Review: Hairy Hands FM (Chronic Insanity)

The third show in Chronic Insanity’s 2021 programme, Hairy Hands FM is an audio experience for one person on a smartphone, and lasts for around twenty minutes. You, the listener, are a contestant on a radio show, but events are not going to be what you expected.

If you’ve experienced one of Darkfield Radio’s shows, you will be by now familiar with the sounds which can be created for you to receive through headphones. Close your eyes and a whole, sinister world will unfold around you. The legend of the “Hairy Hands” at first seems rather benign, ridiculous – harmless, even.

But sounds, as we know, can be suggestive, and the interactive element of this show, in the form of a phone call you initate and participate in, gives it something of a realistic feel. You are invited to move around in your space, and what you know to be familiar might just become something far more unsettling. The creak of a door, the rattle of a pipe, a shadow across your closed eyes which you haven’t noticed before.

Hairy Hands - Legendary Dartmoor
Hairy Hands – Legendary Dartmoor

Created by Joe Strickland and Hannah Parsons, in Hairy Hands FM “the legend of Dartmoor is brought to life in a new online interactive, immersive experience as part of the BBC New Creatives scheme”. It is a horror story aimed at adults and 16-18 year olds, and it certainly gave me my fair share of jumps and chills. The ending was slightly predictable, but in a way may lead to a sequel in due course …

Four voices are heard during the experience: Charlie Basley answers the original call, Abbi Davey and Alex Stedman are on the air, and Phillip Garcia is the mystery voice. The other essential element, of course, is yourself, if you are game enough or brave enough to accept the challenge and make that call.

Hairy Hands FM can be accessed via https://chronicinsanity.itch.io/hairy-hands-fm or www.bbc.co.uk/taster/ and it is free to listen.

Read my other reviews of shows by Chronic Insanity here.

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