is rescued by a passing family but the movie has one last jump scare as the badly scarred stranger makes one last attempt at her life before he collapses dead in the street.

strangers truck

The Strangers: Prey at Night was dumb.  It takes a believable premise like the first film and trashes it.  The killers went from being unsettling and spooky to hokey caricatures of themselves.  The acting was average but the bad writing drags everything down.  The protagonists aren’t likable, they have no development, they aren’t even memorable.  This film really isn’t worth watching unless you intend to laugh at the absurd moments in it.  The soundtrack was good though.

3/10

-Andre

The Strangers Review

str_fs_hp_041608.qxd:Layout 1

The Strangers is a 2008 horror/thriller about a young couple returning late from a wedding reception to an isolated vacation home.  What follows is a violent home invasion carried out by three masked assailants as they violently harass and torment the couple.

The Strangers is a movie that draws heavily on establishing a dreadful tone and feeling of impending doom for the protagonist.  Everything about the attack was seemingly calculated by the strangers to maximize their advantage against their prey.  The home that the couple was staying in was isolated, far from anyone that would hear the commotion and attempt to help or call the police.  Their attack happened at four in the morning when anyone that could be of help is most likely asleep.  There’s no one out driving, no one walking their dog, no one is around to help.  This setting amps up the intensity of scenes where the strangers are stalking their victims.  For example, there is one scene where the female protagonist is in the kitchen having a drink after a particularly stressful evening.  Behind her and out of focus we can see one of the strangers silently watching her from across the room.  This goes on for roughly twenty seconds, tension building as you wonder what’s going to happen before she looks in his direction and sees nothing.

Although I loved the tone set by the movie, some of the actions of the couple left me irritated, particularly those of the male protagonist.  The entire ordeal starts when the couple answers a knock at the door at four in the morning.  Shortly after the strange interaction with the unseen woman the guy decides to leave the woman in the house alone while he runs out somewhere.  While he’s gone the strangers begin to torment the woman until he suddenly returns.  The woman lets him know what happened and for some reason he doesn’t believe her.  This makes no sense because it’s really not a claim that I think anyone would find unbelievable, moreover, why would she lie about such a thing?  Another complaint that I had was that after the couple is on the same page and realizes that they’re under siege, not once do they go through the house to make sure doors and windows are locked.  They lock the front door and that’s it, but it’s clearly shown that the strangers are using other means to enter and exit the house at will.  In another instance of bad decisions, the couple finds a shotgun and plenty of ammunition for it.  Great right?  No, after making a smart decision to hunker down in one room with their backs to the wall and the gun pointed at the door, the male accidentally shoots and kills a friend who happened to stop by to check on the couple.  For some reason he came by early in the morning before the sun was even up, but that’s beside the point.  After killing his friend the guy charges outside into the night with the gun, leaving the woman alone once again, to confront the strangers.  In a hilarious and head shaking turn of events he’s immediately disarmed and rendered unconscious, losing their best defense  against the invaders.  Overall I can’t decide if these characters just aren’t that smart, or whether them being deprived of sleep is the reason for the bad decisions.

Overall The Strangers is a decent movie.  I love the use of the setting and the minimalist approach that drives the somber, creepy tone of the film.  This movie did a lot with a small budget.  I wasn’t a fan of the way the plot was driven by some particularly foolish decisions by the couple, it felt cheap at times, although that can possibly be explained if you factor in their lack of sleep during the ordeal.  This film is entertaining and worth a watch.

6/10

-Andre

 

The Thing (1982)

 

the-thing-board-game-feature-img

Spoilers

In 1982 at the remote US Outpost 31 in Antarctica, twelve men stationed at the base are suddenly accosted by two men in a helicopter from a nearby Norwegian base.  The two Norwegian men attempt to shoot a dog as they chase it over the frozen valley towards the American camp.  In the ensuing confusion, the two men are killed, leaving the American team puzzled and in need of answers.  They fly to the Norwegian base and discover a massacre, everyone’s either dead or missing, the base is on fire, and they find the remains of a strange creature burned outside.  What follows is a tale of gripping paranoia and cosmic horror that’s sure to entertain.

US_Outpost_31_Exterior_(1)_-_The_Thing_(1982)

They don’t make horror like this anymore.  For starters the tone, its dark and hopeless.  These men are trapped, there is no help coming for them no matter how much they radio for it.  Outside they’ve got temperatures hitting in excess of fifty below.  While inside they have primal fear driven by a creature they can barely comprehend.  A creature that hides within the bodies of their friends, men they’ve known for years.  This causes intense paranoia and mistrust, making the men as much of a danger to each other as the thing is to them.  The thing knows this, and uses this to its advantage as it tries to keep suspicion off of itself, pushing the humans to suspect each other instead.Garry_assures_the_men_of_his_innocence_-_The_Thing_(1982)

This dark and hopeless tone is amplified by the use of music.  From the beginning of the opening scene you’re hit with this powerful haunting score with a thumping bass note that sounds almost like a human heartbeat, perhaps foreshadowing whats to come.  There isn’t a lot of music used in the movie, but when it is used it helps to enhance the tension present.

