A horror podcast that isn’t afraid to be long, like really, really long!
Dark Discussions has been around since May of 2011. The hosts are Philip, Gordon, and Eric. In the episodes I listened to I wasn’t able to glean any kind of regular rotation for the hosts, but it appears that in any given episode some combination of two of those three men will be behind the mic. The show tries to release an episode a week, and the episodes can be anywhere from an hour and a half to over two and a half hours long. There isn’t a set format for the show, some episodes tackle a movie or a few different movies, while other episodes are about a specific topic. The show is not restricted to movies in any way, all things horror fall into their spectrum of view.
Episodes Listened To
#21: The State of Vampires Part 1
#22: The Omen
#23: The State of Vampires Part 2
I was instantly impressed by the audio and technical qualities found in Dark Discussions. They use a variety of clips in every episode and they manage to weave said clips into the conversations taking place in an episode rather seamlessly. There are some minor microphone issues where one hosts sound level will dip every now and then. Those issues are minor and not a detriment to the podcast in any way. On a purely technical level Dark Discussions leaves me with nothing to complain about.
I would like to be able to say that the rest of the podcast leaves me with nothing to complain about, but that is not the case. Very soon into listening to Dark Discussions I was having trouble digesting the way that the hosts were discussing movies, particularly Philip. As Episode 21 moved along he continually made points that irked my movie sensibilities. First and foremost was his insistence on referring to movie after movie as not being like the book or a faithful adaptation of the book. I understand that this is his viewpoint, and that’s cool, but it’s not one that I care to hear. I’m so far on the other side of the spectrum, I view movies and books as completely separate mediums that should not be judged against one another, that it made listening to his adaptation and faithfulness complaints an uninteresting task.
Another aspect that all the hosts engaged in was a desire to label horror with restrictions. On too many occasions I heard the utterance, “this isn’t really horror,” or “this isn’t horror as it’s truly defined.” I found Dark Discussions definition of horror to be terribly restrictive, resting on the notion I am at odds with that scares are necessary for horror to be present. They dismissed a number of movies as being science fiction, or fantasy, or this, or that, as if horror has ever actually been defined in some concrete way as separate from one or more of those elements. Again, the hosts are entitled to their opinions, but when those opinions are so far removed from my sensibilities I lose interest in what the hosts are saying.
One area of contention I had with Dark Discussions was not based on opinion or point of view, but presentation. The episode about The Omen was over two and a half hours long, and two hours and ten minutes of that was spent describing the plot. I know what I am about to say is harsh, but that is a giant waste of my time. I listen to podcasts to hear the hosts explore film, describe what they liked, why it worked for them, or what they didn’t like and why that didn’t work for them. Plot descriptions are not something I have time for, if I want to know the plot I can go and watch the movie myself. I would have loved to hear more about what the hosts actually thought of The Omen, instead I was treated to a podcast that was nothing more than ninety five percent a description of the plot.
The plot aspect was the final straw for me. I could deal with our sensibilities not matching, those are just opinion based after all. Once I feel my time is being wasted then I don’t feel the need to stick around. The hosts sound like genuinely nice guys, and I have no problems with them, but their podcast was not for me. I wanted to explore the world of horror, Dark Discussions wanted to restrict horror, label horror, and describe in detail the plot of a movie. I’d like to tell my readers otherwise, but Dark Discussions is a well made podcast that you can easily unsubscribe from.
The Bottom Line