A NIGHT OF HORROR: NIGHTMARE RADIO **** Argentina/New Zealand/UK 2019 Dir: Luciano & Nicholas Onetti. 124 mins
This anthology incorporates the grand total of 8… well, 9 short movies if you count the wraparound into a very entertaining and fast paced 1 hour and forty-five minutes. The wraparound story directed by the Onetti brothers starts off with Rod (James Wright) a DJ on the graveyard shift filling the time by telling scary stories to his listeners, in turn he gets a few people call in with stories of their own. It is a strange and stormy night at the studio and as time goes on Rod starts to hear things and begins to feel like he is the star of his very own horror story. He is a wonderful story teller though and he introduces great and creepy segments from all walks of life involving everything from Witchcraft, superstition, revenge, murder and punishment, supernatural home invasion and, erm, mermaids!
This is another fantastic recent anthology featuring low budget shorts dating from 2012 to 2017. To truly do this justice I feel that a brief run down of all the shorts is warranted.
“IN THE DARK, DARK WOODS” 2017 (4 mins) by Jason Bognacki is about an evil spirit who takes control of a recently married woman and her husband gets revenge back on her for taking his wife.
“POST MORTEM MARY” 2017 (10 mins) by Joshua Long. Set in 1840’s Australia about a mother and daughter run post mortem photography business.
“A LITTLE OFF THE TOP” 2012 (10 mins) by Adam O’Brien, follows a heartbroken hair stylist who kidnaps his famous ex.
“THE DISAPPEARANCE OF WILLIE BINGHAM” 2015 (12 mins) by Matt Richards is the story of a convicted child murderer who’s victims family get to choose which parts of him get surgically removed.
“GOTAS” 2017 (15 mins) by Sergio Morcillo follows a young dancer who suffers a huge family tragedy leading to increased trauma.
“THE SMILING MAN” 2015 (8 mins) by AJ Briones. A young girl discovers a truly creepy humanoid creature that has done a very bad thing.
“INTO THE MUD” 2016 (10 MINS) by Pablos Pastor. A hunter’s recent prey turns the table on him.
“VICIOUS” 2015 (12 mins) by Oliver Park. A quiet British town house becomes the setting for a jumpy supernatural home invasion story.
They were a great mix of stories, all very effective and atmospheric. My personal favourites of the 8 shorts are POST MORTEM MARY, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF WILLIE BINGHAM and THE SMILING MAN. I really enjoyed the late night radio station setting and loved James Wrights performance as the host . There are no huge effects or even much in the way of blood in any of the featured shorts but they all have great ways of getting the horror across be it a few jump scares or just a very suspenseful or twisted ending. You may have seen a couple of these shorts elsewhere but they all fit together really well. It flowed incredibly well and sailed along at a great pace so you dont realise it’s almost 2 hours long. This is a big recommend from me.
Review by Sarah Budd