13 Tracks to Frighten Agatha Black (2022)

How do we deal with trauma, when the true unknown of the universe, the inky black nothingness that can erase those we love from existence, comes into our little world? If you’re young Agatha Black (Bridie Marie Corbett) you discover the scary story and sound effects records that you father once used to listen to with you and become obessed with them, even if the truth they begin to tell you reveals your dark fate in a world that wants to take you from the only home you’ve ever known and a once safe neighborhood now surrounded by masked killers. With each revolution, these records take Agatha further from our reality and begin to infect everyone in her orbit.

Bradley Steele Harding, the director and writer of this film, is someone that I often write to when I find a microbudget movie that obsesses me, as I know that he’s as fascinated by them as I am. The highest praise that I can give his film is that if he hadn’t made it, it would be one that I would excitedly write up and send his way. I always wonder why people don’t take inspiration from true low budget strangeness like Let’s Scare Jessica to Death or Messiah of Evil — two movies this definitely pays tribute to — instead of just making another generic slasher. Harding goes me one better on this by taking his budget and using it right: it doesn’t cost anything to set the camera up in a way that makes every single shot terrifying and off-kilter. The money spent goes to the right things, such as Udo Keir for the opening voiceover and great artists for the sound design and album covers themselves.

Agatha feels as fragile and haunted as any giallo heroine yet while the movie plays with that genre somewhat, it is slavish to no set formula, instead becoming very much its own film. It has moments that may remind you that this is Harding’s first film, but seeing some of the brushstrokes only serves to make this painting that much more intriguing, a genuinely odd and wonderful film that we surely need more of.

You can watch this on Tubi. You can also buy this movie on blu ray from Amazon and learn more on the official Facebook page.

One thought on “13 Tracks to Frighten Agatha Black (2022)

  1. Pingback: What’s Up in the Neighborhood, December 31 2022 – Chuck The Writer

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