Late one stormy night, DJ Rod Wilson is hosting Nightmare Radio, a show dedicated to horror. In between music and ads for local companies, Rod recounts creepy stories while inviting his listeners to phone in with their own tales of the paranormal. When he begins to receive strange calls from a child in desperate need of help, he initially thinks it’s a prank, but soon discovers that these calls hide a dark secret in which he himself will be involved.
A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio is an anthology of eight horror shorts, with each one having previously done the rounds on the festival circuits before being picked up for inclusion in this collection, a very mixed bag of genres, styles and tone. The Dark Dark Woods tells of an invisible, skin-stealing demoness while The Smiling Man features a playful, creepy looking creature who tries to tempt a little girl with colourful balloons. More ghostly tales come in the form of Post Mortem Mary, where a mother-daughter team arrange keepsake photographs of the dead for family members, and Vicious, where a woman is being terrorised by a shadowy presence while home alone at night. And to placate any callers who are sceptical of Rod’s stories, we have real-life tales of horror such as The Disappearance of Willie Bingham and A Little Off The Top.
The framing device for the shorts works well in the context of the radio show, helped by the smooth, velvet toned narration of the cigarette smoking DJ – “On this stormy night, we are going to tell horror stories,” says Rod, “because horror stories never end”. It’s an intriguing premise early on, which is handy as the quality of the shorts overall in the first half isn’t so great.
Thankfully, the second half boasts a more interesting and well-executed selection of stories but coupled with the disappointing descent into Rod’s own horror story, I came away ultimately disappointed. Which is a shame as there is definitely some interesting new horror talent on display within some of the shorts.
A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio will be available on Amazon and Google from 21st December and iTunes from 30th December
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