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B-Audio Horror: The Wasp Woman

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Horror Tropes and History

It’s no secret that sometimes the scariest moments of genuine horror in life are ones that you can not see. From “Jaws” to “Alien”, the psychology of fear in mass audiences of the unknown is a staple of the horror genre. What about B-movie horror? No, that isn’t a pun for the title of this audio drama adaptation of Roger Corman’s 1959 cult film: “The Wasp Woman”.

At a little over 30 minutes, “The Wasp Woman from The Voice Over Repertory Theater finds its voice in the middle and turns into slapstick by the end. The acting is great and reminiscent of those cheesy movies spoofed by Mystery Science Theater 3000 back in the day. It even stars the niece of Frank Langella (the actor who recently played a role in “The Trial of the Chicago 7” from Netflix). For the most part, this audio drama is played straight. Or as straight as a bad horror movie can be without making fun of itself. It’s a fine line to be sure, but they arguably went over on the conflict resolution both narratively and tonally.

Melodramatic Camp and Horror/Suspense

The standout performance is from Langella’s niece, Tara, who finds that balance of melodramatic camp and horror/suspense acting found in films like Alfred Hitchcock’s “Pscyho”. It’s something that shouldn’t work unless done very carefully and the creative team manages (for the most part) to maneuver gracefully enough, but lost some points on the dismount. Still, if the creator of the original movie called it “Amusing,” maybe a second listen would help.

“The Wasp Woman” drops this Halloween (or after World Audio Drama Day for all you cooler kids). Visit the VO Repertory Theater website to find out more about their upcoming releases.

4.5/5 Stars

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