Tag Archives: Horror

The Charnel House Trilogy

I recently Played the Charnel House Trilogy. Its a really well done Horror Adventure game. It stars a young woman named Alex Davenport who’s just broken up with her boyfriend and older professor, named Harold Lang who both take a ride on a train that is not all that it seems. The best part of the game is without a doubt the writing, Most of the characters feel quite real which makes the parts were the supernatural horrors begin influencing them all the more creepy. It also makes the more obviously supernatural characters stand out. Further both of the main characters (particularly Alex) really make you care about them, so that once everything starts getting worst you are invested in what happens to them.

The overall voice acting is very good. Everyone sounds very natural and when they don’t theirs a very good reason. The closest thing to a criticism I’ll give is that Alex’s Voice actress doesn’t sound panicked enough in some of the later scenes, but then Alex is meant to be more calm under pressure then one would expect. Jim Stirling is also present and though he is very good the recognizably of his voice could be distracting to some.

I should note that the game is not for the faint of heart. It deals with themes of stalking and suicide. It also gets extremely intense in the final part. Personally I found this all to be to the games benefit but I could see why it wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste. Despite the fact that it has an old school adventure game feel both in content and graphics I found it to be one of the scariest games I’ve played.

The only real criticisms I have for the game is that the first part of the game can drag for a while. I think that this sequence does a great job of introducing Alex and sets the mood, but it is not as interesting as the other parts. The other major problem is that this game was clearly meant to have a sequel and that sequel sadly never materialized. However the game is still good for what it is.

The Charnel House Trilogy is currently available on steam for $1.62.

Freak Winds

Freak winds is a comedy so dark that it’s amazing the light touches it at all. The plot is full of twists and turns and is best experienced when you have very little knowledge of what’s going to happen. Therefore, I will be trying to avoid giving too much away, but if you truly wish to avoid any spoilers, I would suggest you avoid both this paragraph and the one that describes the cast. The plot is very good and all the performances are very impressive particularly Winluck Wong and James McCullough who are unlike anything you may have seen them as before. The play begins when Ernest, a seemingly-friendly middle-aged man, finds his peaceful evening interrupted by Henry Crumb, an insurance salesman. However, when a storm forces Crumb to stay in the house, he finds a much darker side to Ernest. The play is clearly inspired, in many ways, by Hitchcock, with an everyman hero finding himself in a situation where he has to deal with a mysterious character that is seemingly benign, but may or may not have a hidden dark side. It’s a bit different because it is much more comical and we know very soon that Ernest isn’t what he appears to be. The comedy is especially well done; at first it seems to be typical of the type of comedy often put on at The Guild, but it soon reveals itself to be much darker. The comedy is actually quite amazing when it comes. For example, early on in the play, when Crumb has discovered Ernest may be a serial killer, Ernest comes into the room and gives him coffee and biscuits. In fact, a lot of the comedy comes from Ernest’s sadistic mind games. This has the curious effect of making a play that is very fun to watch, but also makes the viewer somewhat uncomfortable with how much they enjoy it, particularly in the second half. The exact type of game played also is a bit different between acts as well. In the first half, although exactly what’s happening is not entirely clear, it is much easier to figure out. In the second half, the games become a lot more bizarre as Crumb grows more desperate and his tormenters start to take on a variety of different roles. In my opinion, the first half, with its more concrete threat, is superior. However, I can understand why the play decided to keep upping the stakes in this way, and the second half is still extremely high-quality. The only other major flaw is that sometimes it feels as though Crumb is a bit of a passive character who stands no chance against his tormentors, but even that is realistic since it is unlikely that someone as manipulative as Ernest would choose a victim he believed had a chance of outwitting him.

The set is absolutely fantastic, the best I’ve seen in any guild production. This is on par with a show that I saw at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The Guild regularly has great sets, but because of the small venue, they also usually quite minimalistic. This is not a weakness for many of these plays, since the minimalism often works quite well. However, in this case, it actually feels like we are in someone’s house. There’s wallpaper, a door leading upstairs and even a new door with windows. This makes it feel less like a play and more like the audience has genuinely been invited into this house. This is also probably one of the only plays where that feeling is not a comfortable one.

