REVIEW: 'Night of the Ghoul' #1 by Scott Snyder and Francesco Francavilla

 

NIGHT OF THE GHOUL #1 

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Francesco Francavilla
Letterer: Andworld Design
Publisher: ComiXology Originals
Release Date: October 20, 2021
Cover Price: $3.99

A dazzling work of horror, intercutting between the present-day narrative and the story of a lost horror film.

The writer and artist behind Batman: The Black Mirror reunite to shed light on a celluloid artifact once thought forever missing, perhaps with good reason...

Part of the comiXology Originals line of exclusive digital content only available on comiXology and Kindle. Read for free as part of your subscription to comiXology Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime. Also available for purchase via comiXology, Kindle and collected in print via Dark Horse Books.

Score:

★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

'Night of the Ghoul' is the third and last Scott Snyder-penned Comixology Original for the month of October, otherwise known as Scottober. 'We Have Demons' was a supernational thriller, 'Clear' was a futuristic Sci-Fi murder mystery, and 'Night of the Ghoul' represents an old-fashioned monster movie. Snyder's blockbuster deal with Comixology was well warranted because he is three for three.

When you have an A-list comic book writer like Snyder you need A-list comic book artists. After working with Greg Capullo and Francis Mnapul, Francesco Francavilla joined Snyder in a story that's right up his alley. The collaboration is a cinematic throwback to the days of the Universal classic monsters. The era of Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein is found in the pages of this absorbing new series. Despite being set in the present, the tone, the pacing, the dialogue all hearken back to those classic monster movies. It's a style that Francavilla knows and loves well. He is a master of the pulpy art style that is so recognizable and simply ageless.

Forest Innman is obsessed with an old filmmaker, T.F. Merrit, and what he considers the long-lost horror masterpiece film 'Night of the Ghoul.' He's brought his son with him and tracked down the octogenarian director at a remote rest home in the desert. Under false pretenses, he finally meets his idol. He wants to know everything he can about the film he's procured that despite being damaged and incomplete believes is Merrit's greatest work. He may not be ready to hear what Merrit has to say about it.

The story alternates between Innman's fanboying with the decrepit Merrit and film footage following a U.S. Army regiment on a reconnaissance mission during World War I. It's the story within the story and it's equally enthralling if not more so. The troops are investigating a compound believed to be a stronghold of the Germans. As they enter the compound and Merrit tells Innman about the origins of the film, things become increasingly creepy and eerie. You can feel a fog come over the characters like a tense thundercloud of fear and menace. There's more to this rest home than meets the eye. The compound holds more secrets than what the troops have encountered. It's like a vice tightening down on the reader, holding their attention, unable to escape the terror that awaits. This is just the beginning of a horrific story about to unleash the ghoul and more.

'Night of the Ghoul' is the perfect horror story that bridges the classic monster movies of the 30s and 40s with a modern sensibility of fandom gone too far. Some things are best left alone. Snyder and Francavilla have a blast scaring the pants off readers in this engrossing pulpy thriller that you won't be able to put down.

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