Sam, a guilt-ridden blacksmith, gets a telegram from the woman he left behind, asking for help. He returns to his hometown to find the "afflicted" roaming the streets, and discovers that letting go of the past is even more difficult than battling supernatural hordes.
©2014 Pendant Productions (P)2014 Pendant Productions
Phantom Canyon is honestly one finest horror masterpieces I've had the pleasure of experiencing. The story flows perfectly into the format of an audio drama, allowing your imagination to create the perfect mixture of fascination and apprehension. Geoffrey Thorne, Jeffrey Bridges and Susan Bridges come together to weave a story of love, loss, danger and suspense, that has never been seen in Horror or Western before.
After the local mine collapses, Blacksmith Sam (Pete Milan) returns home to Crooked Creek, Colorado at the behest of his childhood sweetheart, Rebecca (Darian Lindle). The town has become overrun with an affliction, turning warm, friendly folk into cruel, cold monsters. With Rebecca's blind daughter Clara (Barbra Dillon) and Sam's fool apprentice Edwin (Phil Dawson) in tow, they set out to find a way out of the Phantom Canyon.
The actors truly bring their best to the words, sounding as if they've stepped out of 19th century Colorado. For not recording in the same space, they have an amazing chemistry between them; Lindle and Dillon even sound like an actual mother and daughter. As their characters go through the gauntlet of emotions, they rise to the challenge.
Clara, played by Barbara Dillon, is someone who could have easily been a weak, pathetic character. Instead she's capable, intuitive and while she occasionally feels afraid, she still acts in spite of that fear.
The actors, sound effects, and music all work together to evoke emotions from you as you listen to it. Several times I found myself actually caring about the character, and worrying about what they were experiencing.
I wound up listening to it in one sitting, I honestly wanted to find out what happened next.
My favorite line: "God's cold hand done touched them all."
Putting my thoughts on Phantom Canyon into words is a tough task. For starters, it’s unlike any audio drama I've heard before. Secondly, it’s “western horror.” Or to put it more bluntly, it alternates between the two genres throughout, starting off as a full blown western and concluding as an eerie horror story. Fortunately for listeners, the changes between the two genres are seamless, adding to the overall enjoyment.
I have to start out by applauding the writers and actors for their amazing work. Specifically, the characters were very well crafted, and the actors did an amazing job bringing them to life. Pete Milan and Barbra Dillon in particular get huge points from me for their roles as Sam and Clara respectively. Joe Stofko’s Mr. David is both as authoritative and humble as he is threatening. And Dave Morgan’s Billy is another shining example of how skillful he is at making the smallest of roles some of the most memorable.
On the story front, while I’m not normally a fan of horror stories, Phantom Canyon hits all of the high notes and then some. And more than once, it masterfully breaks established horror tropes and flips them on their head. The directors also did a great job creating a strong western vibe that sucks you in and makes you want to keep on listening.
Of course, that said, Phantom Canyon is not without its occasional faults. But its strengths far outweigh them.
All in all, Phantom Canyon was a highly worthwhile listen: an example of Pendant Productions at their finest. And it’s easily the best thing I’ve bought for less than $10 bucks in a very long time, which is probably the highest praise I could ever give any work. Am I right, or am I right?
4.5 out of 5 stars.
This story pulls every punch. Well produced audio drama, but the characters were rather weak, the logic questionable, and the scares mild. Recommend for breaking in kids new to the horror genre on a road trip.
I would like to thank the people before me who wrote good reviews about this audiobook. I trusted you and I had a great time listening to this production! I won't go into any details, lest I spoil anything for anyone. Suffice to say that it's like I was part of the story. I will never be able to hear bells again without remembering this book! ☺
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
What a fantastically done audio! It's rare when I get the pleasure of listening to an audio that is a full production and I must say I love it! There was so much that I enjoyed, the voices, the extra production noises added in, it was marvelous. I feel that all of this added so much to the story. Like for instance when they are in the mine you can hear their voices start to have that echo like quality. When people are walking or riding horses or on a carriage all those extra noises are added. It made the audio so much more enjoyable for me!
As for the story it was also quite fun. The characters are believable and I just adore Sam. He seems like the type of person that you definitely want in your corner because he is just so willing to fight for his friends. Clara was my all time favorite and seemed the most believable of them all. Although Sam is a really close second. And Edwin was also really fun to listen to. His obsession with rock candy mirrors my own! Now I'm craving it!
Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.
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This is a tough one for me to call because it is a very well done audio drama. The problem is I discovered I do not like that format in audiobooks. I prefer either one narrator oar two alternating between male and female characters. This style is more like listening to a tv show in another room or a radio program from days of old. There are many of people who love this style, I am just not one of them.
The overall story is entertaining but my dislike of the format made it hard to follow. I generally like to listen to my books at faster speeds, this style makes that tough. There are a lot of voices to keep track of and loads of sound effects. Sound effects are another thing I do not particularly enjoy in my audiobooks. They tend to take me out of the moment being created, I prefer to use my imagination from the descriptions.
This all comes down to how you like to listen. If you enjoy audio dramas you might love this creepy mystery.
Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.
I listened while on a long drive and while the performance was entertaining I found my attention wandering. This is not an "audiobook" per se, in that you don't have 1 actor narrating the story. It's akin to old radio shows with several actors and sound effects in the background to set the mood. The performances by the actors are very well done unfortunately the sound effects drown out the performances and become very annoying toward the end. To the point where the "chimes" become painful to listen to with earbuds.
As another reviewer pointed out, the story is very reminiscent of Stephen King's Desperation with a bit of Tommyknockers thrown in sans alien space ship.
Despite that; the story was interesting though I am not a fan of so many flashbacks. The production of those elements was a bit confusing as there wasn't a clear break for a flashback scene. I found myself wondering what exactly was going on and then realized a few minutes into the flashback that I was being given background on the characters.
I would consider it; perhaps in a traditional audiobook format rather than a radio play. Or rather a radio play that used some older techniques for sound effects instead of all digital.
As I stated above there were some effects that were either too loud, too high or too low and/or didn't seem correct for the scene. The effects almost overwhelmed the story.
I prequel would have been better than all the flashback scenes.
I was given this book in return for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own and not influenced by the authors or production company.
The story is too much like Stephen King's Desperation. Almost too scary how similar they are alike.
I do listen to other things produced by pendantaudio.com.
I was bored with the story. As I mentioned before, this is too much like Stephen King's book Desperation. Since I have read and love that book, it was disappointing to know well in advance how the story ends although the last scene was a nice touch even though it was cliche. I have been a long time listener to Pendant Audio which is why I think this is so disappointing. They have much better story development with some of their other long running series. Even though I was disappointed with this first attempt, I will buy future audio books/productions from them.
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