Domestic, familial horror. Sentimental. Suburban. Dale Robertson’s Project Fear is a collection of horror stories that inspire nostalgia for the 90s kid in me. With tales that sit comfortably next to those that were told on television shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Goosebumps, this collection is one that will satiate the hunger of anyone who fondly recalls being spooked as a child.
Most of the stories revolve around families and children, and I assume Robertson is a dog person, seeing as many of the episodes feature man’s best friend in starring roles, which I also appreciate.
Some of the episodes that stood out to me:
Episode 2: “Chew Toy” deals with the loss of a family pet, and how desperation to memorialize it (as well as procrastinating shopping for a birthday present) can lead to despair.
Episode 5 reminds me of stories about Dybbuk boxes. A little girl finds an odd music box at a yard sale and takes it home to find it impossible to open. Little does she know, this box will change her life forever.
Episode 7: “Stitches” recalls urban legends parents would tell their children to keep them from misbehaving.
Episode 9 is a continuation of episode 4. Both are written as transcripts from a voice recording of a man who witnesses mass violence and chaos as people begin transforming into monsters. I love the found footage vibe from this set of stories.
Episode 10 is a revenge story of a femme fatale who kidnaps skeezy car salesmen who manipulate and take advantage of women in order to close a sale. This one gave me Saw/The Hunger Games vibes, and was a lot of fun!
Episode 12: Skee-bo. A violent, modern retelling of the Bloody Mary myth.
Like mentioned before, if you’re a fan of shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Creepshow, this is the collection for you! With 13 spine-tingling tales, you’re sure to find one or two that suit your fancy.