Home » Your Horror Show: Anthology of Terror

A horror anthology is nothing new. One could argue Alfred Hitchcock Presents series is just as much a horror show than a suspense one from the master himself. “Your Horror Show” continues the tradition in audio format with mixed results. This is an expedited review.

Horror Anthology History Lesson

Of course, the old adage of audio horror is that the imagination is often scarier than what’s on screen. The first “Jaws” is the classic example of something that invented the blockbuster and also scared a good portion of its audience from going to the beach. Fast forwarding to 2011 and shows like “American Horror Story” have continued the tradition of the anthology show with a focus on horror.

Before the 2010s, horror anthology shows were pretty much dead. There may have been reruns of classics, but the few shows made between 2000-2009 weren’t runaway hits like “Stranger Things” from Netflix or “Supernatural” on the CW. Surprisingly, a good portion of horror series from this list during the 2000s were manga. Be aware that some shows on that list are animated children’s programs with some non-scary things in them. At least for adults.

Fear is relative in a horror anthology

Like comedy, not all horror will work for every person. Some people like slasher movies from the 1980s. Others may prefer some more modern takes on the genre. Jordan Peele’s filmography comes to mind in terms of less blood and gore, and more social commentary as fear. “Your Horror Show” begins with its host, Mr. Graves. Not to he confused with one of the producers—Jonathan Graves—who may or may not be the inspiration for the host character. Ryan Joseph Murphy does the voice of the host and has roles in a few of the episodes. The biggest one being Jefferies in the space horror episode “Leviathan.”

“Leviathan” is perhaps the best episode released thus far in terms of production quality, story and the terror it invokes. Yes, horror in space is not a new concept. However “Leviathan’s” execution is well done. Sometimes the all you can ask for. Especially when the first three episodes are hit or miss when it comes to the production value, story, or the bread and butter of horror—fear.

Story Rankings by Production, Story and Terror

The first episode of the “Your Horror Show” anthology podcast subverts the expectation of who would be most effected by a a haunting in a hotel room. You don’t often see mob stories and supernatural things like ghosts together. It’s a bit like mixing water with an only a tiny bit of flavor enhancer in liquid form. Use too little and it simply tastes like water, the added flavor diluted by the overpowering bland taste. Use too much and the liquid overpowers the water, making it took strong. “Bullet” attempts the latter, but achieves the former. As a first episode it lacks some panache for listeners.

The second episode, “First Date” deals with alpha male syndrome in a story where things go horribly and karmically wrong for the male character who thinks of himself as an alpha. To say this guy is full of himself might be an understatement, but the writing is anything but under the surface. Every line of dialogue, monologue or narration the character gets is misogynistic and over the top. In terms of rank, this might go in second place for the story and production alone. The one under “First Date” fixes the issue with the first episode (also my least favorite) where the story and character didn’t match up. While interesting, the execution was off. Episode three, “Toothless,” has a story with terror, a trope and gender subversion done well in both instances, and better production value than the previous episode.

New Episode Out Today and Final Thoughts

If binge listening, by the time you reach “Leviathan,” you don’t feel burnt out. The episodes are short and easily consumable in that way. If you listen to “Leviathan” immediately after “Toothless” the mild adrenaline from that story may make the space horror more terrifying. The most recent episode called “Till’ Death,” based on the cover art, might be a similar story to “First Date.”

Often it takes a few attempts to find a good rhythm for episode content. In anthologies, it’s even harder because there’s nothing connecting the stories expect for perhaps a gruesome and ghoulish host for horror anthologies specifically.

7.5/10- Stars

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