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The Art of horror

London After Midnight logo

London After Midnight review

Production company – Pocket Universe Productions

Rating – 5 Brains

This show popped up after I had endured the previously reviewed Long Night In Egypt. After that had finished, there were two bonus episodes, and this was one. As soon as it had finished, I subscribed to the actual podcast, just so I could finish it. So let us head into a bygone world of suicide, intrigue and the supernatural. Welcome to London After Midnight.

So what’s it about?

London After Midnight, is an audio adaptation of a now legendary lost film starring Lon Chaney, and directed by Tod Browning. Originally released in 1927, the last known surviving print was lost in a fire at the MGM studios in 1965. This version however is part of the Midnight Matinees podcast, which seeks to bring a more classic feel to your creepy desires. 

The story follows the death of Roger Balfour in his home. The police rule it a suicide, despite the protests of his neighbour Sir James Hamlin. 5 years later, Balfour’s house is rented to a mysterious man in a top hat and a rather vampiric looking woman. Their fearsome looks cause comment with Sir James’ staff, but seeing as the house has stood empty for 6 months, they are desperate to rent it. The fact that the odd couple paid for 3 months rent in cash also helps to gloss over any… strangeness.

Sir James notices that the deed is signed by one Roger Hamilton, the birth name of Roger Balfour. And so the story begins. I’m not going to go into any more details because I really don’t want to spoil it, and the chance that any of you would have seen the original is probably impossible.

Is it any good?

This production oozes quality. The voice acting is as good as any I’ve ever heard (including the legendary Art Malik), and the sound design is exquisite. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was so engrossed in a horror story. No, actually I can. It was Re: Dracula that was released last year. Karim Kronfli also puts in an appearance here. His voice is so distinctive that you can spot him instantly, and he is quickly becoming one of my favourite voice actors.

The production itself reminds me a lot of the 1970s radio plays by Nigel Kneale and his ilk. The audio has that “closeness” reminiscent of smoky old BBC studios, although the sound effects and foley are bang up to date.

The reveal at the climax of the police investigation is something that Peter Falk would have been proud of, and the final twist is so perfect and evocative of the time. I really can’t fault the show at all. It is shows like this that makes me rethink only going to 5 brains for a rating. Maybe I should just stop giving so many podcasts 5 brain ratings instead though eh?

Being only two parts, and with a total runtime of under an hour there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t treat yourself to this immediately. I’ve already listened to the whole thing twice, and I could happily go for another round. I made a reference to Peter Falk earlier, and just like the best episodes of Columbo, this show really does bear up to repeat listens.

Final thoughts

My only knowledge of the original film was a plotline in the TV show Whitechapel. The movie poster featured in that was creepy enough to etch Lon Chaney’s terrifying face into my memory permanently.

Podcasts like this renew my faith in not only voice acting, but writing and production too. I understand that not everyone has the resources to undertake productions such as this. But those that do keep me from lowering the bar of expectations too much, and I thank them for that.

You can get London After Midnight here:


For more great podcast reviews I recommend GreatPods

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