"Run-of-the-mill" seems like a modestly accurate way to describe myself in terms of horror fandom. In certain respects I find that valuable, since ideally I can make an appeal to those like myself, to those who may be testing the waters, and hopefully to the hardcore horror fans as well. (And I sincerely encourage feedback, especially from the latter.) It wasn't until several years ago, the present time of this writing being December of '09 to give perspective, that the genre genuinely appealed to me and I owe all that to the film adaptation of Stephen King's 'IT'. After that, it was a slow and steady progression that grew into watching more Stephen King film adaptations, then into watching general horror films. In more recent years it's branched from solely films into different mediums, namely: comics (comic books, manga, graphic novels, webcomics, etc.), purely written literature, and different games.

But let's get to the point, shall we? The Darkley Niche is something I've constructed after the comic-in-progress that a friend and myself plan on self-publishing, an anthology of short horror stories much in the same vein as 'Tales from the Crypt' and similar titles. The series centers around a faceless persona we've affectionately dubbed Alan Darkley, the Niche's namesake, and a cast of storytellers whose tales fall within particular subgenres and sister genres of horror. This site is the drawing board, if you will, where everything posted is either a form of research or a roughing out of ideas. It's all relevant in some fashion. By exploring these different horror stories and their mediums a better understanding and influence of the genre, as well as inspiration, can be put into the comic. Even if you have no personal interest in the project, perhaps you can glean something from the reviews and the like. And if nothing else, the Niche will work to serve my own purposes.

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Meet The Darkley Storytellers

Meet The Darkley Storytellers

About Myself

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Well, here's yours truly. The name's Drew, in case you were wondering. The Niche is my personal site, while the comic-in-progress is a partnered effort with Don, a lifelong friend of mine. We collaborate on the stories, but my partner's the writer in the outfit while I am the illustrator. This is currently little more than a side project, but we hope to make something of it.

artwork by yours truly

artwork and artist features

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frightful films for your year-round festivities

book reviews: consult the niche's necronomicon

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Darkley year, part II: movies (continued)


'Fright Night' (1985)

This was a fun little tongue-in-cheek kind of film. Granted, there is plenty of cheese that comes with being a comedy made in the eighties, but if anything that adds to its charm. Not to mention there's something to be said about old school prosthetic makeup and puppeteering versus modern CGI special effects. Effects aside, however, an often soft-spoken, occasionally wistful, and understandably cowardly Roddy McDowall steals the spotlight as "Fright Night" TV show host and Vampire Killer, Peter Vincent. A bittersweet sort, his is a character that embodies a bygone era and, with the exception of our other protagonists, fondly remembers the past in which he played a part. In many respects, it's very much like the episode "Beware the Gray Ghost" in 'Batman: the Animated Series', wherein an actor of golden age television steps up to become the part he so reputably played.

'Fright Night' (2011)

Shortly after watching the original, we moved on to the more recent remake with Colin Farrell as the vampiric neighbor, Jerry Dandridge. Many liberties are taken with this modernization, such as moving the setting into an oasis suburb in Las Vegas, Nevada. But such revisions were really decisions that just made sense. And frankly, I was delighted that Christopher Mintz-Plasse changed the role of "Evil" Ed Lee into something better than an annoyance with a grating laugh. While Vincent was altered into a Criss Angel knock-off, I still appreciated it being done more as a comical parody. And we're sure that the Whovians out there fangasmed when the makeup was removed, revealing David Tennant. Outside of the internet (ex: Pinterest, deviantART, Tumblr, etc.) our exposure to the long-standing BBC series is minimal, but we can remark that Tennant made a pretty good first impression.

'V/H/S' (2012)

As is often the case, this anthology was a mixed bag. Though some segments were flops, like "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger," (now there's a mouthful) others had merit and none more so than "Amateur Night." Firstly, it fits very well with the main narrative of 'V/H/S', which is ultimately creeps getting their comeuppance. It's rather difficult to watch men humiliate a woman by forcibly exposing her breasts on camera and not feel a burning desire to see their demise. The same applies here, only in this instance it's drugging dates with the intention of rape. Yeah... Moving on, one of the random women picked up during the barhop is Lily, whose name, without giving away any spoilers, turns out to be rather appropriate and her hushed words, "I like you," will be the most memorable thing from this whole anthology.

'Carrie' (2013)

Admittedly, we've never actually read Stephen King's novel nor seen the first film adaptation. Still, the remake made in 2002 is familiar to us and told a compelling story of a girl ostracized by her peers, the inherent fears of puberty, and a twisted combination of parental and religious domination through her mother. With that said, we were understandably expecting little more than a retelling of the same. And while this holds true, we're given greater insight into the story and its supporting characters, including Carrie's mother. For instance, the birth is witnessed at the very beginning of the movie and little clues, like the lock having already been on the closet door, give an inkling into what molded Margaret White into the disturbed woman she is. And on a side note, Chloe Moretz is an absolute sweetheart in her rendition of Carrie and delivered the sympathetic draw needed for such a character. 'Carrie' comes as a close second in the best horror films of this year.

There are only a handful of horror films left to touch on, so continue to follow along as we finish this segment in the near future. Then, on to television and literature as we move forward in our summary of the past year from last October to last month.

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