Written by Jonathan Wojcik
Nightmare Beings VII
A jellyfish-like lake monster made of mud and roots is an idea that makes a lot of sense. We already have that trope of the humanoid "swamp creature" made of muck and plant life; why shouldn't it take aquatic animal forms instead? The only thing that doesn't make sense is the single giant, muscly arm, but that's exactly what propels a merely cool concept into an unforgettable one. I'll be thinking for a long, long time to come about this giant, flexing arm stealing one little camera just to be a dick.
THE BOBOBOBASP FISH
Yet another nightmare being which makes a goofy, repetitive noise. Baby-like babble just hits us on a primal level, I guess, but outside The Babadook we don't see it utilized a whole lot in horror, do we?
Anyway, these three-eyed air-hunting sharks are an interesting creature, made more interesting by their cry. I also like how many dreams will present a creature nobody "in canon" seems that surprised by. The invasion of the bobobobasps is just another news story here, rather than the global monster panic it ought to be. It's like some monsters just kind of write themselves into our continuity and only some people notice they're new.
Aesthetically, there isn't a whole lot to say about a cacodemon with legs, but I love both the pokemon association and the Strong Sad association here. I hope it not only constantly says its name, but says it sorrowfully.
THE "PALM TREE"
Another of those creatures all the more horrible for its silly aspects, like its single giant foot or, you know, the fact that it takes a shape like a palm tree at all. The crunching-sucking sounds aren't too pleasant either, and the whole dream takes a fundamental childhood fear and frustration to a horrible, horrible extreme.
I'm sure everybody can remember many points in their early years where they were desperate to be heard or acknowledged by older people. We didn't often catch on that they were deliberately tuning us out, or that they did so because we would basically cry wolf most of the time by having nothing to say that mattered to them, but it always mattered to us.
I think this is one of my new favorites, both in terms of creature design and story progression. The events of the dream almost, sort of, make a certain form of sense, if you assume that these warped, gothic stick puppets or whatever created them is also making people and even physics around the canyon act illogically.
I think that final line is what really makes it, though...that these things think, but don't want to. Is that why they kill people? What a disturbing, cryptic note to end on.
MORE HALLOWEEN FEATURES: