Superb Surreal Horror: Local58 Review

Imagine something that you don’t understand, something that truly horrifies you. What if said thing you are imagining is also something you understand, or at least something you SHOULD understand? A decently sized YouTube channel called “Local58” is that something. Local58 is a collection of short little horror vignettes, designed to look like bumpers from old TV show channels.

Almost every short starts off relatively tame, before quickly descending into madness. One video may seem like a harmless weather forecast, before plunging into a story about the moon trying to kill everyone. Another video may be an animated short from the 20s, which starts off cute and then quickly becomes unsettling.

Local58 combines the dull and simplistic nature of old broadcasts with dark themes, resulting in a horror experience that resonates with its audience. This concept isn’t something entirely new, especially due to it being used by the creator before. The series was created by Kris Straub, the man behind the popular internet horror story, “Candle Cove”.

Candle Cove revolved around a strange children’s show watched by certain individuals, one that has horrific imagery not meant for kids. Local58 acts as a spiritual sequel, even using the same channel number as the one that aired the eponymous show. Local58 feels like the evolution of Candle Cove’s concept, taking the concepts introduced in that horror story and evolving them.

The thing I like most about Local58 is its aesthetic, which involves taking something old and subverting your expectations of it. Local58 is best described as “something you watch at midnight, while being half awake”. The videos feel like something unexpected that you catch during a late night broadcast when you’re barely awake, resulting in you seeing things that aren’t actually there.

It takes that concept of being up way too late for your own good watching TV, and develops it into a series of surreal shorts that toys with your mind. In essence, I think that’s what makes this series so great. It’s not something that’s completely new, but it does something that I wish more horror-based things would do. It doesn’t rely on blood, gore, or violence. It relies solely on making the audience feel unsettled, which makes it far more powerful than the average horror series.