Science-fiction horror has had a rocky ride. It’s a genre filled with classics like The Thing and Pitch Black, and clunkers like “Doom”. But even if opinion on its artistic success was ultimately divided, Prometheus was a highly-anticipated movie from a number of perspectives. Long-time movie fans clutched the edge of their seat waiting to see Ridley Scott’s first epic science-fiction movie since the days of Blade Runner and Alien. Spectacle-seekers waited wide-eyed looking at the scope and beauty of the movie’s visuals. Art direction geeks were hooked by the return to the aesthetics of H. R. Giger.
One person was frustrated before it even hit the screen, however: Guillermo del Toro.
Find out why after the jump!
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From the outset, I wish to claim, with no small significance, that this piece is less a review, bound in reflective passages of indiscriminatory minutiae and personal indulgences, then it is a paen of prose for that scribbler of things bizarre, mutable, and altogether otherworldly, Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Here you will find not the voice of the balanced, or dare I claim, sane, writer, but rather the utmost praise and . . .
I’m going to let you in on something. One of my biggest fears is that one day I’ll come across something supernatural. A zombie, a vampire, a werewolf, ghost. Whatever. One day I’m going to come across one of these spooky things that are only supposed to exist on the page or the screen or in our nightmares and I’ll tell you and you won’t believe me. I’ll tell you that somebody I met didn’t cast a reflection or that I saw something walking the halls of my house, only to see it dissolve and you won’t buy it. You’ll say I’m seeing things or accuse me of playing a bad joke. Or you’ll think something worse. You’ll think I’ve gone mad, lost touch with reality.
But what happens if my reality and yours don’t match up.
There’s nothing quite like the overwhelmingly frightening realization that there are more things unknown in our universe than there are things known. There’s nothing as affecting as the times where we sit alone, quietly in the dark, and begin to wonder about all the irrational, nameless, strange and ancient forces that must surely influence our short-lived existence. And, of course, there’s no better time to shed light on those dark truths than now, this first week of October.
Let the investigation begin, then, with the horror, fantasy and science fiction writer, H.P. Lovecraft. But first, let me set the stage for you.
Neonomicon: Issues 1–4
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Jacen Burrows
In 1927, HP Lovecraft published a long essay entitled “Supernatural Horror in Literature”, which contains the well-known quote: “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” Fine words, indeed. Many works of horror explore this concept, preying on our fears, to name just a few, of the dark, otherness, death, betrayal, violence, and sex. This taxonomy is by no means complete, but the last is of particular significance when considering both Lovecraft and Moore and Burrows’s latest foray into territories Lovecraftian, Neonomicon.