Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.
These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.
Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there…
“It came from the woods. Most strange things do.”
Before I get ahead of myself I’ll let you know that “Through the Woods” is a graphic novel composed of five short, creeptastic stories. And when I tell you not to read this book while it’s dark out, best to listen. I thought “There’s no way a couple of short stories can be that creepy”, boy was I wrong.
All five of these short stories contain “quiet horror”, they aren’t “jumpy horror”. These are the kinds of stories that leave much up to your own imagination, conjuring up what you fear yourself. The endings are all very open, leaving you to determine and imagine what you think happened making it all the more scarier. Then your mind starts thinking up what you’d be afraid to have happen to yourself, I know that’s what my mind ended up doing. “Through the Woods” is very suspenseful and immensely creepy.
I will also say that there isn’t any graphic horror or violence, no blood or guts here!
I actually really enjoyed the open endings as well, which normally I wouldn’t because I like things explained and I like having all of the information. The open endings in this case, however, really fit with the horror element well.
The art work! Oh my gosh the art work for “Through the Woods” is absolutely gorgeous, by far one of my favorites now. The illustrations blended very well with each of the stories, I could gush about them all day.
Now I’ll briefly review each of the short stories!
Our Neighbor’s House – 3.5/5
Three girls left alone in a house in the woods and a mysterious “man” wandering about.
Probably one of the most open-ended and least scary of the stories, it’s also one of the shortest. Although I really enjoyed the ending for this one and not much else, it leaves the definition of man and monster up for interpretation.
A Lady’s Hands Are Cold – 4/5
A newly wedded woman that hears a strange song in her new home at night….
This one really ups the creep factor for the book as a whole, there’s some pretty eerie illustrations to match it as well. There’s a hauntingly beautiful song that got stuck in my head….which creeped me out and there’s quite the plot twist at the end!
His Face All Red – 3/5
A tale of two brothers venturing into the forest in search of a “monster”…
This story focuses more on human monsters, which is a very different kind of creepy than expected. What I enjoyed the most was the ending and how who the real monster and what its nature is, is left for us to determine.
My Friend Janna – 5/5
Two friends who play at seeing ghosts, but things change when one can actually see them….
My favorite story personally, because the illustrations were by far the creepiest in the whole book. The “monster” is of supernatural origin which to me makes this story the scariest.
The Nesting Place – 3/5
A girl goes to live with her brother and his fiance, and ends up seeing some very strange things indeed….
This story is a little harder for me to summarize than the others because it was one of the weirdest and most”meh”. Really the only creepy part was the illustrations, the story itself wasn’t all that scary or interesting and also made less sense.
The only reason I’m not giving this a full 5 rating is because I’m not a huge fan of very short stories and open endings, these were very well done in this case but it’s still pretty hard for me to look past. Definitely a creepy book that lives up to my horror expectations though!
Most definitely, I’d recommend this to any one who loves beautifully illustrated graphic novels as well as horror stories!