Welcome back to my ongoing coverage of the 31 Days of Horror over at Creepy Podcast.
I’m not going to lie to you, this is a lot harder than I imagined it would be when I planned it out. I am so out of practice with writing and reviewing that I draw a blank on what to write about, whether or not to include spoilers for the stories or even properly articulate what exactly it is that I enjoyed. I remember writing reviews almost daily a few years ago with ease and now simple summaries feel like a Sisyphean nightmare.
Anyway. Enough whining. We’re only on day 3. ONTO THE STORIES
Story 1: My Night in the Woods written by Sean Robertson and narrated by Alicia Atkins
First off, Alicia Atkins rules. She’s narrated a bunch of my favourite stories on Creepy and her performance here is exceptional. She sells the terror and really sucks you into the atmosphere. I listened to it in my bright living room during the day and still felt unnerved.
Sean Robertson has written a really strong slasher tale. It’s straight to the point and doesn’t have every other sentence ending in “ily” words that always suck me out of these stories. Having the killer use an axe was a nice touch because it reminded me of The Lowe Axeman which was an urban legend at my summer camp when I was a kid.
Sound effects are excellent, they never detract from the narration and manage to add to the vibes. Sound effects in horror podcasts can be really tricky to pull off because sometimes they sound so horribly fake and out of place that it’s easy to get sucked out of the action. Really strong opener.
Story 2: The Thing About Halloween written by John Beardify and narrated by John Grilz
Onto story two.
There aren’t enough stories featuring dickhead step-dads anymore. They used to be a go-to in horror so it’s nice to see it coming back here. I mentioned back in my Day 1 that I love John Grilz as a narrator and this story perfectly captures why. He gives a strong but fragile humanity to all of the characters he portrays and manages to do it without putting on different voices. His narration always pulls you into the stories and even the longest tales never feel like they’ve outstayed their welcome.
John Beardify wrote a really cool story here. Solid characters and it has a really good classic Halloween story vibe. It feels like a movie from the early 90s and I mean that in the best possible way.
As with the first story, sound design is top notch.
Day 2 was a little wobbly in terms of story quality but Day 3 picks it back up. It’s a longer episode than yesterday but it definitely doesn’t feel like it. Great episode.