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The Strange Things Boutique




ed. Naila Scargill

Exquisite TerrorRumours of the death of the print magazine continue to spread, but there seems to have been a revival in the fortunes of the horror film press in the last few years, with several publications launching. Admittedly, most have been pretty disappointing – too much sloppy writing, bad design and misplaced self-congratulation all round, I fear. But Exquisite Terror is something rather different.

This A5 magazine feels very much like a throwback to the fanzines of the 1970s – which is no bad thing. Those labours of love provided a welcome antidote to cynically produced mainstream ‘monster magazines’ of the time, with in-depth, serious articles and few concessions to commercial aesthetics, and that is very much the case here. Like those earlier mags, ET is happy to use original artwork in lieu of illustrations – though perhaps here it is a deliberate creative choice rather than a lack of access to movie stills that could be reproduced by low-cost printing methods – and the magazine utilises plenty of white space, refusing to allow it’s small format to become cluttered. Occasionally, it goes a little too far – there are some completely blank pages – but in a world where magazine pages seem determined to fill every single millimetre, it’s oddly refreshing, and at times, it reminds me a little of the very early editions of Cinefantastique.

As for the actual content – it’s an eclectic mix. Issue 1 has features on Donald Sutherland’s 1970s work, The Exorcist, Cold Fish and Julia’s Eyes, while issue 2 is less film centred, covering the darker side of fairy tales, the Mexican Day of the Dead and Clive Barker. Carefully compiled by editor Naila Scargill, each issue therefore seems to have its own distinct identity.

Not for everyone, certainly – if you crave articles on the latest Hollywood horrors, this won’t be your bag at all. But genre fans looking for interesting, sometimes provocative features on the fringe elements of the genre will find much to enjoy here.








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