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Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Lily Wight

     Updated 16/10/2015

     The Bloody Red Baron (1995) is the second novel in Kim Newman’s superlative and ever-expanding Anno Dracula series.  Newman continues to weave effortlessly both history and fiction to conjure a world in which Dracula – formerly wed to Queen Victoria – has joined forces with The Kaiser to bring terror to Europe.

     The shift in time and tone may surprise some readers expecting more of the first book’s Victorian gothic.  Book two is a World War I novel that successfully captures the tropes of military fiction whilst broadening its appeal with genre-mashing wit and just the right amount of girl power so you won’t miss those smog bound cobbled streets whatsoever.

     A running theme of genetic experimentation and weird science ensures that the series becomes increasingly pertinent and there is plenty of action too…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 05/03/2015

     The picture gallery at Lily Wight ~ The Arcade of Arts & Arcana is always open.  Click the tab at the top of the homepage to explore or just click Lily’s picture (below) for a shortcut 🙂

     Deviant Moon Tarot, The Eight of Cups by Patrick Valenza.

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Lily Wight

     Updated 15/01/2015

     Vampire: The Masquerade‘s role-playing world offers plenty of intrigue and diversity but the chronological re-editing of multiple novels tends to mar an otherwise engrossing series.

     Vampire Hesha’s story is over-written and uneventful yet it dominates this second collection whilst the laboured build-up to major events causes structural shortcomings.

     With future volumes offering more conclusions and twists this is still a series worth sticking with and a great introduction to the realm of role-playing games.

     Click here for a review of Volume One 🙂

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Lily Wight

     Updated 16/09/2014

     The episodic structure and super simple YA-style prose mire a book worth reading for its genius premise: pensioners battling the supernatural in UK Goth Capital, Whitby.

     Magrs inventively homages all the genre classics with warmth and wit whilst Brenda and Effie disguise cracks in an episodic narrative with the sheer force of their personalities.  Two great roles for Dames Judi Dench and Helen Mirren perhaps 🙂

     A silly, frothy yarn perfect for Sunday tea time telly.

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Lily Wight

      H.P. Lovecraft’s longform novel makes a fine introduction to the author’s original mythos and recurring themes but, like Poe before him, the style and structure of his weird tales has not aged well and demands patience from modern readers.

     The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward reads much like a dry historical legal document and Lovecraft’s obsession with architecture is interesting but not thrilling.  The lazy dénouement owes much to Dracula – and vampire fans might catch the name “Ferenczy”: a major player in Brian Lumley’s superb Necroscope series.

     Lovecraft’s short fiction is far more satisfying but completists and occultists will love this nonetheless.

     View a trailer for The Resurrected (adapted from The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward)…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 21/08/2014 

     Kim Newman’s Glastonbury set tale of a year 2000 millenium apocalypse may have passed its sell by date (without incident) yet still offers a gorily fun interpretation of The Book of Revelations for horror fans who enjoy the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, James Herbert and Brian Lumley.

     There is a comfortable soap-opera quality to the slow-burn character-building of colourful locals and visitors but, in the final act, as chaos descends, the diversity of their living nightmares causes a loss of focus.

     Some of the sexual-horror is just plain nasty and there is a missed opportunity to explore the dynamics of cult religions with more intelligent depth.

     As an entry into the sub-genre of supernaturals versus psychic spies it makes a sufficiently fun but hardly a life-changing…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 12/08/2014

     A short sharp review of Once…

     James Herbert does little to shift his low-brow Stephen King associations with this perfunctory foray into the world of faerie.

     A spooky house and a missing testament provide Scooby Doo plotting while flat characters and shallow research create a strangely uninvolving tale of mixed-up folklores.

     Frequent sexiness will keep you reading but Herbert’s work remains dogged by seventies style misogyny.

     If you’re a Herbert fan you’ll love it regardless, but this is lazy work.

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Lily Wight

   

     Updated 22/07/2014

     Billy Majestic’s arresting Graphic Novel, Humpty Dumpty is a Science Fiction/Horror yarn and definitely not recommended for children.

     Vivid colours and smooth digital blending achieve a film-like look; entirely appropriate for a snappy origin tale which plays like a movie storyboard and makes no qualms about its B-Movie intentions.

