A fan hunts down a director of a forbidden film with a mysterious providence. What secrets lie with the surviving reels of film may be more than either can live with in a tense first issue from Scott Snyder and Francesco Francavilla.
If Scott Snyder’s We Have Demons #1 is a Stephen King flavoured contemporary horror series, then Night of the Ghoul #1 is the comic book equivalent of the Universal monster movies of the 1930s in tone and style. While the plot isn’t necessarily all that original – a secret, ominous film not thought to exist reappears and a fan searches out the director in an old folks’ home – the execution by artist Francesco Francavilla imbues the comic with an old school Golden Age aesthetic suitable for the subject matter.
Old time director, T.F Merrit, is living under a false name and seems ravages by more than just time as he is discovered by Forest Innman who has also unearthed remnants of a film that is clearly cursed. A film that is presents on the printed page as a black and white forgotten classic which interjects throughout the issue to hint at a horror story that will clearly resonate with the real world before this series is completed done and dusted.
This is a comic that feels like it’s come from a bygone age because of the choice of story, art sensibility and delivery. It’s a creepy comic that deliberately plays with a limited colour palette even when illustrating the scenes set in the here and now, but all adds up to a debut that feels suitably tense and gothic.
Night of the Ghoul #1 is out now on comiXology Oroginals