If you have been to a lot of plays at The Guild, you will most likely have seen most of these actors before – but not like this. Winluck Wong’s character, at first, seems very typical role for him: a charming but somewhat dishonest insurance salesman who flirts with women and makes liberal use of the F-bomb. However, this changes over the course of the play, as he is gradually broken, managing to make his character both very funny but also very pitiable. In many scenes, he looks off into the distance with a look that mixes horror with utter bewilderment. James McCullough is absolutely terrifying in this play. At first he seems to be a very mild mannered and polite (but also somewhat naive) middle-aged man. This image soon breaks down. What really makes his performance terrifying is that he is almost never just playing the charming or the monstrous side of his character. Even in the very early scenes of the play, there are hints of what lies beneath the surface, and even in his worst moments, his affable side will resurface in a way that is both gut-bustingly funny and bowel-freeingly terrifying. The best example of this is in a scene in the first half where Crumb has had enough of his mind games and attacks him. He easily overpowers him and throws him onto the couch, his face a blank mask. “Stay there,” he says, but then his affable side reasserts itself and he makes a joke about one of Crumb’s earlier lines about how insurance makes people calmer. In a lot of scenes, as he begins needling his victim, his face slowly changes from and affable smile to sadistic grin. Rounding out the cast is Charlotte Courage in the role of Myra, a mysterious and extremely odd wheelchair-bound woman who’s true role in the house isn’t clear until the end of the play. Courage does a good job portraying the characters rather Stepfordian sweetness, and also does a good job of convincing the audience that she really does need a wheelchair. However, her role is somewhat hurt by some of the choices likely chosen by the otherwise-stellar director (insert name) which give her less layers to work with than the other two actors. (I should warn you that what I’m about to discuss involves some major spoilers.) I actually read the original script shortly after watching the play and found that there was a lot that suggested Ernest was brainwashing her, however this was not made clear in this version of the play, and by the end it, is clear she is just like Ernest. Unfortunately, the audience has to believe she’s as sweet as she appears for much of the play, so she isn’t given the opportunity to play with the same layers as Ernest, which ends up hurting her performance overall.

Overall this play is very good. It is certainly not the best play The Guild has put on, but it still very good. The play runs for September 26 to October 12. If you want a fun but disturbing play to get you into the mood for Halloween, with unusual performances from familiar actors and unpredictable twists, than I recommend you see this one.

Little One

So uh… I went to see little one. And when I went I knew what I was in for to an extent. I mean it’s a play about a brother who finds it hard to love his adopted sister because her childhood trauma has made her a possible sociopath. I especially knew that coming from the actual perspective of an older brother this was going to be an emotional play to watch. Despite this from the moment I heard the play described I thought that it was going to be the best play of the second half of the theatre season. i was wrong…it was possibly the best play I’ve seen in any theatre season bar none. I have not been this affected by any play since the first i ever saw studies in motion. One thing that was very well done was there choice of venue. The old fire hall is the smallest theatre in white horse and that gives the play a certain intimacy that it wouldn’t have otherwise. This intimacy was fully taken advantage of. i was completely terrified throughout the play and yet drawn in. it also has its length going for it. The play is only one hour long which is great because it’s just the right amount of time to grab your soul and crush it into a fine powder. it also removes the need for an intermission. an intermission would have ruined the play because it would have given the audience time to recover. Joe Cobden plays the older brother Aaron and he does a fantastic job making his character seem natural and is able to switch between being an adult telling his story and being a child afraid of his sister. Michelle Monteith gives a hauntingly terrifying performance as Clare and will be in my nightmares for a very long time. alriegt I’ve rambled long enough now this play is definitely not for the faint of heart but if you like psychological horror or are just looking for something different this is the play for you. i cannot recommend this play enough. if you can only see one play in the entire year let it be this one. Tickets are available at the Yukon Arts center and the play will go on for two more days.