     Redneck grotesques, small-town cops and ethereal aliens provide familiarity whilst the titular Humpty is an atrocity to remind you of the heyday of direct-to-video prosthetic horrors.  Humpty’s conception and birth stray into uncomfortable exploitation territory but once the monster madness is underway sequels seem both likely and gory good fun.

     For more unique images follow the link to The Gallery.

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Lily Wight

     Updated 05/06/2014

     Pat Brien’s Denied is a refreshingly old-school vampire yarn that owes more to Hammer era Dracula than Twilight style teen romance (cheer or boo here as you prefer).

     
     Brien does an admirable job of honing and reinvigorating gothic folklore by finding ingenious and refreshing ways to reconnect disparate vampire archetypes.
   
      Monstrous Nosferatu and brooding immortals share an intriguing new evolution and the inclusion of werewolves takes the tale to new levels of adventure, mystery and page-turning excitement.
   
     The novel has two distinct parts, the first  – which acts as an extended prologue – is quite different in tone and location to the latter.  It’s a bold structural move, as readers may prefer one part of the book over the other, but Brien’s commitment, combined…

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Lily Wight

     A “subtle” hint of Literary misogyny has confined Carmilla to countless Hammer-style lesbian vampire flicks yet J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s perfectly executed short novel (1872) preceded Bram Stoker’s Dracula by a good twenty years.

     Many familiar folkloric traditions were collected and presented here first, so Le Fanu’s tale has lost non of its relevance.  The foggy Eastern European locales, racing horse-drawn carriages, suspicious locals and masquerade balls are all present and continue to contribute to the variable laws of vampirism.
     The prose is fast-paced and contemporary with a tantalising cinematic quality.  Taut with tension and genuinely chilling Carmilla deserves just as much adoration as The Count!

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Lily Wight

     Updated 11/01/2014

     It is almost a decade since Stephenie Meyer’s genre-busting archetype-twisting début novel Twilight was published.  Now that this much-loved yet contentious saga is definitely over and RPatz and KStew have gone their separate ways (or have they?) perhaps it is time for a reassessment.

     Fans of hardcore horror and esoteric gothicism will feel vaguely violated by this dilution of Vampire Mythology for the Young Adult market but Twilight heroine, Bella Swan is as clingy as a Spider Monkey 😉

     Unfortunately Twilight’s magnificent PR campaign will forever be superior to its subject and style – melodramatic teen diary destined to alienate literary-minded adults.  It also commits the unfortunate crime of being a mere introduction to better things to come.

     Heroine Bella details her chores one minute and snipes about her perfectly nice and…

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     The year’s best blog posts were selected by the readers of Lily Wight ~ The Arcade of Arts & Arcana.

Lily Wight

10/12/2013 TOP BLOG POST!

     We hope you find this month’s Lego pick horrifically good!

Pumpkin carving

Count Blockula

dita svelte

Frankenstein Xenomurphy

Ichabod Derfel Cadarn

lego-alien-chestbuster_lAqEH_6648

Monsterbrick

The Bridge That Spans The Brook Sir Nadroj

Next Post 29/10/13 (18.00 GMT) ~ Lily Wight’s Guide To The Wheel of The Year: Halloween

Related Articles

Lego Mount Olympus

Lego Hell

Lego Star Wars

Lego Stephen Hawking

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10/12/2013 TOP BLOG POST!

     We hope you find this month’s Lego pick horrifically good!

Pumpkin carving

Count Blockula

dita svelte

Frankenstein Xenomurphy

Ichabod Derfel Cadarn

lego-alien-chestbuster_lAqEH_6648

Monsterbrick

The Bridge That Spans The Brook Sir Nadroj

Next Post 29/10/13 (18.00 GMT) ~ Lily Wight’s Guide To The Wheel of The Year: Halloween

Related Articles

Lego Mount Olympus

Lego Hell

Lego Star Wars

Lego Stephen Hawking

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     Updated 16/10/2015

     The Bloody Red Baron (1995) is the second novel in Kim Newman’s superlative and ever-expanding Anno Dracula series.  Newman continues to weave effortlessly both history and fiction to conjure a world in which Dracula – formerly wed to Queen Victoria – has joined forces with The Kaiser to bring terror to Europe.

