Our friends out at Synapse Films sent over something I’m personally very excited to tell you about. This is a slice of horror history all in one convenient package, so whether you like horror television, horror movies, or television rarities in general, brace yourselves, because today we’re talking “Chiller: The Complete Series”.
“Chiller: The Complete Series” is the entire run of the U.K.’s great horror anthology series, “Chiller”. It represents just five episodes: First is “Prophecy”, in which a young woman finds herself in the midst of horror as a series of disasters claim her best friends, oddly linked to a seance five years prior. Second is “Toby”, the tale of a pregnant woman who lost her first child–whom she would have named the titular “Toby”–in a car accident. When she finds herself pregnant a second time, it seems that “Toby” isn’t too happy about the development, and makes his presence quite known. Third in the batch is “Here Comes The Mirror Man”, where a man is driven by a mysterious friend to murder. When the friend wants the man to murder a woman that the man is attracted to, it makes things very difficult indeed between the man and his friend. Fourth, “The Man Who Didn’t Believe In Ghosts”, featuring the newest residents of Windwhistle House, a Yorkshire mansion in the Victorian style. One a woman, convinced the house is haunted, and the other a man, who has made a living from debunking the paranormal. Will the husband be able to prove he can debunk anything? Or will Windwhistle prove his swan song? Finally, there’s the last episode, the oddly-named fifth episode, “Number Six”, in which a Yorkshire detective is out to find a child murderer before he can reach his sixth victim. But the drawings of the local school children have an unexpected clue, and the detective finds the case about to hit much closer to home than he expected.
Naturally, when an anthology series is involved, there will generally be at least some fluctuation of quality, as “good episodes” vie with “bad episodes”. Thankfully, though, most of these are quite good. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised they shut down this series after five episodes, because it wasn’t bad at all. It was certainly a surprise to see “Doc Martin”‘s Martin Clunes show up in a horror series, and he was indeed as good as might be expected. There was commonly a good twist posted at the end of each episode, and though there were some pacing issues with some of these, for the most part, “Chiller” is sound stuff.
Oddly enough, there are no special features on this one of any type. No featurettes, no deleted scenes, not even subtitles or the like to make things a bit more accessible. This is just five episodes of an old British television series that got yanked around in the listings and likely never had time sufficient to gain ground with an audience.
“Chiller: The Complete Series” may not be as good as, say, “Masters of Horror” or even “Tales From the Darkside”, but it’s certainly got enough British charm to go around, and plenty of quality to match.