My first encounter with the analog horror web series Angel Hare entailed spotting a review about it under my YouTube recommendations. From the gory image and frightening font on the thumbnail, I assumed it was just another Five Nights at Freddy’s, Poppy Playtime, or Amanda the Adventurer – horror games/series that include jump scares. My curiosity and research, though, led me to finally check it out…
This review of Angel Hare includes mentions or implications of child abuse and past trauma. If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please contact the hotline in your country or region.
This review also contains mild spoilers for Angel Hare. I recommend checking it out first before reading.
Saying that Angel Hare resonates with me is an understatement. Most media personally hit close to home, but nothing like Angel Hare did. This web series punched a hole in my gut after my first watch. I’m not a big horror fan – you can ask my partner for recommendations in that genre – but the lack of jump scares surprised me. The animation, underlying horror elements, and clever storytelling captivated me.
Some people dub Angel Hare as “wholesome horror” – horror disguised as a heartwarming drama. Regardless, Angel Hare is a must see for people who appreciate brilliantly told analog horror stories (or stories in general) with endearing characters and a well executed underlying horror element.
Angel Hare, an analog horror web series (2022-2023) by The East Patch (the Mangan sisters), follows the story of Jonah, who discovers a VHS copy of Angel Hare in a thrift store. A Christian-themed animated series about an angel rabbit and her badger companion Francis, the show offers uplifting lessons with Biblical references. He remembers the show as a place of comfort when he was a child, but when he watches the VHS copy at home, it doesn’t match with the VCR recordings back then.
The VHS and VCR recordings show Angel Gabby (also named Angel Gabriel), the titular character, as different entities – a normal show where the character talks to the audience (i.e., Dora the Explorer), but then that same character in the VCR recording literally strays away from the script and speaks directly at the child outside the TV screen. The scenario sounds creepy and the series later on implies that something terrible is going to happen during Jonah’s childhood, something she must prevent if she has to.
However, in the present narrative, Jonah cannot recall this disturbing memory. The first tape of the series mentions that his memories are spotty. He doesn’t even remember a father figure having abused him then. While Angel Gabby talking to younger Jonah might seem creepy enough, the more sinister underlying horror is the likelihood of Angel Gabby’s hand in his abuser’s demise.
Eager to investigate further, Jonah visits his mother’s house and searches through his Angel Hare memorabilia in the attic. Resources about handling troubled children and cease and desist letters addressed to his mother from Kieth Publishing (for attempting to probe the possible negative influence the series had on Jonah) – the company that had repackaged children’s shows like Angel Hare before going bankrupt – only add to the confusion. So Jonah seeks a way to reconnect with Angel Gabby.
The web series interweaves messages on faith and perseverance during times of hardship. Now, I’m not religious. I hail from an interfaith family, and I consider myself spiritual with no religious affiliation. Nonetheless, the Christian lore in Angel Hare is a crucial part of the story. In other words, the lore seamlessly connects the narrative instead of forcing Christian beliefs on the show’s audience. Angel Hare reminds me of Christian-themed children’s programming I watched throughout my childhood like VeggieTales.
What’s more impressive about Angel Hare is the story’s ability to reach deep into my psyche. I’ve rewatched this series several times and it never fails to enthrall me. Like Jonah, I endured childhood abuse, and because of the trauma, I could only remember so much. A few people tried to intervene after noticing signs of abuse and domestic violence, but if you ask me today I wouldn’t be able to retrieve those past memories. But I can tell you the comfort of the movies, TV shows, and books that helped me get through that turbulent time. Angel Hare is a fierce reminder of how diverse forms of media can uplift us and not merely be there for entertainment.
You can also check out Angel Hare’s Learning Adventure Game here.
Author: Bradda M.
Bradda M. currently lives in Virginia. He teaches ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) at a public school and spends his free time reading and watching movies each night with his partner. For The Geekiary, he writes about webcomics and SFF media.
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