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Nightmare Radio: The Night Stalker review – More like a bad dream | Films | Entertainment


I really love horror anthology movies. There simply aren’t enough of them – and I think I get why. It’s hard enough building enough tension in one narrative story, let alone three (or four, or five) in one 90-minute picture. Unfortunately, this is exactly the issue that plagues Nightmare Radio: The Night Stalker; despite the fact it has some really solid stories floating through its airwaves. 

Nightmare Radio: The Night Stalker follows Candy (Paula Brasca), a midnight DJ who runs “Nightmare Radio”, a storytelling station that encourages its listeners to call in and regale the audience with their “true” macabre stories of grotesqueness.

Using this narrative device, viewers are sent into a handful of horror stories with hugely different tones and concepts. Within the movie, you’ll find psychological thrillers, ghost stories, straight-up slashers – and more. It’s a varied mix of ideas, and they’re all directed by different filmmakers, so they’re all quite visually appealing in their own way.

The first picture, in fact, is perhaps the best shot of them all. It’s interesting, totally beguiling, and an interesting look at the Ari Aster-esque side of horror (even if it’s, wholly, kind of bleak). 

Unfortunately, none of these separate movies really land. They’re all a little trite, and – sometimes – feel completely half-baked. Even if the horror and gore do pop at times (you ever seen someone die by wine bottle before? It’s not bad).

Weirdly, it feels as if the film already knows that. In fact, it comments on it; berates it, even. Candy herself talks about how lame they are to her listeners, and how they are sometimes not well thought out. It’s honestly kind of funny – I wonder if each director knew their movies were being talked down on by the movie it’s in?

Annoyingly, the strongest part of Nightmare Radio: The Night Stalker is the overarching narrative involving the aforementioned Candy.

Throughout the nocturnal radio show, she continues to receive calls from a creepy guy who complains that she treated him badly years ago. His shudder-worthy comments quickly transcend into threats, and before you know it, he’s doing the whole Scream thing (“That’s a nice shirt you’re wearing…”).

By the end of the movie, Candy and the spooky caller obviously cross paths, and the conclusion to their story is easily the most thrilling part of the picture. I watched with bated breath as the would-be killer gave Candy a wretched ultimatum in the final minutes. It was a real thrill – even if it only lasted a few minutes.

Ultimately, Nightmare Radio: The Night Stalker is not the best horror movie you’ve ever seen – but horror fans could certainly do a lot worse. It makes up for its shortcomings with a few interesting ideas and a final story that will actually stick with you for a little while. Other than that, grab your popcorn and enjoy the gore.

Nightmare Radio: The Night Stalker is out on digital download now.

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