     The shift in time and tone may surprise some readers expecting more of the first book’s Victorian gothic.  Book two is a World War I novel that successfully captures the tropes of military fiction whilst broadening its appeal with genre-mashing wit and just the right amount of girl power so you won’t miss those smog bound cobbled streets whatsoever.

     A running theme of genetic experimentation and weird science ensures that the series becomes increasingly pertinent and there is plenty of action too as Newman’s cinematic prose turns aerial dogfights into something captivating and unique.  Have you shelved your old copies of Twilight yet?

Next Post – Book 3: Dracula Cha Cha Cha

Related Articles

Anno Dracula Book 1

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     It’s French, its animated and it’s black and white.  The unforgettable Fear(s) Of The Dark (2007) is also this month’s Movie You Might Have Missed…

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     Throughout the month Lily Wight will be renovating and upgrading the Gallery at award-winning blog site https://lilywight.com/

     Only the most strange and beautiful images win a permanent place in the featured collections which are regularly updated and enhanced with inspiring new finds.

     The collections are listed below and you can view them in full by simply clicking on the pictures.  The Gallery is always accessible via the tab at the top of the homepage.  Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

     If you choose to share the images please include copyright information and a link to this website would be appreciated.

Automatons Album

Deviant Moon Album ©Patrick Valenza

Victoriana Album

Puppets & Marionettes Album

Macabre Album

Middle-earth Album

Faerie Lore & Fairy Tales Album

     Just click the pics to see the albums in full  🙂

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     Every once in a while a film comes along – Laugier’s Martyrs, Cronenberg’s Twins, von Trier’s Antichrist – that transcends conventional horror tropes to produce something challenging, thoughtful and even profound: Excision is just such a film.

     The usually glamourous TV starlet, Annalynne McCord ditches the bleach, make-up and pretty much everything else to give a tour-de-force performance as troubled Pauline; a teen who practices DIY dissections whilst fantasising about a perfect clinical world of shiny surfaces and necrophilia.

     Hunched, surly and awkward, Pauline exudes typical outsider bully bait yet writer-director Richard Bates Jr. has created a collision of opposites; making her outspoken, manipulative and forceful.

     Pauline is psychologically broken whereas her beloved younger sister is physically sick: the focus of love and compassion as her health deteriorates through cystic fibrosis.  As Excision peels away layer after layer of urban domestic mundanity then startling fantasy it becomes apparent that each sister has something nasty inside that needs to come out.

     The ending arrives as a triumphant and appalling epiphany; inevitable, perhaps guessable, yet as shocking and unforgettable as a slap to the conscience.  When that final scream begins you’ll want to join in.

     Verdict ~ An astonishing collaboration of talent on both sides of the camera – the discerning and intellectual horror fan’s horror film.

*WARNING* not suitable for little eyes!

     Dust off the August 2012 archives for more on movies…

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     Streaming and downloads are fine for Minimalists but how can you really own a movie until it’s sitting on your shelf for nosy visitors to judge and define you by?

     Video cassettes are dangerous – especially if a dusty box-full of them falls on your head when you’re rummaging through the attic – and V/H/S takes us back to the days when terrifying box art damaged childhoods, when James Woods morphed into a human video recorder and Sadako crawled all the way from Japan, straight out of the TV and into your living-room.

     V/H/S is an anarchic, schizophrenic horror showcasing promising young directors with a mixed-bag of shorts tied-up with a warning – if you must break into a dead guy’s creepy home don’t watch his videotapes.

     Like all anthologies the quality varies and the tonal shifts are disorienting but, on the plus side, nothing outstays its welcome long enough for you to question why anyone would convert their phone footage or Skype conversations onto clunky old video cassettes.

     The best found footage movies find innovative ways to incorporate the act and products of filmmaking into the plot itself; so a seemingly routine teen slasher becomes sharp and memorable through clever use of that familiar and idiosyncratic chewed-tape distortion.  Meanwhile, Generation YouTube Trick or Treaters disrupt a dubious ritual yet continue to record the mayhem and danger – laughing when they ought to be screaming.

     V/H/S is a perfect combination of old school and experimentation in search of stronger themes.  The miscreants in the opening are suitably punished for their criminal misuse of technology and most of the stories are driven by strong female protagonists but these are issues left hanging in the wake of a simpler urge to shock and entertain.

