Review: The Grey Rooms

(Originally posted December 1, 2018)

Genre: Horror, audio drama
Possible Triggers: Death, descriptions of gore
Safe For Work: Yes
Content: PG-13

Note: We’re doing something new this week – literally. The Grey Rooms is a brand new podcast, with its first episode airing 11/30/18.

You wake on a hard, cold floor. It’s so cold your skin burns beneath your clothes. The air smells of sulfur and ash. Your head throbs and your mouth is dry. You have no idea how you got here. Even worse, how you’ll get out…

Panic sets in. Fear begins to swell in you. Soon that fear assumes the form of terror…

What have you done? What brought you to this place?

The Grey Rooms opens its first episode with a man who doesn’t know who he is or where he is. He finds is way out of the room, exploring his drab prison, until a demonic voice calls out to him. Raymond. His name is Raymond. But it doesn’t feel right. Raymond is faced with two doors – one will lead to salvation. One will lead to torment. But there’s no way to tell which is which. What does he choose?

Well… it’s hard to tell. Seeing what’s behind the door, one would say torment. But would be torment when compared to what’s behind the other door?

The chosen door gives us a peek into the life of a soldier during the Great War. You’d think the worst enemy in No Man’s Land would be the soldiers in the other trench. But no, it’s something much worse.

What are the grey rooms? That, it seems, would be the mystery. Does either door offer salvation, or is it all torment and pain? With only one episode under its belt, it’s hard to judge how exactly the show will go, but the first episode is quite the doosy, with nearly an hour of excellent writing and narration, and a chillingly good use of music sound effects to set the scene and draw you into the bleak environment. Whether it’s the echo of Raymond’s voice as he walks through the halls, the demonic voice talking to Raymond, or the sounds of rat skittering in the trenches, it’s not hard to imagine yourself in the shoes of the poor, tortured characters.

And if one episode isn’t quite enough to satisfy you, then check out the three preview episodes that were released prior to the pilot. They’re shorter, averaging around half an hour, and give you a short but pretty good idea about what direction the show is going. Of the episodes and previews released, there seems to be a trend of taking perfectly reasonable phobias (heights, spiders, rats, etc.), and magnifying it into something monstrous. It makes you cringe even if it’s not something you fear, and feels like a glimpse of the world through the eyes of someone who has that phobia. Excellent writing through and through.

LGBTQIA Friendly?: N/A (so far)
Pay to Listen?: No, but if you contribute to their Patreon you get bonuses.
Length: Presumably, around an hour

Overall: The Grey Rooms is absolutely fascinating. In one episode it completely hooked me on the story and wanting to know more. It’s been a long time since I started a podcast I couldn’t immediately binge, and the two-week wait between episodes is definitely going to give me a lot of time to think. Is it going to be a five-star smash hit? It’s a little too early to judge. But a lot of work and care has clearly gone into this podcast, and it has all the makings of becoming another staple in the horror podcast community.

It even has several familiar voice from the community. I’m starting to suspect that it’s like the BBC – there are thirteen narrators and they just get passed around from show to show.

Rating: 5/5