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Film Review: The Dead Outside

tdo1Another twist on the zombie genre – a neurological pandemic has swept the United Kingdom, but those with the infection don’t die immediately, becoming increasingly incoherent, unstable and violent. The infection mutated, went airborne and the government’s so-called vaccine only slowed down the symptoms. The result: the infectious period was extended and the disease spread unnoticed and the virus wiped out most of the misinformed population. Six months later, and the landscape is littered with wandering psychopaths and scavenging survivors.

The Dead Outside has an overwhelming air of purposefully half-explained menace: the virus might still be airborne; touching the afflicted in any way might result in infection; the turned victims are after blood and attracted by noise, so living a quiet life becomes vital to survival. So what better place to be than in the Scottish borders? Sparsely populated, lots of space and plenty to eat if you find a suitably isolated farm and can grow your own. Which is exactly what Daniel does after his wife and child are infected. But he wakes up the next morning to find April peering down the barrel of a shotgun at him. Braehead is her family’s farm and she doesn’t exactly welcome strangers, not even healthy ones.

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November 7, 2008 at 12:38 pm Leave a comment

Book Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 19, edited by Stephen Jones

October can’t come around quick enough sometimes.

Stephen Jones‘ 19th annual selection of some of the most accessible and harrowing genre fiction out there is the foremost reason for me, (as is the onset of what will hopefully be a glorious autumn, a time when we lovers of the spook can anticipate those long nights settling in again…)

2007 was a fruitful year in horror, as Jones’ painstaking dissection of all-that-is-dark related activity shows. Personally I would like to see more of his comment and opinion in this introductory section, which is a relatively comprehensive list of books, comics, television, DVD, film, stage, merchandise and other related genre releases, (although Jones does comment on much of the genre television in the US and the UK). It would, of course, be impossible for Jones to keep track of everything published over the course of twelve months, but this section is a very useful primer for the fan who might have missed something along the way.

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October 14, 2008 at 8:56 pm Leave a comment


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