NEVER TO BE SEEN
50 STATES OF FRIGHT (2020)
Editor’s Note: “50 States of Fright” was a series that originally aired on April 6th, 2020 on the now deceased QUIBI streaming service. Our writer Adrian was given the opportunity to watch three “quick-bite” episodes put back to back to make a complete story. “50 States of Fright” is one of many series that may never see the light of day again since the sudden demise of the streaming service. Here is just one impression of a show that is never to be seen again (as far as we know)
“50 States of Fright” is an anthology series that gives you a scary story from each state. Currently airing on the streaming service Quibi, I was recently allowed a chance to view a newer episode of the series, “Almost There (Iowa).”
“Almost There” follows a woman, Hannah, who had an extremely traumatic childhood event. As she has to climb a wind turbine that’s in need of repair, past ghosts plague her and taunt her, leaving her in a perilous situation.
These short stories take place over a few episodes but end up being about 20-30 minutes in run time all together. I’m not sure of why they’re split into 7-10 minute episodes, it sort of takes the momentum out of the tension. I watched the premiere episode alongside this, “The Golden Arm (Michigan)” and it too suffered the same issue, pacing. The episodes, if built for a streaming service, would be really cool, but the breaks bring you back out.
Show format aside, I liked the story presented in this episode. It was short, sweet, and easy to follow. The issues that the character had to go through were predictable but that also led to a sense of looming doom for those involved. A likable cast and a dreadful situation really made for at least some stakes to be felt in this short timeframe.
The way these are made out feel like an adult “Are You Afraid of the Dark.” There’s blood, gore, jump scares, bad moments, and small glimpses of success. While not really scary, the stories are just campy enough to feel good for a fun October night. It’s unfortunate that the format of the show really impedes any sort of momentum either of the stories I saw could’ve had.