The Cambridge Geek

The Kirlian Frequency

I had a watch of this one because the Girl has seen enough references to it being like Welcome to Night Vale, and she knew that sort of thing of interested me.

It's very easy to see why that comparison has been drawn, being as it is about a late night talk radio show, that broadcasts to the spooky town of Kirlian. I'm actually tempted however to say it's more like the Marvel Motion Comics that persisted for a while. The DJ of the show (who is apparently a skeleton) takes calls and tells a story each episode about some hideous event happening that night.

These include encounters with werewolves, vampires, witches, angry dogs and the great old ones. It never ends well for the person dialing in. Like Nightvale, everyone is aware of what's going on, but either pretends to try and have a quiet life, or is one of the monsters. That tends to give it a reasonable attempt at being spooky, though I found it a bit too surreal on occasion to really have a compelling plot.

The DJ. More of a shock jock than normal.

The aesthetic is intentionally flat and dark, giving everything an ominous feel, while still allowing little light tweaks, usually for creepy eyes. (And it does this very well, the woeful stares of the various victims and perpetrators make for some good long shots.) There's also some nice style shifts such as for the Christmas episode where everything is jolly, or where it's representing evil drawings.

A shame then that the way it's assembled is so awkward. Because it has been translated, there are hardcoded subtitles on the screen. These sometimes don't match the spoken audio, and often don't even have audio attached to them, meaning the story varies between spoken and disjointed, to just read. It's an annoying shift every time, especially when this is so similar to a storytelling style where theoretically you should be able to just listen to it, and have the visuals as a nice bonus.

Along with that, I can't say the stories were incredibly impressive. Too often they had a nice premise, but didn't quite pay it off. The setup of lots of subtle hints that build to a bigger horror is fairly baked into this genre by now, but instead this tended to flail around trying to hit as many ideas as possible.

I think there's more of this coming, but I'm not likely to stick with it.

Score 3

Tagged: TV Horror Anthology Netflix