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You can’t handle the truth

Borrasca logo

Borrasca review

Production company – QCode

Rating – 4 brains

I think I saw this show mentioned on Reddit, and as I usually do, I went and subscribed… Well, you know the drill by now. So I got through the whole thing in two days, and I knew this was going to get a review asap. I also posted some thoughts back on Reddit, and it seems that Borrasca was something of a controversial subject. This only made me more determined to get a review out.

This is going to be a spoiler free review (as always). I’m also going to avoid any content warnings, as they will spoil the main twist in the story. By all means go and search them out if you want to. I’m not going to judge anyone, but I’m not going to spoil anything. In fact, I would go as far as to say that finding them out will absolutely detract from the gut punch twist.

So what’s it about?

12 year old Sam Walker moves with his family to Drisking, Missouri. His father has taken a job in the sheriff’s department, and so (as is usually the case in drama fiction), the kids are dragged along with various degrees of protestation.

As the family settles in, they hear a strange, metallic screech echoing through the valleys. The locals don’t seem too bothered, but the young kids are apparently not allowed out after they hear the scream. Soon, Sam learns about a rather strange tradition among the teenagers, that of Borrasca parties. These are raucous get-togethers at a treehouse in the woods that always happen after the scream is heard, and soon after the parties, a girl always disappears.

There are legends that go hand in hand with all this. Stories of “The Shiny Gentleman” and the skinned men who roam the woods. And just who are the mysterious women in white who appear at the end of the parties to select three girls?

Fast forward a few years, and Sam and his friends are in high school. Sam’s sister disappears shortly after one of the Borrasca parties. Then one of his friends disappears too. This leads Sam and his best friend Kyle on a hunt to discover the truth. A truth that is more horrific than either of them could imagine.

Is it any good?

This show is wonderfully bleak. What starts out as a rather run of the mill child-centric supernatural adventure, soon takes a very, very dark turn. As I said in the intro, the realisation of the truth in Drisking is a truly visceral shock.

The characters are well acted, even the younger child voices show a good degree of talent. The sound design and music is also immersive, and doesn’t detract from the experience. I actually really like the dialogue between Sam and Kyle. The remorseless insults and put downs are how most of my circle of friends talk to each other, and I found it refreshing to hear dialogue like that in a podcast. It didn’t seem contrived, and it flowed naturally.

Now for my problems with it.

At the beginning, the timeline jumps forward a few times, from the Walker family’s arrival, to various events in the first year or so. There is no clue that the story has jumped forward, so that did get confusing. I’m not sure how they could do that effectively though, which is probably why they didn’t.

The show also spent two series building a horrific backstory and a creeping sense of hopelessness. You really got the feeling that the locals in Drisking just had accepted their fates, and the fates of their children. So after all that, the inherent nihilist in me was angry when the epilogue rolled around. I can (almost) understand why they did it, but after being so unafraid to push boundaries, why not let the bad guys win? Just once? I quite like the idea of the good guys getting there just too late.

Final thoughts

This was almost a perfect podcast. I felt that it was only let down by the ending. Personally, I would have preferred the tone to stay as dark and harrowing as 90% of the story.

If you like super intelligent, rather safe horror, then this show isn’t for you. This is the podcast equivalent of a Rob Zombie film. It’s deliberately transgressive and horrific. It doesn’t let bad planning or plot holes get in the way of the story arc, and it’s quite happy to make you question exactly why you’re so invested in the show. Having said that, I don’t like Rob Zombie films, but I did like this. A lot. Make of that what you will.

The consensus on my Reddit post was that the podcast jumped the shark at the end of series 1, that I was insane for enjoying it as much as I did, and that the gaping plot holes and subject matter were not worthy of discussion. I disagreed. Also, make of that what you will.

You can get Borrasca here:


For more great reviews, I recommend GreatPods

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