Horror manga review: xxxHolic

Made by the mangaka circle of fangirl pain, Clamp, xxxHolic is a series that is built around the idea of people’s wishes and what wishes can do for a person. Not entierly a horror series, but there is a lot of really nice horror moments in both the manga and the anime.

We follow the story of Watanuki Kimihiro (written as 1st of april), a youth that has lost all of his family, and have to deal with being able to seeing spirits, with also having habit of attracting them. One day he comes across a shop that grants wishes, and the owner, Yuko, promises to give him his wish to not be bothered by ghosts anymore, as long as he works it off as her part time worker.

Together they experience many adventures, as we get to see anything from japanese yokai, to normal ghosts and peoples bad habits manifesting into deadly curses. With the help of Yuko he gains many friends, and creates never ending bonds, all the while she leads him down to his destiny, as there is a mystery in his past that only she, and someone that is closest to him in all worlds knows.

While this series works mostly fine on its own, it is also a crossover with Clamp’s manga Tsubasa RESERVoir Chronicle, that is linked to the start of xxxholic, and also the end. There are lots of small crossovers with other clamp series as well, but can well be enjoyed on its own.

So if you want a fun, scary and heartbreaking read for halloween, xxxHolic is a nice place to start for those that can’t take too scary stories. But still, you will be getting stuff like this:

or fun nods to japanese folklore like this:

All in all, if you check out the anime, or the manga, you will have a lot of fun ^-^

Horror Movie Review: The Evil Dead (1981)

To start of this month of Halloween, I have decided to look at a few of my all time horror favorites, and what better to start off with than this amazing horror classic? The third movie actually was the first horror movie I watched as a kid and didn’t have nightmares of. I laughed and actually enjoyed it a lot.

The Evil Dead is the story of five friends that travel to a remote cabin in the woods to hang out, and as we know well from all cabin movies from our time, things does not go well. In the cabin they find the Necronomicon, better known as the book of the dead, bound in human flesh and written in blood, and a taped recording of the professor that owned the cabin reading passages from the cursed book.

Evil is released in the woods and gets into the cabin, slowly possessing and killing off the friends one by one, until in true horror style, the only pure hero is left to face the forces of evil. (for the first movie at least, the pure part sort of fades over time and insanity.)

I will not spoil the movie for you anymore than that, because it is worth a watch. The first one is more shocking in the effects and can seem dark and horrible at times, as there is a scene with a woman and a tree that a lot of people will probably remember from this movie if they have watched it. And our amazing hero Ash Williams, is played by the then breakthrough star Bruce Campbell, that still to this day lives on his fame in this role. In this movie he has still not perfected his camp that he will later be known for, and that this hero put the groundwork for, but it is still nice to see him here in his first big role, as Ash is more reserved, and has not had to cut his arm off or killed hoards of Deadittes while making one-liners yet.

Even if the 3rd was my first of the movies, the second one is my favorite, and I recommend people to watch all three movies. It can get confusing at times because of continuity, as people don’t really know if the second on is a sequal or a remake. The first movie was made on little to no budget, and the second one they had more, then the third one, mostly known as Army of Darkness, was their big break, and it shows. The director Sam Raimi also broke through with this movie, that was based on his and Bruce Campbells first project together ‘within the woods’, Sam Raimi then went on to make the spider-man trilogy, the Grudge remakes and the Xena and Hercules series.

There was also a remake not long ago, but that one is far, far inferior, and to be honest, the only thing I found good in it was the credits where you got the old tape of the professor playing, and after the credits where we got a nice cameo that should have happened in the movie itself. But there is a rumor that there will be three more movies, a sequal to the remake, and a sequal to Army of Darkness with Bruce Campbell returning as Ash, and then a third one to mix the two series. And I do not mind this. If I get two movies with Bruce, I do not mind at all!

And I know this might have entered into a rant about Bruce Campbell, but to be honest, it is what most people take from these movies. It is good movies, but anyone else than him as Ash would not have been able to make it the cult classics that it is. So go, watch the movies, or any movie with him in, Bubba-ho-tep is another amazing movie, where he plays a old man that claims to be Elvis Presly, who lives at a old people home where a old mummy has come back and is eating people’s souls while somehow dressed as a cowboy. And it is up to Elvis and a black man claiming to be John F. Kennedy to fight the mummy, quite slowly, in wheelchairs. It is an amazing movie about growing old, but still never giving up.

So, to start off Halloween, give yourself some sugar, watch some good hammy cult classics and say your hails to the King.