Set in a 17th Century English village, Blood on Satan’s Claw originally appeared as a feature film in the 1970’s and has recently been adapted into an audio drama for Audible by Mark Morris. When a farmer unexpectedly unearths a frightening skeletal head from his field strange happens begin to take place. This frightening story grows ever darker as the horrors happening in the village continue to infect more and more villagers.
After the skull disappears from the field it appears the town seems to fill with darkness. Beyond the weather changing, crops begin to rot and animals die unexpectedly. The villagers themselves are beset by terrible dreams and in some cases even injure themselves out of fear. With these strange happenings occurring the adults of the village begin to fear that something is after the children. If a true evil has come the reverend, voiced by Reece Shearsmith, believes it would want to destroy the goodness inside the young. The reverend and the squire, voiced by Mark Gatiss, find themselves as the primary adults leading the hunt for this evil, which has become focused on one young girl, Angel, and her dark influence.
Blood on Satan’s Claw is a perfectly terrifying listen. As the evil within the town grows you can feel the fear rising within everyone’s voices. The actors are able to capture terror and panic, especially during the dream sequences and some later sequences in the woods. What makes the story truly frightening for me is the amount of youthful sounding voices that appear and how truly distorted by evil they sound. I was on edge whenever Angel’s character appeared because you could feel a rising sense of rage and obsession spreading throughout the dialogue. The horror of this story is also highlighted by the score, which fits perfectly with every moment. The ending of Blood on Satan’s Claw ramps the terror to its highest point and I strongly recommend you listen to it on a dark and dreary night, possibly by candlelight.
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