With everyone going crazy over Stranger Things, there’s one “strange” title that got lost in translation. The Strange Calls aired its one and only season in 2012 and that’s a damn shame. This Australian based television show is thoroughly enjoyable and shouldn’t be looked over.
The Strange Calls follows Toby (Toby Truslove), a new constable in a small town called Coolum. Already down in the dumps after his girlfriend breaks up with him, he is further disappointed by the state of his job. His sergeant is a mess who hates him. His office is in a busted up trailer and he is forced to work the night shift answering the emergency calls in this slow town. When he shows up to his “office” on the first night, he finds an elderly squatter in the trailer. His name is Gregor (Barry Crocker) and he’s not homeless. He just likes to be there and an avid player of Dungeons & Dragons. He also gives a warning to young Toby. “It can get pretty strange around here once the sun goes down.” Toby, of course thinks he’s out of his gourd until the calls start coming in. He finds very quickly that there’s more to this town than meets the eye.
I came upon this show by chance on Netflix. A random recommendation, I went in with no expectations and blindly. It has a silly humor about it. It’s not quite slapstick, not quite sophisticated but a happy middle. “Why is this in a horror article?” you ask. Well, you are in for a treat. Between the ravenous chicken-men, murderous radio jingles, theater ghosts and more, how does it NOT fit into horror? This is a broad comparison BUT, it has the same type of set up as the one-off episodes of Supernatural or The X-Files. Each episode, although they tie together, is its own little moment. It has its own individual story-line and you could watch any given one and not miss THAT much. Is this a series to watch on repeat? Not really, but it isn’t one to miss either. It is the little hidden shows or movies that can make for a great one night binge watch. The series is only six episodes but maybe that’s all it needs. Maybe any longer and they would run out of silly paranormal creatures and the jokes that accompany them. Do yourself a favor and give The Strange Calls a shot. Get a chuckle, see a chicken-man and after the jingle episode, never turn on your radio again.
If you happen to be a fan of Stranger Things, check out the new cast list for Season 2 here.