Creepy diversity is a good thing...a review of the July 2014 issue of Under the Bed magazine.
by Thomas Scopel
For the second time, Staying Scared has had the honor of reviewing Under the Bed magazine and can honestly say that the publication has only gotten better.
Certain to grab you from the get go, the cover, by artist Jeremy Hochhalter, features a demented snarling clown climbing out, from where else, but Under the Bed. A terrified woman, armed with a pillow, stands ready to fight and it's quite obvious that she's going to need more than a pillow for this battle. Coincidentally, an interview with the cover artist is also included in the issue.
Speaking of artwork, House of Skulls by Arthur Piper, perfectly opens the issue and initially appears to be a creepy excursion or exploration surrounding a viewed painting hanging in the Leopold Museum, much like Rod Serling had done during the opening tales of Night Gallery. And basically it is, however, this journey to the truth is far more horrific than anything depicted on the famed show and as the tale moves forward, don't be surprised by your pondering.
Patrick Brennan's review of Christopher Golden's novel Snowblind is detailed, thoughtful, well written and spot on and the same applies for Managing Editor Wednesday Lee Friday's review of Ryan Lieske's film Abed, a rather disturbing independent zombie film spurned from the Elizabeth Massie short tale of the same name, where she is kind enough to limit the spoilers to an additional and clearly marked paragraph. According to the outstanding review, this dark and disturbing film is not for children and Staying Scared has the distinct impression it ranks up there somewhere alongside A Serbian Film, having scenes some may wish they had never seen, which may very well entice many horror fans to seek the film out.
Joel Couture's Being Dead Ain't Easy is completely enticing and an intense review of the Murdered: A Soul Suspect game. While Gena Radcliffe has you covered with her Journey into the Netflix Instant Queue column and a fantastic review of the 1986 film Gothic.
The gem of the issue in grotesqueness alone is by far Paul Stansfield's Unholy Spirit, a tale of a sociopathic woman and her maniacal quest kidnapping, mutilating and torturing victims. But, the tale doesn't end there and has a macabre, unsettling twist that would make even the film Hostel pale by comparison. After surgically scarring the victims beyond repair, ala Metallica's One video, the victims, having only feeling being the last remaining sense, are meticulously kept alive for years, in order for her to continue the demented work.
In literary terms, Morgan Knight's Love, Ann is a superbly written, complete and whole ghastly tale told through a series of correspondence letters.
Also included in the issue is the second installment of Rex Crossley's ongoing Where were you when the world changed? series and this time the question of What the Hell Happened to Warren? is posed.
For those automatically assuming that the inside pages of Volume 2, issue 10 incorporates clowns, I am sorry to tell you that this is not the case. However, I am not sorry to say that by no means should you allow that minute fact to persuade or sway your opinion on whether or not to explore further. For, if you do, you will certainly miss out on one of the best up and coming horror magazines.
While I personally haven't read each and every issue, I do wish I had and will most likely change this in the very near future. Incidentally, yours truly had the honor of reviewing the very first issue of Under the Bed and that review can be found in the back pages here at Staying Scared.
Nonetheless, with 70 pages loaded with creepy diversity, the July 2014 issue of Under the Bed will surely not disappoint. However, be forewarned though, after that first page turns, both horror fans and horror fiction lovers alike will probably find themselves having a hard time putting the magazine down and this ghoul read it from cover to cover....twice.