Gail Williams explores The Evil Within...
When I was a kid, I used to love horror movies, but as I got older, I realised that my own imagination was quite horrific enough thank you. I can imagine scarier monsters than Hollywood can show me, go more psycho than Psycho. Let's face it, there was nothing more disappointing than seeing the full Sil at the end of Species. And that’s kind of the point.
The Evil Within starts with two pretty girls, the staple of all horror movies. Kate, who has mysteriously disappeared from university and Dana, who, after suffering a breakdown, is looking for Kate.
On a dark spooky night, Dana has car trouble, so heads for the light she sees ahead, a diner. There she bumps into Paul, an ER doctor, and some rather grizzly zombies. Well they aren’t really zombies, other than they are dead and still coming, but I don’t know of another word for that kind of undead.
Have to say the graphics here were really rather good, the representation of the impaled, the bloody, the dismembered, the hacked, slashed, diced and spliced was visceral without being over the top. I’d say a blood bath, but one of those comes later.
As Dana and Paul run they encounter horrors and foes, meet others also struggling for their lives. Jack, an army officer with all the horror stories of his past, and Ruth, a flight attendant with a bitch of a back story.
I won’t give away the story – it is worth the read without the spoilers – but I’ll give you a rundown of some of the more fun features of the jaunt.
First there’s The Keeper, not so much Leather Face as Safe Face. Literally, he has a safe for a head, and another on his back through I’m not sure why. Next comes Laura who’s a bit of a montage with elements of Lady Strike, Kali and The Grudge. There’s the Sadist, think Hannibal Lector with a chain saw, and Ruvik. Now Ruvik is interesting, he’s also not what you might think, but I’ll say nothing more because that would involve spoilers.
There are spikes, chainsaws, glass and metal fragments, razor wire, maces and cudgels, but also acid spraying sprinklers, which defy logic when you think about it. The acid has to be in the pipes already, so it would eat through the pipework before it got to the sprinklers, but let’s face it reading this stuff requires a certain suspension of disbelief.
But the one thing in all this that made me stop and go “Noooo!” was nothing like the above. What was is, I hear you ask? A door. Yes you did read that right. A door horrified me more than all the killers and the killing. Was it a big massive Gates-to-Hell type door? No. A body strewn bar to the way forward? Nope. It’s just a door. A locked door. It’s the kind of door you see in schools and offices everywhere. A standard, simple door with a static pull handle. What’s so bad about that? About that, nothing. The door is locked and the handle gets tugged on, after all, that’s what the handle's there for, so you can pull the door to open it. But since it’s locked the character can’t do that, so he kicks it in. IN! He was pulling it out, says it’s locked, then he kicks it in, in is the one direction that door obviously wasn’t designed to go. This continuity error really jumped off the page at me as the worst horror in the book, which probably makes me the sicko, but hey, Evil I can be quite accepting of but don’t break the laws of physics. It's okay, rant over – though I did have to re-engage disbelief to read on from there.
You also have to think that if a locked door is the only thing I have to complain about in this comic, the rest should be pretty good. And it is.
The story is pacy and draws the reader on. There’s a high standard of realism through all panels, and the additional cover artwork given at the back is both beautiful and in some cases disturbing. I particularly like the paintings of The Keeper, these have some exquisite detail to them. And at the beginning of the book is a full page of a brain and stem wrapped in barb wire, only look closer and the stem isn’t a stem, it’s a church – wonderfully done.
The rest of the comic is also pretty good, as is the moral of the story. Not sure it will save any souls, but it is an unavoidable fact that there is evil within us all.
Based on my comic book scoring system, my verdict, for the fact that I didn’t find this overly original, though it did contain some twists, I’d say it's entertaining and worth giving a go, a 3 out of 5.
The Evil Within is available now. Some preview art is included below.
To find your local comic store visit: http://www.comicshoplocator.com/
Gail lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and
the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits
and pieces are a bit wonderful. Well okay, she lives in Swansea with
her husband and daughter. And the world’s most demanding cat. To find
out more about Gail, check out www.gailbwilliams.co.uk - Dare you!