New Look, New Issue

Don’t worry, it’s still the same London Horror Comic website, just with a new lick of paint.

The new design gives all pages a uniform look and hopefully makes the site a bit easier to navigate.

After five years of publishing and blogging, London Horror Comic slowly outgrew its original minimalist template and needed something that would allow it to continue to grow and expand.

Recurring visitors to the site will also have noticed the massive graphic at the top of the page. Yes indeed, London Horror Comic issue 4 is now available to order, so roll up one and all. It’s full-colour, glossy and 36 pages of chuckles and chills at only £3.50 (inc. p&p worldwide).

Take a look at the preview of London Horror Comic #4 here.

I go into the reasons about how the fourth issue came about in the back section of the comic. The response I’ve had from fans attending conventions this year has played a big part in it.

Self-publishing is a funny business.

You spend months coming up with the story, getting it drawn, inked, etc. that finally getting it printed is a bit of an anti-climax. And with that part over, you have to begin the work of promoting it and selling it, so the work is never really done (which is just as well, because I enjoy all parts).

And while one part of your mind is focusing on the logistics of selling and promoting, the other half is already in the next phase of thinking of stories for the next issue.

Commercially, you’re always looking for more readers and creatively you’re looking for something to challenge yourself, so that you’re not producing your 19th story which is the same as the first.

And here I thought I would be winding down for Christmas.

posted by admin at 2:51 pm  

Dream House Movie Review (2011)

Dream House Movie Review (2011)

The mid-point twist in Dream House is given in the trailer: Daniel Craig discovers the grisly murder committed in a house he moves into was possibly the result of his own handiwork, perpetrated under a different personality.

The fact that this is revealed in the trailer lessens the impact slightly when you’re viewing the film in the cinema, although the story then falls back on Craig as he tries to piece together the events that occurred on the night.

There are lots of good things about Dream House: an interesting premise, a compelling and conflicted character forced to confront his culpability for murder while at the same time trying to find out what really happened.

Craig turns in a strong performance and conveys the torment of being unable to face the truth about his actions—this is key to making the film feel authentic and believable on an emotional level.

Unfortunately, the film is hampered by glaring plot holes, a conclusion you can see a mile off and a dumb ending that undersells the entire movie.

Dream House had the potential to be a compelling mystery as well as a strong character piece, but the creative decision to fall back on cliché and coincidence leaves you feeling cheated once the lights come back up.

posted by admin at 2:16 am  

A Ghostly Christmas Treat

A Ghostly Christmas Treat

Christmas is a time for ghost stories.

The most famous of these is A Christmas Carol but other productions such as the BBC’s A Ghost Story for Christmas are regular fixtures in the Christmas calendar.

The link between Christmas and ghost stories is easy enough to explain: old spirits out, new spirits in and, of course, the fact that both subjects are heavily influenced by the Victorians.

One of the longest-running plays in the West End, The Woman in Black, is a classic ghost story by Susan Hill and in the run up to the release of the 2012 film the producers are releasing a series of short films to coincide with the release.

The films revolve around a ghost hunter called Simon Hill, who reacts to ghost reports at the Fortune Theatre in Covent Garden where the play takes place, and goes in to perform his own investigations, with terrifying results.

To view some of the films as well as to keep up with the good Doctor’s exploits you can visit his blog and be sure to check out The Woman in Black’s production.

Simon Hill’s blog: http://ghostexploration.wordpress.com/

The Woman In Black: http://www.thewomaninblack.com/

the woman in black

posted by admin at 1:57 pm  

I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006) and Doghouse (2009) — Movie Reviews

I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006) and Doghouse (2009) — Movie Reviews

The temptation of using BT Vision – an on-demand movie service — for a whole day while flat-sitting proved too strong.

The above titles were offered free and in this click-first think-later world I figured what the hell.

The original IKWYDLS was adapted for the screen by Scream supremo Kevin Williamson and was a worthwhile mystery come horror film that kept you entertained while you were watching it.

