Tag Archives: horror

into the out of

Into The Out Of by Alan Dean Foster

From Goodreads:

An ancient evil…

They’re small and dark–and as elusive as a shadow under your bed or an unexplained creak in the night. But the shetani are beings of awesome power, a swarm of spirits stealing into our world from the Out Of to destroy the very fabric of reality.

A modern menace!

Only one man sees the growing danger. Olkeloki, an elder of the Maasai people, an African laibon with the knowledge to fight the shetani both in this world and its bizarre counterpart. But he must have help from two others if he is to stem the deadly tide–U.S. government agent Joshua Oak, a man all too used to combat, and Merry Sharrow, a courageous young woman braving demons of her own. Together, they must invade the very heart of a nightmare and–as spell-cast mayhem causes one earthly crisis after another–defeat the shetani in their own terror-strewn world

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

This was one of the first science fiction stories that I ever read and it really gave me a hunger for more. That was in my mid teens (late ’80s) and I have been wanting to read it again for quite some time now. I recently came across a digital version and added it to my reading list.

After more than 35 years of reading science fiction, fantasy and horror I found this early example of the genre quite dated. It starts well with an interesting concept, good characters and a good storyline. However, the second half of the book very quickly runs out of steam and becomes quite dull. There was huge scope for creating an alternative world (the out of) but it’s as if the author created a concept that he didn’t know how to handle and ended up with a poor shadow of the potential. With this he also lost grip of the characters and they quickly lost depth as well as my interest.

Despite its poor aging it was still worth a read even just for sentimentality but there are many better books out there that I’d recommend instead.

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grave peril

Grave Peril (Harry Dresden #3) by Jim Butcher

From Goodreads:

Harry Dresden – Wizard
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden has faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you’re the only professional wizard in the Chicago-area phone book.

But in all Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: The spirit world has gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble – and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone – or something – is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself….

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The previous books were very much detective stories with a little bit of a fantasy twist. This one is very much a fantasy/horror with a mystery twist. It’s pretty full on with demons, faeries, vampires and magic. I did find it very enjoyable though. I particularly like the way the author treats magic and the magical world with a certain level of contempt. There’s no perception of magic as something wondrous or other worldly, it’s just mundane, slightly above ordinary and something that’s likely to go wrong.

I really enjoyed the depiction of the vampires and especially the various “courts” and how they use different techniques to subdue and consume their victims.

Where I have a problem with this book is the character Michael and the events that brought Harry and him together. There’s a whole back story here that’s missing. I have checked at least 3 times to see if I skipped a book by accident. There is so much missing here and so much that is assumed the reader knows that it makes the story difficult to follow and creates a sense of uncertainty. It knocked at least one star off my rating.

Overall it’s a really good book, I’d just like to have been given a chance to read how Harry and Michael met and came to be working together.

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we’re alive

We’re Alive Season 1 by Modern Myth Productions

From Audible:

This exciting audio drama is based on an immensely popular podcast that has received hundreds of positive reviews and has had over four million downloads – and counting.


For Army Reserve soldier Michael Cross, the world as he knows it ends in an instant. One minute he’s in college, and the next rioters are roaming the highway around him, breaking into cars and literally tearing people apart. This is the day the dead walk. This is the world of We’re Alive.


The first season features 12 chapters packing performances and sound effects that rival movies and prove that modern audio drama is undead and well. Join our survivors as they band together, struggle to fortify a safe haven known as the Tower, and discover that zombies are far from the worst thing in a post apocalyptic Los Angeles, where the rules of human decency no longer apply.


Little food. Little water. Little hope. Who is lucky enough to say “We’re Alive”?

My Rating: ⭐

Having had great success with my first audiobook and having enjoyed a few podcasts last year I thought this might be a good mix of the two. In addition I usually like zombie horror stories.

I really wanted to like this but just couldn’t. At 4 hrs in I decided to cut my losses and pulled the pin. Dislikable and annoying characters, forced and wooden acting, storylines full of plot holes and a sub standard copy of “The Walking Deadjust about summed it up for me. Don’t waste your time and definitely don’t waste your money. I got this with a free credit on Audible but it costs £20 normally. I really don’t understand why it has been so popular and how it managed 5 seasons!

Header image source: fossbytes.com

joker

From IMDb:


In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is most definitely not a Batman film! It’s a very, very dark depiction of a wild slide into a destructive breakdown in mental health in a world that doesn’t care. It’s frightening to see the destruction and Arthur’s inability to either recognise or prevent it until it’s too late and then to prefer the broken person he has become versus the one be was. This is a disturbing film and one that left me with a profound sense of sadness at the end.

I think this is only the second time I’ve seen Joaquin Phoenix in a starring role. The first was Johnny Cash in Walk The Line and I couldn’t help but see the similarities between the two characters. It makes me wonder what he’s burying inside himself that lets him play these roles so well.

it: chapter two

From IMDb:

Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The sequel and conclusion to IT which is itself a reboot of the original TV miniseries both based on Stephen King’s novel. This novel is one of King’s best and it’s good to see it adapted so well into film.

The films are split along the time lines of the original story with Part 1 dealing with the main characters and their battle with Pennywise as kids and Part 2 dealing with them as adults and set 27 years after the first.

It’s a long time since I read the book but the films seem to stick pretty much to the book although the films are set approx 30 years ahead. This doesn’t interfere with the story at all and the only odd result is Bill’s childhood bike which doesn’t seem to come from the 80s.

IT: Chapter 1 is a brilliant film and one of the first to properly scare me in a long time. Chapter 2 is very good but doesn’t meet the tension and horror of the first. This is mainly due to how the story has changed and the fact that it’s adults now rather than kids which added an extra element to Chapter 1.

The special effects are really good, especially Pennywise, his many different forms and his transformation from one to the other. Pennywise is a fantastic character and the producers have managed to recreate him amazingly accurately to the book. The special effects really enhance the fright factor but hats off to Bill Skarsgård who brings him to such frightening life.

Overall a very good film and a satisfying close to an excellent adaptation of a fantastic Stephen King story.