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Where Nightmares and Reality Collide, Tune Into This Radio Host’s Terrifying Journey

Where Nightmares and Reality Collide, Tune Into This Radio Host’s Terrifying Journey

MOVIE REVIEW
Nightmare Radio: The Night Stalker

    

Genre: Horror
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 19m
Director(s): Nathan Crooker, Carlos Goitia, David M. Night Maire, Mia Kate Russell, Ryan J. Thompson, Adam O'Brien
Writer(s): Taz Pereyra, Camilo Zaffora
Cast: Paula Brasca, Agustin Olcese, Valeria San Martin, Michael Lorz, Sean Weil, Nancy Nagrant, Pooya Mohseni, Robert Eletto, Marie Ruane, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Karen Griffin, Andrew Fleming, Shannon Lahaie, Meghan McNicol, Sophia Davey, Cassandra Magrath, Christopher Kirby, Amy Bradney-George
Where To Watch: on UK digital April 24, 2023, from Reel 2 Reel Films


RAVING REVIEW: NIGHTMARE RADIO: THE NIGHT STALKER presents an idea that doesn't quite reach its full potential. The film is a sequel to A NIGHT OF HORROR: NIGHTMARE RADIO and introduces us to a new horror radio host. This fascinating concept would be a dream come true for fans if it were more readily available. I remember (well, in syndication) the glory days of TV when there were creature feature hosts (Elvira, Bob Wilkins, Svengoolie, Dr. Creep, etc.). A spin on that with a national radio show would be fantastic! Our host connects with listeners by exploring their spine-chilling real-life experiences, but things turn dark when one caller becomes too engaged.


The film centers on Candy, played by Paula Brasca (the star of this film), a late-night DJ for Nightmare Radio who encourages her audience to share their terrifying encounters. However, when one caller goes too far, Candy's innocent collection of spooky stories becomes a nightmare as she uncovers the shocking extent of a fan's obsession.

As the stakes continue to rise, Candy takes us into various chilling stories from her other callers, covering several different horror genres, using the anthology style to the best of its ability. Where does the line between her stories and reality cross?

NIGHTMARE RADIO: THE NIGHT STALKER starts strong with the film's best segment and sets high expectations for the rest of the film. After that, you can tell how much of an anthology the series was. Sure, they’re all tied together, but each segment is its creation (I assume including the sound production, lighting, costumes, etc.) They all feel very different in tone, quality, and even the budget/effects used. I justified this in my mind by telling myself that unique individuals told each segment on the radio show, so, of course, they would all seem drastically different.

As a whole, I enjoyed the idea of the film's narrative; I just don’t know if an anthology including so many different cooks in the kitchen was the right move. Now that I know this is a sequel, I want to check out the original. There seemed to be a lot of great ideas, with differing results, that took you out of the film as a whole. If a third film is greenlit, I would like to see the same director handling each segment, maybe with different writers instead.

In summary, NIGHTMARE RADIO: THE NIGHT STALKER has immense potential but doesn't quite live up to it. There’s a lot to work with here, and when the film is working, it works well, but the jarring differences are too much to let you appreciate it to its full potential as a combined story.

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[photo courtesy of REEL 2 REEL FILMS]

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