Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beyond the Pale

     The independent horror director/producer Larry Fessenden got together with some fellow, off-the-beaten-path horror masterminds and came up with a beautifully produced series of audio stories called Tales from Beyond the Pale that harken back to old time radio shows, but have distinctly contemporary tones, themes and content. 
     Every story has a full voice cast and, so far, the two that particularly stand out for me are Mr. Fessenden's own eerie and tragic The Hole Digger from Volume 1 and Graham Reznick's disturbing and semi-surreal The Grandfather (starring Angus Scrimm, the terrifying Tall Man from Phantasm in something of a departure) from Volume 3.
    The absence of imagery, or course, allows imagination to flow in and fill that void, thanks to strong writing -- that's the whole point of doing something in this format, I would think --  and a powerful sense of atmosphere and dread pervades each story.  For my money, that dread, that sense of imminent and inevitable doom, is what makes the most effective horror work.

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