"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 69
How do you like to listen to radio dramas? I turn off the lights, close my eyes, and let my ears and my imagination do all the work. It seems only appropriate for Horror radio--and especially so for today's special feature.
This meeting is about the Lights Out episode "The Dark". If you haven't listened to it yet, here's your last chance.
It seems unfair for my first comment on The Dark to be a comparison to The Thing on the Fourble Board, but I do want to underline the difference between the old lady's laughter in this one and the Thing's cries in the latter. THIS is how you freak people out with inarticulate sounds! Her mad cackle, already unsettling at the beginning, made me shiver in my seat when I heard it again at a later part.
The Dark is short and sweet. But maybe too short and just sweet enough to keep us from complaining that it's all scare and no substance? There are so many unanswered questions at the end. Where did the dark shadows come from? Who was the first man they found? Who telephoned for help at the beginning--and if she wasn't the old woman in the house, where did she go? It's like the first part of a Horror plot, when the fodder characters get killed but at least one escapes, so that the audience may know what the real heroes are to expect . . . except that in this case, the first part is the only part.
Yet everything is technically fantastic. The script is tight, the scares are perfectly paced, the characters are distinct and voiced well . . . It almost doesn't matter that we don't know why the doctor is so intent on getting to the bottom of the mystery: we hear enough to consider it his hamartia and to let this short double as a tragedy. At first I felt that his companion fainting was an easy way out . . . and maybe it was, because the alternative would have prolonged the plot (Oh, I see what you did there!) . . . but it was also quite plausible. It seems wrong, though, to say that his tragic flaw was not leaving his friend there when his survival instincts first started kicking in. Yet if The Dark has a moral, it is that fear is not always cowardice to be overcome but sometimes a kind of intuition worth listening to and acting upon.
What are your thoughts on The Dark?
1) What did you think was the scariest moment?
2) Did you think that one of the two should have just left the other? If so, which one and at which point?
3) So how do you listen to your radio dramas? =)
The next meeting will be a discussion of "House in Cypress Canyon", which came highly recommended by literally everyone I asked about the radio series Suspense!, including the inimitable Mrs. Darwin and indescribable Brandon. You can find it on YouTube, Relic Radio, Ghost Radio, and Soundcloud!