"There is no delight the equal of dread." - Clive Barker

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"What...er...waht is the beast?"

"It's the subject of any worthwhile philosophy, Stephen.  It's the things we fear, because we don't understand them.  It's the dark behind the door."

I must admit that I was excited to read this piece based on the title...talk about juding a book by its cover!  But nonetheless, I was very pleased with it; it was just the pick up that I needed from my lazy days on the beach this week :)  A turn from the sun, and a plunge into darkness.

I didn't expect this story to take the turn that it did in the beginning, but I think that Barker did a great job at his climax scene and at his turning point.  He didn't fall into a trap with a cliche ending, and the story had a easy introduction, and then picked up its pace accordingly throughout the piece.   I had a good feeling that Quaid was up to something the moment that he brought up the photographs, but I had no idea that it was going to be taken to the extent that it was.  In a way, this story kind of reminded me of SAW:  there was the mastermind behind the plot, he did it as an experiment in order to prove a point and/or make them face their fears, and if they survived their test...he let them go.  Now if I wasn't a SAW fan, I might not enjoy this, but lucky for Barker and Jigsaw, they got stuck with the right girl.

Out of the whole story, the part that I connected to the most was when Quaid locked Cheryl in the room with only a piece of meat.  I thought that the imagery was superb and I admire that he was able to take a scene like this and turn it as vulgar as he did.  I would never even think of this idea in regards to a horror scene and frankly, I was just really impressed with the idea and how it continued to grow through the pictures that he described.  Very clever...Barker earned my respect on that one.

Favorite line: "Sure.  If the meat revolted when it was fresh, what about her disgust at rotted meat?  That's the crux of her dilemma, isn't it?  The longer she waits to eat, the more disgusted she becomes with what she's been given to feed on.  She's trapped wtih her own horror of meat on one hand, and her dread of dying on the other.  Which is going to give first?"

 (( insert Jigsaw voice, scary music and tape recorder here, haha)

Now... who wants to play a game?



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