Hammer Chillers: The Box. Audiobook Review

Hammer Chillers coverTHE BOX by Stephen Gallagher

Hammer Chillers, Download, £2.99

Reviewed by Chris Limb

The Box – nickname for the device used in the final session of the helicopter safety training course at the maritime college after which participants will get the certificate they need to go and work out on the oilrigs. The principle is very simple. The Box is a reproduction helicopter cockpit that is dropped into a tank of water to simulate the conditions of a sea crash.

Given the calibre of the participants, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, once they emerge some of them are visibly shaken by the experience, refuse to talk about it and drop out before completing the course.

What is happening to them down there? What’s in the Box?

This is a highly effective spooky tale that should manage to unnerve even the most blasé of listeners without having to resort to shock tactics. A fully dramatized play, it relies on the skills of the actors involved to get the story across and does so very successfully, the sparse sound design enhancing rather than detracting from the story.

Throughout the play the menace is excellently implied without any of the characters ever having to state the obvious; the matter of fact attitude of the main protagonist Sean Dickens (Con O’Neill) doesn’t falter until he experiences the Box himself. At no point does anyone consider the supernatural and the refusal of any of the Box’s victims to talk about what happens makes it all the more frightening when we eventually hear it for ourselves.

Best listened to during daylight unless you enjoy disturbed sleep.