When you start playing an indie horror game that puts you into a haunted, decaying Victorian-style mansion – you wouldn’t say that after more than 30 hours you are still trying to get all the elements of the game and finish the puzzles you are offered to complete.
But if you try to play a game with as little help from walkthroughs as possible – you will discover that you start memorizing paths and corridors and where each room is situated. For me – this game started completely fascinating – but soon I realized the dark tones of the construction in the game – along with the constant attacks from demons – lead you to hours and hours of trying to unlock all the secrets.
The Dark Occult – initially named The Conjuring House – is a first-person psychological horror game – developed by Rym Games.
You enter this abandoned mansion only to discover that once you’ve entered it – the door behind you becomes a brick wall and that you have to survive the night. First of all, you encounter locked doors – bearing the signs of the Zodiac. You have to unlock boxes and wardrobes – you have to collect artifacts in order to eliminate the dark forces that materialized in this place. You have to survive the attacks of the demons that come after you.
Soon this survival transforms into a rushed exploration of each corner, room, corridor and dungeon.
There is a variety of elements that put together the plot. In order to destroy the evil force inside the mansion – you have to collect 5 sacred artifacts and burn them – to destroy the spells and the demons. Little by little by reading notes and letters you discover that the owners – especially the wife of the mansion’s owner – was involved in a cult that sacrificed people and brought doom into our dimension.
Getting all the necessary items becomes impossible at some point. In order to get to a key of a specific artifact – you have to complete other puzzles. For example for getting the code to a safe you have to conjure up a spirit. Therefore you need voodoo dolls, an Ouija pointer and so on.
You have to explore and re-explore certain areas because you don’t always find the right specific items in the order you desire. One elements lead to another and the mansion because a dark maze in which you are trapped.
Demonic dolls start attacking you, the floors and door creak in a sinister tongue, and the demons are always behind you – when you least expect it.
As I was saying – I played the game over a few days now – I spend even 9 hours one day in order to see what comes next – I currently have more than 31 hours of gameplay and I still haven’t found all the relics – found only two artifacts and almost all the keys except 3 or 4. I discovered most parts of the attic, second floor, first floor and the basement dungeons. At some points I became trapped and I got killed several times – but with persistence I managed to move on from these locations only to discover that I have no idea what to do next.
As a guide I would suggest exploring and re-exploring the areas – saving as often as possible.
The shades and the dark areas only lit by a fireplace, the haulings of the banshees, the silence of abandonment, the surroundings, the music behind the brutal attacks and the sounds of rats which are everywhere make this game to have a unique atmosphere. I recommend it of you need a long exploring and tensionate game – and you have the patience for it.
The heart stopped beating,
The corpse is filled
With maggots eating out the flesh…
And the desire of the wicked
Lets me to taste your blood – it’s fresh.
A shiny blade into the darkness,
So easily conformed and cold…
Unnecessary people dying,
A scream while cutting off their throat.
A ritual, an incantation,
A spell to call the demons forth –
From depths of Hell into our word –
Pagans recite sinister songs.
They dance blindfolded,
Dance in darkness…
Naked, wild, in agony.
Blood showers, flames of pleasure…
They kill, they bring your nullity.
They crack the skull, they rip the skin,
They mutilate and desecrate,
They cut the victim into pieces
Leaving them at the Hell’s gate.
They bear no names, they bear no soul.
They’re empty shelves – vessels of cold –
And while you die in misery
They stay the same, they don’t get old.
Welcome to Romania. Beauty resembling the Dark Ages, superstition, tradition, ancient abbeys, untouched lands, religion. As a local I can say we still have parts of the country where you can find these things.
Where the stories of the never ending battle between good and evil are still told at night, around the fire and old books are kept on dusty shelves, bearing ancient knowledge. Old rituals of cleansing bad spirits and a vast set of ceremonies of inducing good into our lives. There are distant villages in which people – old most of them live their lives peacefully – far from the noisy, polluted and mentally-ill big cities.
