C13Features, the podcast movie division of Cadence13, has released its first feature-length podcast under the banner starring Kiernan Shipka, Treat. And what a treat it is.
Written by Nathan Ballingrud, Treat takes place in Dry Creek, Massachusetts. A town that, to outsiders, looks to be completely normal. It stays that way because its residents have brokered a deal with a supernatural entity that aims to collect. When people stop paying up, however, things take a turn for the worst and a group led by Allie West (Shipka) must put a stop to the entity once and for all. One of the most chilling performances is that of David Shih’s “The Piper.” As the main antagonist, he easily slips into the deviant character to bring frights to all those who cross him. As much as I’m not easily frightened by much, I do have to say he does a wonderful job at giving me the heebie-jeebies.
The entire voice cast on Treat lends itself to such a unique story and experience. Through their voices only, they create a universe that encapsulates the listener from start to finish. Shipka may be the lead but the supporting characters don’t get lost in the shuffle behind her which is important in a situation where you’re relying strictly on sound. Shipka’s character Allie undergoes a big character development in such a short amount of time. Upon first meeting her, she’s got her own skeletons along with battling the emotional turmoil of her family separating and typical teenage battles. By the end, she’s classified as a hero to the townspeople but that darkness is lying in wait to take over.
Shipka is able to navigate all of these heavy-hitting emotions, so much so that it’s hard to believe this is her first time in the scripted podcast space. If anything, this proves that Shipka is a multi-faceted heavy hitter that a lot of people are glossing over. She’s proving she’s the present and the future and it’s time people take notice.
When it comes to podcasts, the market is so saturated with all types of content that it’s so easy to get swallowed up if you don’t stand out in some way. With feature-length podcasts, at least in the horror genre, it’s niche. The neat part about these types of podcasts is the entire story is bingeable in one go. While you’ll still have to wait in suspense to uncover the truths that lie in Dry Creek, the 90-minute podcast flies by. So in a way, Treat is a fantastically fresh take on the horror genre. If you’re a fan of fiction audio horror stories that will send shivers down your spine, I recommend giving the extremely bone-chilling Treat a try this Halloween season.