Paul Magrs’ contribution to the Hammer Chillers line is a taut three-hander between Jacqueline King, Camille Coduri and Ewan Bailey. Like others in the range, it does telegraph its ending quite early, but there’s a ghoulish delight in listening to events unfold, knowing the ghastly denouement that has to happen if the story is going to be true to the genre.
That’s not to say that Magrs doesn’t throw in some surprises along the way, one of which suggests an alternate plotline more in keeping with Stephen King’s Creepshow (and Hammer’s Mummy line) than the more gory version we get. More perhaps than the other plays so far, this also takes advantage of the audio format, particularly its contrast of music with horror.
The story focuses on King’s mother (describing her as Mummy in this context does feel slightly wrong), who is, of course, a totally unreliable narrator, and there’s a delight in realising ahead of her what is really going on. Bailey’s Phil may not be the sharpest tool in the box, but he is well aware of what his mother is like and the listener can piece together much of what has been happening – particularly when Coduri’s Renee’s attitude changes so sharply.
Verdict: Another success for the range, which throws up some disturbing mental images – exactly as it should. 8/10