FINALIST: The Audie Awards 2016
Audible Originals brings you a brand new audiobook adaptation of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s classic gothic novella, Carmilla - starring Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey), David Tennant (Doctor Who and Broadchurch) and Phoebe Fox (Life in Squares and The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death)
One of the very first vampire thrillers, this audio adaptation follows 18-year-old Laura as she recounts the story of her mysterious, intriguing and beautiful house guest Carmilla, who is stranded in the forest after a carriage accident and taken in by Laura’s widowed father. The girls develop a friendship which turns into a passionate meeting of souls. A relationship of vampire and prey, the story is told through Laura’s eyes as she is drawn further into Carmilla’s terrifying world of pleasure and pain.
A masterpiece of erotic Gothic horror, Carmilla encompasses mystery, suspense, forbidden lust, violence...and lots of blood....
Carmilla has been dramatised by Robin Brooks, an actor, dramatist and author who has been working as a playwright for over 25 years. Carmilla was directed by Fiona McAlpine of Allegra Productions for Audible Originals.
Carmilla -Phoebe Fox
Laura - Rose Leslie
Dr Hesselius - David Tennant
Father - James Wilby
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Carmilla is intriguing and RLeslie, captivating!
I was completely drawn in by the story and invested in the experiences and memories of these characters.
I quite enjoyed Laura and her un-jaded view of love, so willing to see only the good in others. Her altruism and naivete were quite refreshing.
The narrators brought excitement and suspense, as did the music. The entire production was beautiful and really brought the story to life. The euphonious voices of the actors did not hurt either.
Overall, a pleasurable and entertaining listen.
Looking for a Fun Halloween Listen? Look Elsewhere
I couldn't tell you if the problem is with the source material, the translation to audio drama, or the performers themselves. Whatever the cause, Audible's "Carmilla" listens like a poor immitation (honestly, almost a parody) of Gothic horror, rather than a genre classic. If this is the best Audible can do, they should just drop their originals line and stick to licensing.
Carmella is boring rather than suspenseful, obvious instead of mysterious, and choc full of melodrama. The performances are pretty poor too, so bad in fact that it's hard to know whether the fault is with the actors who don't get paid enough to care, or if Carmella was the best they could do with the script and direction they were given.
Speaking of the performers, David Tennant fans shouldn't waste their time on this one. His character--a sort of fusion of Freud and Van Helsing--shows up at the outset to help set up the frame story, then disappears for the majority of the drama. What time he does spend "on stage" is marred by an embarrassingly poor Austrian accent.
Basically, if you are looking for something spooky, fun, or even just mildly entertaining to listen to on Halloween, look elsewhere.
- Z. Richardson "Zack"