Son of Celluloid

Clive Barker has been a Master of Horror for damn near 40 years now, and he often vies for dominance with Stephen King. Both have extensive catalogs of work, many of their stories have been adapted for movies, and they both have nightmarish, yet believable stories. Son of Celluloid is classic Barker, from his 3rd short story collection, The Book of Blood, volume 3. Set in an old movie theater, four people discover that the movies of yesteryear still live on - not on the silver screen, but stalking the sticky floors and urine infused bathrooms of a run down, old building. Set in the early 80s, when second run theaters were still a major draw, something sinister is growing inside the theater, feeding off of the awe, wonder, love and lust that has been given up by theater goers over the years to the actors on the silver screen. This sinister thing has a thirst for the attention, and will stop at nothing to recapture that slavish devotion. While still early in his career, it was very apparent that he had hit his stride in terms of pacing and tension. Steven Niles, who I was originally familiar with through his work 30 Days of Night, a delicious vampire story, with the story hewing closely to the original material. Les Edwards artwork is evocative of 80s movies, and really allows the terror to mount, with such scenes at Ricky's demise really hitting the reader like a cheap kidney punch from out of nowhere. The end is also very Barker, in that it sort of peters out without much relief, or sense of satisfactory resolution. While this version is long out of date, you can still find copies on major shopping sites, and for fairly cheap as well. If you're a Barker fan, you'll really enjoy this adaptation. If you're not a fan, or you're squeamish about body horror, you'll want to give this a pass. ​

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