[Podcast Review] IN ANOTHER ROOM

[Podcast Review] IN ANOTHER ROOM
IN ANOTHER ROOM l Courtesy of E3W Productions
For many, the communal act of telling ghost stories is a tradition that occurs once a year. Huddled around a bonfire on All Hallows Eve, celebrating the night when the veil is at its thinnest with titillatingly tragic tales, just as likely to have been pulled from Reddit or Creepypasta as passed along from friends and family, filled with abandoned buildings, violent deaths, and messages from beyond the grave. Or maybe older accounts, telling of apparitions, spiritualism, and haunted houses, shared in hushed tones over steaming mugs of mulled cider on Christmas Eve. Yet for those of us of a more spooky inclination, who already in early September are excitedly skipping down the Halloween aisles in our pumpkin sweaters and Ouija face masks, filling our carts with home décor that will stay up long beyond November 1st, ghost stories are, unironically, our lifeblood as we hunt out the thrill of the goosebumps on our forearms, and the screams caught in our throats, all year round.

This is where IN ANOTHER ROOM comes in – a thrillingly terrifying narrative horror podcast, from E3W Productions and Violet Hour Media, created and written by Aaron Keeling, Austin Keeling, and Natalie Jones, directed by Aaron and Austin Keeling, and produced by E3W Productions, with executive production by Cassie Jozefov. The first 3 episodes dropped on August 10th, with new episodes released every Monday until the finale, which occurred on September 14.

A house built with blood in its foundations, a history of mysteries, murders, and accidents; “The House of Death”, rumoured to be haunted… or cursed. Intrepid Wendy Morrow (Kerry Wieder), armed with her stack of case files, enters the abandoned house on Harvard Boulevard for an overnight investigation and soon discovers that some warnings better be heeded. As the house awakens, coming alive around her, Morrow embarks on a time-bending and heart-wrenching journey that will challenge not only her relationship to life, death, and the afterlife but ours too.

Courtesy of E3W Productions

The name IN ANOTHER ROOM may sound familiar, and so it should. E3W Productions burst onto the Los Angeles immersive scene in 2017, as Aaron Keeling, Austin Keeling, and Natalie Jones took their loves of the supernatural and immersive theatre and combined them to create an experience that both honoured and transcended the haunted house tradition as patrons were led through the rooms of a house filled with spirits unable to move on. And following its first run in the late summer of 2017 and their equally acclaimed Spring 2018 production ‘Bitter at the End’, IN ANOTHER ROOM returned for the Halloween season of 2018, with a new collection of stories expertly told by more victims of the house’s enduring curse.

Their latest production ‘Where the Others Are’, a story of a toxic relationship unfolding within the claustrophobic confines of a vintage motorhome, was unfortunately cut short by the current pandemic, with less than 100 people able to experience it before it was forced to close. Bucking the trend of turning to create remote experiences, the team is instead using their inarguable talents of production and storytelling to provide different forms of entertainment. Returning to their roots (2015’s The House on Pine Street), E3W made ‘Where the Others Are’ into a one-hour long movie (available to stream at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wheretheothersare or view the trailer here: https://youtu.be/I7b4GbWUQbo), before launching IN ANOTHER ROOM in its current form in early August.

For fans of narrative horror podcasts, IN ANOTHER ROOM steps away from the compilation format of ‘The No Sleep Podcast’, launching its 15th season, and is more in the vein of the work of Terry Miles (‘TANIS’, ‘RABBITS’, and ‘The Black Tapes’). Each episode brings to life the secrets of individual rooms within the house, as we follow Wendy through the bedroom, the ballroom, the study, and beyond, under the overarching narrative of a paranormal investigation gone very, very wrong. This is so much more than a collection of spooky ghost stories, however, as E3W’s greatest strength has always been their ability to both terrify and engage simultaneously, crafting intimate moments within emotionally brutal narratives. They refuse to shy away from even the darkest themes, and as such you can expect to find topics like mental illness, abuse, suicide, and murder expertly explored within this eight-part series.

Kali Cook as Claire in IN ANOTHER ROOM l Courtesy of E3W Productions

Many names on the cast list will be recognisable to patrons of the in-person immersive versions of IN ANOTHER ROOM as actors reprise roles from the original shows in this new format. Kerry Wieder (as Wendy Morrow) leads an incredibly talented cast which also includes Sierra Allison, Kali Cook, Ian Dick, Dan Dorff, Nerea Duhart, Emily Goss, Maria Olsen, Katie Peabody, Natalie Pellegrini, Josh Randall, and Christine Weatherup. These names, along with the titles of each episode, will give existing fans of IN ANOTHER ROOM hints at the stories being retold, creating a kind of perverted excitement over reliving the heartbreak of your favourites. They are also joined by Cathy Barnett, Zach Brown, James Cowan, Jim Korinke, Adrienne Lovette, Terra Strong Lyons, Monique Thomas, and Daniel Van Thomas – some names which will be familiar from other E3W productions. Working with those they know and trust produces the consistently high-quality performances on display here.

This is also true of those “behind the scenes”. The haunting musical soundtrack is provided by Nathan Matthew David and Jeremy Lamb, again recognisable names for fans of E3W, and together with the soundscape, designed and mixed by C.J. Drumeller, recreates the claustrophobic feeling of being trapped for an eternity within four walls – something incredibly identifiable in a time of lockdown restrictions. Both intricate and startling, to appreciate its complexity fully, IN ANOTHER ROOM is definitely best listened to alone, through headphones, in the dark.

The house has always been more than a location, and this podcast proves that. By opening its doors again via a different medium, IN ANOTHER ROOM offers existing fans a trip down an emotional memory lane, while allowing newcomers and those prevented from attending in-person productions in the past to experience the mastery of E3W’s storytelling. So put on your headphones, turn out the lights, and prepare to not only be scared but moved by the stories of the ghostly residents of “The House of Death” on Harvard Boulevard.

All 8 episodes of the series are available now, through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, the Violet Hour website (https://www.violethourmedia.com/in-another-room), or wherever you listen to podcasts. The season’s gripping finale premiered Monday, September 14th.

Follow E3W Productions on Facebook and Instagram @e3wproductions for updates, or visit their website at http://www.e3wproductions.com for more information.

Vicki Camps
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