A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio
When it comes to horror anthologies, typically the results are a mixed bag. With a handful of filmmakers contributing their own creative spark, it’s inevitable that some will outshine others. A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio is no different in this regard, but there’s a catch: Argentinean brothers Nicolas and Luciano Onetti have curated a selection of creepy horror shorts from around the globe in one handy package (some of which have been doing the rounds online), which turns this collection into what’s best described as a compilation of the best of internet horror.
Ranging from a macabre photo shoot to more conventional paranormal affairs, the anthology is home to (in running order) In the Dark, Dark Woods (Jason Bognack), Post Mortem Mary (Joshua Long), A Little off the Top (Adam O’Brien), The Disappearance of Willie Bingham (Matt Richards), Drops (Sergio Morcilo), The Smiling Man (AJ Briones – perhaps the most well-known inclusion), Into the Mud (Pablo S Pastor), and Vicious (Olive Park). The selection is held together by the framing narrative of a late-night DJ (James Wright), who recounts the shorts to his listeners as part of his horror-themed show. However, as the evening progresses, he begins to receive strange calls from a frightened child.
Each entry offers a bite-sized treat for viewers, delving into different facets of the genre and, despite low budgets, all are surprisingly effective and creative in the delivery of scares. Notable inclusions are Post Mortem Mary and Vicious, which both make fantastic use of suspense to create palpable, claustrophobic dread, while A Little off the Top and The Disappearance of Willie Bingham become the low points in comparison. But because of their short lengths viewers are soon on to the next section.
Nonetheless, it’s evident that these films were not made to be included in the same project. With nothing thematically concrete linking the material, the framing narrative soon becomes needless filler, but it’s seemingly aware of its own redundancy and thankfully moves quickly between entries, eager to dispense with its own bland plot.
Nightmare Radio packs a lot of contemporary talent into one package but with its uninspired central narrative, viewers might ask whether it would be better to watch the shorts separately instead.
A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio is released digitally on demand on 21st December 2020.
Watch the trailer for A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio here: