Archive for ghosts

Top 10 Things that Scare The Bejeezus out of Xander

Posted in List with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2017 by Xander Woolf

Growing up, I was a scared kid. I mean, I was scared of everything. Put me in a dark room, near a clown, around some bugs, and I was a crying, blubbering mess. Every single night I went to sleep, I would think, “Tonight’s the night the ghost is gonna decide to get me.”

I forced my siblings to leave the bathroom light on so it would pour into my bedroom. Nightlights weren’t enough. It had to be the bathroom light or my bedroom light. I slept in a fully lit room for about a year in middle school.

It was bad.

Now, I’ve tamed those irrational fears.

Well… most of them.

Check out what I’m scared of now.

Continue reading

Tim from Last Week Reviews: Locke & Key #1!

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2016 by Tim from Last Week

Writer: Joe Hilllockekey#1
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors: Jay Fotos
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Released: 2/20/2008 (collected in 10/2008)

Joe Hill has published both comic books and novels, and has received a fair amount of acclaim for his writing. Hill originally published his work under this pen name (a modified version of his real name) to avoid connecting him to his extremely popular father, who is known worldwide for his own writing. About a year before Lock & Key was published, Hill admitted that his father was Stephen King. However, after writing several books (20th Century Ghosts, Heart-Shaped Box, Horns, NOS4A2, and The Fireman), several comic books (Lock & Key, The Cape, and the new Tales from the Darkside series), and receiving several awards (World Fantasy Award, Bradbury Fellowship, Bram Stoker Award, British Fantasy Award, and International Horror Guild Award, among others…), it seems clear that Hill has been accepted into the writing community on his own merits.

Chilean-born artist Gabriel Rodriguez has a Master of Architecture, which he used to “pay the bills” while he waited for his chance to draw comic books. His first comic work was on the IDW published companion series to the popular CSI television series. He co-created Lock & Key with Joe Hill, then worked on Adventures of Superman (DC Comics) and Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland (IDW), the latter earning Rodriguez and co-creator Nelson Daniel an Eisner Award in 2015.

Lock & Key is a supernatural story focused on a house in Lovecraft, Massachusetts, and the family (and others) who have resided in the house. The comic begins with the Locke family, initially near San Francisco, working on their summer home. While Mr. and Mrs. Locke are inside, and the Locke children are outside, Sam and Al, former students of Mr. Locke’s, show up with plans to kill. The kids hear the gunshot that kills their father, and accidentally alert the killers to their presence. While Kinsey and Bode hide, the oldest Locke kid, Tyler, makes his way into the house, hoping to avert disaster. In the process, he disables Sam, and Mrs. Locke kills Al. Following the funeral, the remaining family travels back east to the family home, Keyhouse, and Uncle Duncan. As the kids explore their new home (they haven’t seen the house in years), we get to see that this house has a ton of history of its own, though, since most of it is shown to us by Bode, the youngest Locke, it doesn’t form a complete picture; just cool things every place he looks. Meanwhile, back in juvenile detention, it seems Sam is able to communicate with someone, or something, in the reflection of the water in his sink. It promises Sam that he’ll get the chance to try again to complete his mission. Back at Keyhouse, one of Bode’s discoveries is a key (featured on the comic cover). He finds a door with a similar look as the key, and opens it. We see Bode from the other side of the door, and, for a moment, his body collapses, and a wispy ghost form passes through the door. Quickly, he notices the change, and dives back into his body. Moments later, he wakes up. Terrified, he looks at the door. As it slams shut.

This series is a favorite of JD (of JD’s Hero Complex), and he has been suggesting it to customers for years. He was worried that I wouldn’t like it, since it’s not really my thing. However, I’m at least curious about what is going on at Keyhouse. Obviously, there is something about doors. And, keys (duh). I’m not sure if the doors steal your soul, or if the key is the key, but something is happening. And, why does the “whatever-it-is-in-Sam’s-sink” want Sam to make another attempt on the Lockes? Is Sam just a crazy killer? Or, is there some connection to Keyhouse, there, too?

