Channel X (Basically Satanic Streaming Service Horror)


When I see a Matt Shaw book recommended on Kindle, it usually goes straight onto my TBR, or even straight to me reading it. Channel X grabbed my attention and I thought “perhaps some sort of porn channel, with dire consequences?” I, of course, was wrong…as usual. Channel X happens to be something more sinister, deranged and OTT. At just under 100 pages, this short and sweet tale starts with two sons, a toxic father, a suicide, and some sort of paranormal creation of a streaming service that causes death and destruction. Who would turn down the usage of a free, legal streaming service that just sometimes has a few static moments or glitches? No one, and that’s when the horror starts.


“Steve reached into the case and carefully pulled the noose out. ‘You know what it is?’ ‘It’s a noose fashioned out of barbwire.’ ‘It’s more than that.’ ‘It is?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Well, what else is it?’ Steve smiled. ‘It’s your tie.’ Samuel’s confused look turned to one of anger. ‘Okay, I think I’ve had enough of…’ Before he could finish his sentence, Steve punched him hard on the nose. Samuel fell back in his chair with a cry of pain. Steve promptly followed the sudden attack up by putting the noose over his manager’s head.”


As is usual with most Matt Shaw books, it goes from 0 -100 in the most creative ways. This isn’t the most in-detail kind of horror for Shaw, but change is sometimes a good thing. Whilst the deaths are never-ending, the gore is not purely descriptions and detail; it’s few and far between, which adds that punch when it does happen. This little book has the vibes of “something is making people murderous looneys,” but instead of the water, it’s a streaming service, bringing the whole idea into the present (thus more relatable). I was kind of worried I wasn’t going to find out what caused everything to happen, but right at the end, there’s a paragraph that just sums it up. Nothing long-winded, no essay-length explanation. Short and sweet and makes the brain go “Ahhhh! No fucking way!!” Another great read from Matt Shaw, and once again he leaves me with a fear of reality. Let’s hope Netflix doesn’t start subliminally training us…


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Written by Arianne, Sovereign Deity of the Damned

Channel X (2023)
Matt Shaw
Cover Art: Mangkhoe
4 / 5