10 horror podcasts you haven’t heard yet

7 of 11

5. The Message

Who says that genres have to be mutually exclusive? Sure, some things don’t quite work together, at least not if they’re in the wrong hands. Though, now that I think of it, a romantic comedy horror with a bit of Cthulhu mythos thrown in could be interesting.

Anyway, science fiction and horror are like the peanut butter and jelly of genres. H.P. Lovecraft started to sense this when he was writing things like “The Colour Out of Space” and “The Call of Cthulhu.” However, he was a little more interested in the horror side of things, not to mention an unfortunately heavy dose of xenophobia and racism.

As both genres have moved forward, though, more and more excellent examples of crossover have arisen. Alien, the 1979 horror film directed by Ridley Scott, is perhaps the best film example out there.

After all, isn’t outer space pretty scary? It’s vast, dark, and so cold that you can’t help but remember how insignificant you are. Meanwhile, robots are seemingly just one mis-typed command away from murdering everyone, while the ego and drive of some scientists could just turn you into a human-fly hybrid.

If this sounds intriguing, then there’s good news: podcasting has its own share of sci-fi horror, too. One of the best shows out there is The Message.

Co-produced by Panoply and the GE Podcast Theatre, The Message begins with intrepid podcaster Nicky Tomalin. She’s a bit of a nut for cryptography and hidden messages, managing to work her way into one of the best groups of cryptographers around. While she’s there, Nicky manages to get wrapped up in the increasing danger surrounding a mysterious alien message. It’s all some seriously bad timing for Tomalin and her colleagues – or is it?

The Message features increasingly high stakes, smart dialogue, and a seriously good twist at the very end. It’s also drawn favorable comparisons to Orson Welles’ legendary 1938 broadcast of The War of the Worlds.