     Sequel S-V/H/S is scheduled for a July 2013 release and with lessons learned, a bigger budget and more of what works we could be looking at a five-star follow-up.

     Verdict ~ A rich and diverse eye assault of memorable images to leave you pondering.  Yep, there’s still life in the old tape yet!

     

*WARNING* Red Band Trailer, not for little eyes!

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     Updated 09/01/2015

     Every vampire fan should be well aware of White Wolf’s seminal role-playing game system, Vampire; which effectively collates and categorizes every bit of vampire lore and literature up to and including the work of Anne Rice.

     This book owns a hefty title – and well it might – as it boasts a doorstop-sized collection of spin-off novels and associated writings, re-edited chronologically into a complex and epic drama.

     With numerous authors at work there is some jarring in the narrative style and the structure suffers, albeit necessarily for the books conceit.  Certain events are needlessly re-played from different characters’ perspectives without providing extra insight whilst dramatic tension is often lost when chronology forces precedence over plot.

     There is however so much going on that new readers of all tastes are bound to find something to engage them and for fans and completists The Clan Saga makes an engaging curio, a bold editing achievement and a broad introduction to White Wolf’s inescapable influence on the Vampire genre.

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     If you dust-off June in The Arcade Of Arts & Arcana’s Archives (head to the sidebar on the homepage) you’ll find Pre-Raphaelite strumpets, naughty vintage movies some ridiculous facts about the Victorian Era and a popular post on that favourite guilty pleasure – Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (click the link to read the original post).

     Perhaps it was Eiko Ishioka’s demonic raw-muscle armour that made the post so popular.  You can see it again here along with more of Ishioka’s Oscar-winning costumes for Gary Oldman…

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     Dark Fairy Tales & Faerie Lore enchanted everyone at The Arcade Of Arts & Arcana throughout 2012 https://lilywight.com/2012/04/01/the-wonderful-world-of-froud-aprils-magickal-thing/.

     Brew yourself something strong, sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the rare gems recommended in the posts Pitch Black & Fey On Film…

https://lilywight.com/2012/04/07/pitch-black-fey-on-film-beauty-the-beast-2-cannon-movie-tales-1987/

https://lilywight.com/2012/04/08/pitch-black-fey-on-film-beauty-the-beast-3-1976-with-george-c-scott/

https://lilywight.com/2012/04/09/pitch-black-fey-on-film-beauty-the-beast-4-hot-film-and-television-news/

https://lilywight.com/2012/04/11/pitch-black-fey-on-film-beauty-the-beast-5-have-you-seen/

https://lilywight.com/2012/04/13/pitch-black-fey-on-film-little-red-riding-hood-1-inspired-fan-trailer/

https://lilywight.com/2012/04/15/pitch-black-fey-on-film-little-red-riding-hood-2-scary-music/

https://lilywight.com/2012/04/18/pitch-black-fey-on-film-little-red-riding-hood-3-christina-ricci/

https://lilywight.com/2012/04/20/pitch-black-fey-on-film-4-little-girls-are-not-so-easy-to-fool-these-days/

https://lilywight.com/2012/04/22/pitch-black-fey-on-film-snow-white-1-a-tale-of-terror/

https://lilywight.com/2012/04/24/pitch-black-fey-on-film-snow-white-2-the-fairest-of-them-all/

https://lilywight.com/2012/04/29/pitch-black-fey-on-film-happy-ever-after/

 

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     Only five sleeps until Halloween, Blogsprites!

     Here are some amazing images from the Gallery album ~ Grand Guignol.  Click them to see more…

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     …  Martyrs?

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     First came the Vampires, now Werewolves are rampaging through The Arcade Of Arts & Arcana Gallery.

     If you are brave enough click on the homepage Gallery tab or the pictures below…

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     Updated 16/09/2014

     The episodic structure and super simple YA-style prose mire a book worth reading for its genius premise: pensioners battling the supernatural in UK Goth Capital, Whitby.

     Magrs inventively homages all the genre classics with warmth and wit whilst Brenda and Effie disguise cracks in an episodic narrative with the sheer force of their personalities.  Two great roles for Dames Judi Dench and Helen Mirren perhaps 🙂

     A silly, frothy yarn perfect for Sunday tea time telly.

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