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The great thing with doing what I do is that I constantly find myself surprised by the amount of artistic and unique content out there. I have to admit, until I stumbled upon this on Netflix I had no idea what it was and jumped in blindly, intrigued by the premise. Blending a cleverly worked aesthetic, dependent on shadows and lighting to craft its story, The Kirlian Frequency is a surprisingly engrossing, bite-size horror anthology that’ll leave you eager for more when the credits finally roll.
The premise is pretty simple, relying on archetypal tropes from shows like Tales From The Crypt and The Twilight Zone to tell its tale. It’s really this constantly evolving execution that keeps things feeling fresh throughout and make it such an engrossing watch. Narrated by a lone radio DJ in a twilit room, strange, fantastical and horror-fueled tales are told about a lost city in the heart of Argentina called Kirlian. I won’t divulge what happens here, for fear of spoiling the story, but suffice to say there’s a constant theme running throughout which helps piece together the origin of this strange town.
With each episode stretching to around 9 minutes and with 5 episode in total, The Kirlian Frequency is the perfect length to keep you engaged without wearing out its premise and visual style. It’s ultimately the aesthetic that’ll keep you watching this one though and there’s a conscious effort to push this to the limit. Devilman: Crybaby executed the same sort of visual style in the provocative anime series last year whilst Indie game Limbo scooped numerous game awards for its innovative use of shadows and lighting too. Despite the similarities here, the way each story is told boasts a great example of “show don’t tell” which runs throughout the series.
As one may expect, the series itself isn’t particularly scary and doesn’t really feature many spine-chilling moments. There’s little in the way of jump scares or visceral art either but what is shown is enough to make this an engaging watch nonetheless.
Given its Argentinian origin and the text translations that are unavoidable for some of the more scrambled audio in the radio shack, the English dub leaves a lot to be desired. With no option to watch this in its native tongue, the English audio regularly changes and accentuates lines that feel much snappier and better paced on the subtitles. As I said before, turning off the subtitles doesn’t always solve the issue either, especially given the block text placed on-screen. It’s something that continuously holds the series back but thankfully doesn’t detract too much from the enjoyment.
It’s not the best horror anthology or animated series out there but it does make for an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable watch nonetheless. The unique aesthetic and visual flair helps show rather than tell us what’s happened and it’s something that easily makes this a decent little animation to watch. Given its origin from YouTube, I’ll no doubt be hunting for the original web series on the back of watching this one but at 8 minutes a pop, if you’re even a little interested in checking this one out, I absolutely recommend doing so.
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Verdict - 7.5/10