Podcast Review: The Evolution of Horror

‘A podcast for horror lovers, by horror lovers…’

As I have now seen pretty much every well-known horror film ever made, or certainly 90% of them, I have to look further afield to fulfil my apparently insatiable urge for blood. This has led me to some pretty dark and gruesome places. Just when I thought I was beginning to run out of all things horror-related, Mike Muncer’s The Evolution of Horror podcast revealed itself under the pall of darkness…

The premise is simple, each season focuses on a different subgenre of horror movies, starting with slashers and then working through ghosts, folk horror, zombies, the occult, mind and body horror, aliens, vampires and home invasion. Whilst many of the films covered are old favourites, there are also a variety of weird and wonderful horror movies that I have discovered along the way – most notably Society, Horror of Dracula and Raw. The key to the success of this podcast is that it strikes just the right balance between film academia and film fandom, helped along by Muncer’s infectious enthusiasm for the genre and the quality of his guests (Reece Shearsmith, Mark Kermode and Kim Newman have all appeared). There is also a regular segment in which psychoanalyst Mary Wild discusses each film through the lens of psychology – often diving deeper into the motivations and desires of the characters than the films do themselves. There is also an ‘also rans’ episode for each season in which Muncer and usually Brad Hanson dissect some of their chosen genre’s lesser lights. As a man who can’t get enough of, let’s be honest, terrible movies, these episodes are of particular interest to me.

I went into this podcast as a seasoned pro and still learnt plenty about the genre that I love. For anyone with even a passing interest in the horror genre, this podcast should be essential listening. Don’t miss it.

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