The moment a dismembered head starts talking to me about a haunted hotel, I start to question if he is making the whole thing up, talking dismembered heads can’t be trusted…especially if that dismembered head is played by Christopher Walken, he is way too smooth of a guy to be trusted. Anyway, as October is here, we are taking a look at a new book by Writers Darrell E. Smith and Shawn P. Smith, with artist Michael Aryn, here is: Twilight Hotel.
Twilight Hotel tells the story of a living breathing hotel according to our narrator, the decapitated head of the caretaker…of course. The first issue gives us the backstory as for how the hotel is a “she” and was created thanks to a satanic cult because every satanic cult wants to open up a Motel 8…which is like a satanic ritual in itself but I digress.
A horror story like no other, Twilight Hotel is a book that fans of horror comics should read. The creepy atmosphere of the satanic ritual story, paired with the self-aware narrating head makes a wonderful horror comedy, in fact just knowing that a talking head is telling such a serious story makes it way more hilarious than it needs to be. However, the only thing I’ll say is that the first few pages can turn readers off as the horror doesn’t start until 7 pages in, I like slow builds and books that hit hard at the end, while it satisfies me, other readers might feel bored. I do recommend chugging through as the pay off is worth it, side note, you don’t have to continue reminding us you’re a talking head, we get it..still funny none the less.
I have absolutely nothing to say about the artwork as the painted airbrush style fits beautifully in the creepy Twilight Hotel world, the transitions from the past to the present are easy to follow, the shifting from color to black and white in order to establish time works and almost feels organic. The entire books art is alive with each turn of the page, sure most of them are bloody, but they don’t overdo it to allow the reader to enjoy what they are looking at and keeps them interested in continuing to read. I guess if I could nitpick on the art, the faces look distorted and sometimes lopsided, that could make some readers groan, but it works wonderfully for this book.
In conclusion the book itself might not be for newer horror readers unless you are into the slow burn books, while the ending packs a punch and gets interesting closer to the end, I was left satisfied and would recommend this book to people who are familiar with horror and looking to experiment with newer horror material, and even if you don’t like slow burn books, the artwork itself should be something that will draw you in and make you continue reading, but then again as I said the distorted faces could turn a reader off, but it works fantastically. So…yeah it gets an 8.5 from me.