The intersection between sex and death is a default preoccupation of the horror genre. As umpteen slasher films from the 1980s attest, and the Scream films of the 1990s snarkily profess, if you have sex in a horror movie you’re not long for this world. Chris Gooch’s horror comedy comic Hidden keeps this torch warm.
Hidden, written and illustrated by Gooch, opens with filmmaker Ray Hennesey under interrogation. As recounted in flashback, Hennesey and his cast of three were out on location doing high-stakes evening filming when shadowy, grinning, not-quite-humanoid mono-eyed beings materialised from behind the trees and began slaying Ray’s cast, turning his slasher film production into a literal bloodbath.
While Gooch’s story is a standard issue twisted tale, visually Hidden is a treat. I like Gooch’s scratchy art style, his rendering and creative dispatching of Hennesey’s cast of sorry-looking specimens, and his use of yellow as a complement and contrast, adding a spritzer to his black and white artwork. Moreover, I’ve never been to Gippsland and so am unfamiliar with its topography, but I dug Gooch’s illustrations of trees peppering the landscape, which were evocative of Beetlejuice-era Tim Burton.
A fun but fleeting 46 page read, Hidden is a solid little creeper.
Hidden is available now. Visit Chris’s Tumblr for more information.