The Travel Channel’s True Terror with Robert Englund is an ominous ode to similar shows of the past. True Terror exudes the same emotions as cult classics such as Unsolved Mysteries and Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction. Like Jonathan Frakes and Robert Stack before him, macabre master Robert Englund brings his fiendish flare to the role of host. Blending the best elements of these iconic shows, True Terror offers real mysteries with a slice of supernatural on the side. You will find no fiction here. Only an ample amount of room for speculation.
In fact, the majority of these tales are directly inspired by press reports. Englund presents the viewer with a trilogy of carefully selected and theme-specific stories. These headlines and accounts are largely collected from the early 20th and late 19th centuries. An era not lacking in sensationalist journalism. Regardless of authenticity, their existence adds spice to True Terror’s shtick.
The show tiptoes a thin line between true crime and the paranormal. Hence, why Englund paraphrases a quote from horror writer H.P Lovecraft in one of his opening monologues. Our greatest fear is fear of the unknown.
Most of us were introduced to Englund via his portrayal of Freddy Krueger. However, his influence in horror reaches far beyond Elm Street. When Robert Englund attaches his name to a project or makes an appearance, horror fans take note. The strength of True Terror is based in Englund’s eerie allure and the heightened levels of intrigue and respect he commands. The fact is, Freddy narrates and guides the viewer through cheese-filled dramatizations of sinister situations.
That’s enough to catch anyone’s attention.
True Terror features weird west reports and horrifying historical accounts. I was aware of a few of these stories beforehand, such as the Axeman of New Orleans, but still found their representation surprising and refreshing. One tale I was happy to see included was the story of Carl Tanzler. In true Lovecraftian fashion, Tanzler was the Herbert West of his day. I enourage you to look him up or wait for Mr. Englund himself to tell you the true story of the Dresden-born Frankenstein.
Interestingly, something I did notice while watching, a lot of the dates of these events take place on or around March 18th of their respective years. Very clever on part of the Travel Channel, considering the show airs on March 18th. Tune in and take a ride with one of the Kings of Terror.
Wicked Rating: 8/10