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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler


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The soundtrack for Jaws was so suspenseful it prompted researchers to pursue scientific studies into exactly why that “dun-uh, dun-uh” evoked so much fear in audiences. A 2012 study claimed people have a biological reaction to dissonant chords. So even without a Great White circling a sinking ship, the music would unsettle an audience. Treat, a new feature-length fiction podcast from C13Features, puts the Jaws study to the test. It’s a horror film that relies exclusively on voices, soundtrack, and sound effects to scare listeners. Starring Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) and written by the horror novelist Nathan Ballingrud, Treat tells the story of a tiny Massachusetts town haunted by a supernatural figure who demands young sacrifices every few years. Shipka’s shrieking and panting as she narrowly avoids the blade—which, in an audio horror film, you really do not see coming—are as suspenseful as those slasher scenes you can see. —J.D.

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