As my first entry into Joe Hill, I have to say the story was interesting. There is obviously a lot going on that we don’t know, yet, and I want some answers. However, the issue feels a little jumbled, to me. There are a lot of flashbacks (or flash forwards, depending on your perspective, I guess). The story opens with Sam and Al at the door, and the Locke kids down the hill. Then, we move to the funeral, which includes a flashback to when Tyler was young. Then, back to the kids approaching the house during the attack, and some of Sam’s attempts to find the kids. Then, in the car on the way to Massachusetts, and their arrival at Keyhouse. Then, back to the house, as Sam finds Tyler and the whole sordid affair resolves. Then, back to Massachusetts. Although there are visual ways to track the story, I found the technique to be a little overused, and found myself getting tired, by the end. Hopefully, the storytelling will become a little easier on the brain in future parts.

This was also my first exposure to Gabriel Rodriguez’ art, and I’m intrigued. It has a blocky style, but it is also very detailed. Although I would not call it mainstream super-hero art, I almost have to say that his style could find a home in the new mainstream landscape at Marvel or DC, with their attempts to bring new styles and ideas into their current lineups. I’m looking forward to seeing where he ends up next.

Locke & Key turned out to be quite a story, taking 5 years to complete. Told over the course of 3 acts, each act told in two 6-issue mini-series, plus 2 book-end issues, plus a handful of short-story-type stories, Locke & Key is a story that spans generations and dimensions. This is an epic, and has a beginning, middle, and an end. The series was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2009, it won the British Fantasy Award for Best Comic or Graphic Novel in 2009, it won an Eisner Award for Best Writer (Joe Hill) in 2011 (and was also nominated for Best Single Issue, Best Continuing Series, and Best Penciller that same year), and it won the British Fantasy Award (again!) in 2012. A television pilot was filmed in 2011, though Fox decided not to pick up the series (even though Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks were involved…). A film trilogy was announced in 2014, but fell through, as well. In 2015, Joe Hill said that he was going back to the television series plan, and would shop it around to networks, acting as writer and executive producer. There is a 13-hour audio drama adapting all 6 mini-series, released in 2015, including voice work from such pop culture actors as Tatiana Maslany and Kate Mulgrew. And, yes, there is even a card game based on Locke & Key. Seriously, I think this little story might get some attention…

I read Locke & Key #1 as part of the first trade paperback collection, Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft. Locke & Key is available in 6 trade paperbacks, as well as hardcover editions.

Locke & Key, and other great comics, can be found at Johnny Destructo’s Hero Complex located at 4456 Main Street, Manayunk, PA 19127. Visit him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jdsherocomplex/

The Most Underrated Horror Movies on Netflix

Posted in List with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2016 by Xander Woolf

horror netflic

Guest Post By: Cassie from Culture Coverage

Are you a fan of the things that go bump in the night? What about the ones that creep in the woods unnoticed? If you are, Netflix has got you covered with all things spooky and creepy to add to your queue and have a scream stream fest.

From an anthology of horror shorts to art house films on a super budget, these Netflix scary stories are sure to put a little jump in your step, and a just a tad of fear into your next Netflix & Chill session.

1. The ABCs of Death
Starting off with this delicious anthology, The ABCs of Death is like a giant kid’s storybook full of goodies, except these goodies come in the horror contingency from more than two dozen directors and spell out (literally) how to kill. For anyone looking for a good couple of shorts to bring big scares, The ABCs of Death is beautiful, deadly, and most of all, a horror flick lover’s dream.

2. The House at the End of Time
Spanish language horror flicks have never had a better run and The House at the End of Time is in the same vein that makes del Toro’s the most lauded (and awarded) horror flicks of all time. The main protagonist, Dulce, is a mother who learns of apparitions in her house, and after getting attacked, leaves the house. But later in her old age, she comes back to confront the demons who plagued her there and finally settle the score. For fans of thrillers like The Haunting in Connecticut and The Messengers, The House at the End of Time is a foreign masterpiece that belongs on your list of must-sees.

3. Monsters
A little bit of genre mixing goes on in Monsters, as this tiny indie horror flick takes place in a disease ridden post-apocalyptic world inhabited by alien creatures. As one road weary journalist seeks to take an American tourist to the safety of the US on the other side of the US-Mexican border. Premiering at South by Southwest in 2010 and being made over three weeks, in 5 countries, with a $500,000 budget, you can’t get much more homegrown than this—and it all pays off in a directorial debut by Gareth Edwards. For viewers that like the scare to be unpredictable, authentic, and deliberate, this is the flick for you.

4. Dead Snow
Nazi zombie movie? Check! Dead Snow is one of those traditional horror flick set-ups; medical students hoping for a break head into the icy woods for peace and relaxation only to come across stories of a band of Nazis getting lost in the woods and becoming the undead (sounds awesome, right?). For fans of zombie flicks and excellent historical epics, this just might be the movie to convert you into sitting down for the every zombie-historical crossover, and certainly for the next two movies in the Dead Snow trilogy.

Pro Tip: Not sure if you’ll be able to stream this wherever you are? Take into consideration a Virtual Private Network. It’ll work out all the kinks of wondering whether you’re going to get offered the same Netflix selection everywhere. Perfect for disabling geolocation, a VPN saves you from having to fret, and at the same time protects you from data stealing identity thieves on public WiFi. It’s a win-win.

5. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Vampires never had such a creepy awakening as in Ana Lily Amirpour’s Iranian flick self-labeled as a vampire Western. With the main character known only as “The Girl,” this story is as much about bloodsucking as it is about defining the human characteristics of the undead as the main falls head over heels for a mortal boy who’s embroiled in the care and keeping of his addiction rattled father. In the vein of vampire movies that speak as art house films, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night might be more terrifying, not for its inclusion of the extraordinary, but because of its humanity.

Still looking for more horror to binge on? Check out this list for great finds of the scary kind, or even just of the thriller sort. Great horror doesn’t always have to leave you shaking in your boots, but it’s generally a great sign if it surprises!

Happy watching!

About the Author: Cassie is an entertainment and online security blogger, who specializes in all things movies and getting around geo-restrictions. She is always open to new suggestions for which flick to watch next. Leave a note in the comments about a movie (or movies!) you love, and she’ll get right to watching or debating its finer points!

Tim from Last Week Reviews: Five Ghosts #1!

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2016 by Tim from Last Week

Writer: Frank J. BarbiereFive Ghosts v1
Artist: Chris Mooneyham
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: 3/20/2013

This is my first experience with Frank Barbiere, but he has been making the rounds of the top comic publishers for the past few years. Barbiere has worked on Solar: Man of the Atom (Dynamite), The Broken World (BOOM!), Blackout (Dark Horse), Lobo (DC), Avengers World (Marvel), and White Suits, also published by Image.

This is also my first experience with Chris Mooneyham. Although his list of comic titles is shorter than Barbiere’s, it does seem his work on Predator: Fire and Stone (Dark Horse) has garnered him some great press. He also did work in Anathema (Tiny Behemoth Press).

Five Ghosts is the story of Fabian Gray, a 1930s era “treasure hunter.” Think Indiana Jones, and you’re probably close. Using Indy as reference also works for the feel of the story and premise. This is an adventure book, similar to the “men’s adventure books” from decades ago. Although I haven’t read far enough into the series, yet, I expect to find many of the tropes from pulp adventures (I’m expecting to see a “damsel in distress,” very soon…). However, our treasure hunter has a secret power (curse?): he is possessed by 5 ghosts. Specifically, 5 “literary” ghosts: the “detective”, the “wizard”, the “archer”, the “samurai”, and the “vampire” (they are not named in the 1st issue, but I think we can feel free to think of them as Sherlock Holmes, Merlin, Robin Hood, Miyamoto Musashi, and Dracula). Through some incident in his past, Gray was possessed by the ghosts, and he is able to draw upon their abilities to assist in his adventures. Sometimes. When trying to cross from one mountain to a castle on another mountain, Gray uses the archer’s skills to traverse the chasm. However, when fighting tribal warriors in Africa, the wizard’s powers fail Gray, and is taken prisoner. Gray’s motivation comes from his efforts to save his sister, who seems cursed, as well. He will need all of his treasure hunting skills (and his ghosts’ powers, too!) to find a way to save his sister (and possibly himself!).

The first issue was a quick read, but it was enjoyable. I find a certain enjoyment in this kind of story. Yes, the plot is not deep; find things, save people (maybe the world, too??). I enjoy the adventure of it. Yes, we do see him fight Nazis. Yes, we do see him fight African tribesman (are they simply tribesman, though?). Yes, there is a bi-plane involved. And, yes, there is a real bad guy (who answers to even badder bad guys). And, the occult/mysticism seems to touch every player in the story. While I am not a fan of all of the original elements of pulp adventures (i.e. “damsel-in-distress,” noted above…), done well with a modern feel, these stories can be great fun.

What really stood out, for me, though, was Chris Mooneyham’s art. It is an interesting combination of very detailed and very simple, all at the same time; which seems perfect for adventure, but I suspect it could work well for just about any kind of story. He has this moody, eery feel, but everything still seems real. Which, really, does sound like the right look for a book combining old-fashioned adventure and the occult. I find Mooneyham’s art similar to Lee Weeks, a veteran artist who has worked extensively for Dark Horse, DC, and Marvel, but is most well-known for his work on Marvel’s Daredevil (which has also been known to mix adventure and mysticism).

I read issue #1 as part of the first collection of Five Ghosts (“The Haunting of Fabian Gray”). Since I am a notoriously slow reader, I had to stop at one issue, so I could complete this review. However, I fully intend to read the remainder of this collection. Just for fun. Five Ghosts ran for 17 issues, plus a special, and has been collected into 3 trade paperback collections (vol 1 contains issues 1-5, vol 2 contains issues 6-12, and vol 3 contains issues 13-17 and the special), each priced between $9.99 and $14.99.

Five Ghosts, and other great comics, can be found at Johnny Destructo’s Hero Complex. located at:

Johnny Destructo’s Hero Complex
4456 Main Street
Manayunk, PA 19127

Visit him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jdsherocomplex/

Horror Movies to Review

Posted in Other with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2016 by Xander Woolf

In keeping with this week’s theme of asking you what you want from us, I’d like to know what horror movies you’re interested in.

Do you have a favorite horror movie that you want to see us talk about?

Is there one coming out that you want to know more about, but don’t want to spend money on it yet?

Are there indie horror films you’re not sure about that you want us to watch and report back?

Let us know in the comments below, though our Contact Us link or on Facebook!

wolfout

Urban Legends

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Hey Horror Fans!

As you may know, I have dubbed Sunday “Urban Legend Day!”

Today, instead of picking a legend and boring you with it, I’m asking you to let us know what your favorite urban legends are.

Is there a local scary story you love? Is there a monster you’d like to learn more about, but don’t have the time to research it?

Now is your chance to let us know the stories you want us to tell!

Leave a comment below, message us on Facebook, Tweet at us (@9thcirclehorror) or take advantage of the Contact Us page to let us know!

wolfout

Review of The Passenger (2015)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Written/Edited/Directed by: Vick Krishna
Starring: Mackie Lou Vigal, Kevin Tan, Rachel Burnell

If you’re ever in the mood for new horror, YouTube is the place to find it. You can find a plethora of well made indie horror shorts on there. That’s where I found this week’s review subject: The Passengers.

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What’s is about?
This 4-minute horror short follows a young woman (Vigal) who is stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. She calls a friend (Tan) of hers (maybe an ex boyfriend?) to come and help her change it. While she’s alone, however, she begins to see and hear many strange things.

What did I think?
The Passenger was short and to the point, which is great for a horror short film. The atmosphere was dreadfully creepy and the storyline itself held up quite well.

The acting was a little off, in my humble opinion. Vigal, while a great screamer and jumper, was awkward. Kevin Tan delivered his few lines in a clumsy and unbelievable manner.

Do I recommend it?
Yes, give it a watch. Despite the acting being awkward and clumsy, the overall film was creepy and kept me on the edge of my seat. You can watch it here!

wolfout