It’s sequel followed the surviving characters as the killer reared his hook again, but stretched credibility: the killer was human and was only taking revenge for his own hit and run in the first flick, after he’d committed a murder himself—why continue the pursuit of one teen? Take a boat and go sail around the world.

Moreover, the franchise didn’t succeed in creating a mythology around the villain: Freddy, Jason, etc, could all be exported to different times and places, but the fisherman was tied to its cast.

This seems to be the (only) point of IAKWYDLS. The film is a reheated take on the original with an opening premise so dumb and awkward that the rest of the film loses any credibility the viewer may lend it. Visually, it’s like watching a music video, with fast cuts that work to dissolve any tension that made the original quite enjoyable. The twist at the end is beyond belief and not in a good way.

Thankfully the franchise must be running out of adverbs to use for future sequels, though perhaps its best if the producers develop a case of amnesia and forgot what happened last summer.

Feeling in the mood for a double-bill, as well as in hope of curing the after taste of IAKWYDLS, I took in the Brit-flick Doghouse. Again, this is one of those flicks I would tend to avoid but was creatively done.

The premise is straightforward: imagine John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness meets Swingers and you’re halfway there.

The film is creative and funny enough to hold your interest throughout. The lead characters have no redeeming features which makes it hard to root for their survival, but are played with a comic aplomb that makes it a joy to watch them fumble about through their panicked interactions.

Director Jake West clearly has an understanding of what scenes will play up well to its intended audience and releases a child-like madness on proceedings.

The film does get a bit flabby towards the end and could use a bit of a cut here and there, but otherwise should make for passing night on the box.

posted by admin at 6:57 pm  

The Thing (2011) Film Review

The Thing (2011) Film Review

Remakes of John Carpenter flicks have never been up to par but the remake of The Thing bucks this trend.

History lesson: my reaction to viewing a modern update of The Fog (2005) was akin to a priest watching hooligans taking a piss in a graveyard and then seeing said thugs spray painting headstones—there are some things you just don’t do.

Followed by an unremarkable remake of Assault on Precinct 13 and a brave, inventive in places, but ultimately flawed remake of the Halloween film, the path leading up to my viewing of The Thing prequel did not look good.

Carpenter has influenced directors working in horror today, but much of his success lies in the fact that his films are products of the time they were made in: Halloween trumpets the arrival of evil in suburbia, Assault on Precinct 13 showed feral youngsters squaring off against the police and even his remake of The Thing (1982) played out against a backdrop of nuclear paranoia and the prominence of the AIDS epidemic.

Stylistic updates where characters carry mobile phones instead of not carrying them miss the mark because they try and shoehorn a concept into a time that’s moved on.

The Thing (2011) gets this much right in that it sets itself up as a prequel – a film in its own right but one which sits alongside, rather than in evolution of its predecessor.

It transplants its share of scares in both set up and tone from its original. The creative team create the paranoia and jump-style scares that made the first so enjoyable. Indeed, watching the remake reminded me of what it felt like when I watched the 1982 version and what made it so enjoyable.

The creatures are constructed with CGI but are done so with an inventiveness and subtlety that the beginning of one monster transformation sequence almost passes you by. On a side note, it’s great to see really bizarre monsters rendered on the screen for extended periods of time.

While we’ve all grown tired of seeing dinosaurs faithfully constructed, seeing a conjoined half-human half-spider scurrying on its limbs looking for a nibble is a spectacle we can all appreciate.

The bad? The film isn’t as tight as the Carpenter version (certain story points seem a bit baggy in places), although seeing as it’s built from a suitable design, it didn’t affect my viewing of the film.

And, if you stay as the credits roll, it does tie back nicely to the beginning of the 1982 version – a satisfying nod to fans of the Carpenter version.

Enjoyable stuff.

posted by admin at 2:06 am  
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