One of my favorite things about his movie is the practical effects used.  There’s nothing CGI, everything was built ranging from puppetry to stop motion.  The creature designs are amazing.  Take the Norris-Thing for instance, this guy was assimilated by the thing and has a heart attack.  One of the doctors in the group attempts to revive him using a defibrillator.  The thing, unfamiliar with the concept of a defibrillator perceives the shock as an attack and fights back, by opening up Norris’s chest revealing a large mouth that rips off the doctors arms.  This is just one of many amazing designs used by the production to create this story. Vlcsnap-2011-12-30-07h27m52s226

The characterization is another standout for this movie.  Whereas with horror movies of the modern era, you wind up with cheap jump scares, writing that makes no sense, or characters that make stupid decisions just to move the plot.  With The Thing there’s really one jump scare, in the aforementioned part about Norris and his chest mouth.  The characters are pretty smart in this.  They try hard to do everything they can to survive the situation they’re placed in.  There’s only one instance where you could claim that  someone did something dumb and that’s when this guy runs off into the night after someone that he suspects is the thing.  This goes completely against character for this individual as earlier on he was in a position where he had multiple armed men with him yet he refused to confront what he suspected was the thing behind a closed door, wanting to let it freeze to death instead.  The sudden change in character or “stupidity” can be explained by the common fan speculation that the guy didn’t care about running off alone because he was actually the thing by that point.

chiles1

The Thing is a timeless movie that only gets better with age.  It is a film that was panned by critics during its initial release, but in the years following has gained the respect that it deserves.  I consider this movie to be the greatest horror movie of all time.  It has everything I want in a horror movie, from the great monster, the effects, the characters and the setting.

10/10

-Andre

Creep 2 Review

Creep-2 posterCreep 2 is the sequel to the sleeper hit CreepCreep 2 picks up the story of the “Peachfuzz killer,” as he takes out another ad for a videographer.  Sara, an up and coming video artist answers his ad and upon their initial meeting he confesses to her that he’s a serial killer.  Sara doesn’t believe him but decides to stay and film him anyway, hoping it’ll be interesting enough to bring attention to her art.  By the end of their day together she laments answering that ad when she realizes she’s made a big mistake.

Spoiler Warning

Creep 2 is similar to the first film in tone, but it doesn’t really have the same slow burn as the first. In this movie we learn more about Peachfuzz, from his past and his motivations for what he does.  Yet he still manages to keep the same mysterious persona even as he reveals details about himself that may or may not be true.  From the start of the film, Peachfuzz is going through a sort of midlife crisis, hes killed thirty-nine people so far and after his 39th kill he feels unfulfilled and believes that he needs to do something spectacular for his 40th kill.  This causes him to have internal conflicts that bubble to the surface of his usually hard to read behavior when interacting with Sara.  Contrary to the first movie where he was disarmingly friendly, he’s erratic and sets off multiple red flags causing Sara to arm herself for protection.

Unlike with his previous friendship with Aaron, Peachfuzz bonds more with Sara as she displays some of the same eccentric behavior that he does.  Tactics that he’d used to toy with Aaron, and most likely victims before him were fairly ineffective on Sara.  Everything he’d do to try and throw her off or cause her unease, she’d respond in kind.  This lead to an interesting dynamic as its still obvious that Sara doesn’t believe him about being a serial killer, but we can see that Peachfuzz is achieving some sort of calm as the day goes on.  This ultimately leads to him deciding that his 40th kill will be himself, as he attempts various suicide attempts, culminating in Sara deciding she’d had enough.  As with Aaron in the first film, Peachfuzz manages to expertly manipulate her back to him and letting her guard down.  Peachfuzz attempts yet another suicide attempt, this one causing Sara to realize he’s been telling her the truth about who he is this entire time.  Following this final attempt, Sara is wounded but manages to escape.

Creep 2 follows its predecessors formula and improves on it.  Although the plot remains roughly the same, he characters are still intriguing and engaging.  I like the development they’ve given to Peachfuzz, he went from being this quirky, mysterious weirdo, to a more complex villain with internal struggles that still leave you questioning his actions.  Is he genuinely trying to find someone to be his companion or is this just how he gets close to his victims?  Overall I enjoyed this movie and can’t wait for the third title in the series.

8/10

-Andre