Yet we have a history written with blood, with legends of vampires and ghouls haunting dark catacombs beneath ruined castles, with places bearing the sign of the paranormal and with shadows that devour your peace and feed on fears.
Just like in the latest installment from the Conjuring Universe – we bear both good and bad adequacies. In a rural part of Romania, a dark shadow is cast upon one particular abbey. The nuns here are terrorized by an invisible shadow and apparently it drives them to lose their sanity and act accordingly. After one of the nuns hangs herself – Vatican sends father Burke along with a yet-to-become nun – Sister Irene (Violet from American Horror Story) to investigate the situation and to make sure the abbey’s land is still holy. Sister Irene is chosen because she had visions with strong links to religious messages from Mother Mary.
The scenes are depicted in a medieval, dark Gothic fashion. The abbey – like an old forgotten tower of witchcraft opens its secrets one by one. It is surrounded by a graveyard in which we are not told whom reside – but the crosses around are meant to keep inside whatever evil was spawned there.
Father Burke encounters the darkness here in the form of an old regret – the death of a young boy whom he exorcised. Sister Irene has a personal date with the evil Nun – a dark spirit taking the form of a religious woman – walking down the dark dungeons restlessly and in seek of anguish and hostility.
I am letting out important parts of the plot and other details in case you really want to see the film. So I am describing the atmosphere of the movie – which bears an autumnal shadowy nuance. The editing was really good – the jump-scares effective – I even got scared once because I was really absorbed into the story. The soundtrack was also good.
The dialogues appeared vague at some point but they didn’t used foul language except once. The director already announced that a sequel is in plan and also another installment in the Conjuring Universe will offer more information about the evil Valak – in the form of the Nun.
Because of protests at the opening of the National Infection Research Institute – research and development were postponed for many years. Therefore it might be necessary for the sample to be transferred to America in order to be studied because the facility lacks the means of doing it properly.
One interesting thing I’ve observed in this chapter is that the artist quite put hard work into creating the visual elements of the research center. There is one page in the chapter that beautifully describes how the rooms inside the institute were designed and modeled. This also applies when an outdoor landscape is presented.
To exactly pinpoint the source or the origin of the newly discovered virus – which doesn’t resemble anything encountered before, a special antibody test process is used. The procedure is called Eliza – in which a certain reaction to a virus should tell the position of the virus in the taxonomic system.
Antibody, also called immunoglobulin, a protective protein produced by the immune system in response to the presence of a foreign substance, called an antigen. Antibodies recognize and latch onto antigens in order to remove them from the body. A wide range of substances are regarded by the body as antigens, including disease-causing organisms and toxic materials such as insect venom.
Antibodies are grouped into five classes according to their constant region. Each class is designated by a letter attached to an abbreviation of the word immunoglobulin: IgG, IgM, IgA, IgD, and IgE. The classes of antibody differ not only in their constant region but also in activity. For example, IgG, the most common antibody, is present mostly in the blood and tissue fluids, while IgA is found in the mucous membranes lining the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.
Meanwhile – the infected persons still continue to spread the virus and people at the clinic where the sample was takes are starting to avoid those involved in working with the infected blood.
A note of tension rises here again. Imagine yourself in a real life situation like this – the thought of contracting something awful and the fear of others that you might provoke them something too – everyone looking at you in fear, pity or disgust and then moving away when you approach them. Dr. Onotera begins to be avoided by the other patients and even by the staff. Since he doesn’t show any sign of infection while other who also had contact with the virus are already bedridden – this might dictate that he is out of danger – but this can’t be sure – not even momentarily.
Onotera goes to Sekiguchi’s place hoping that another reasonable discussion will calm him down but in the middle of the discussion – the phone starts to ring. They both know it – the answer is on the other side of the line. And it’s not what they expected…
There are a few Japanese horror movies that quite caught my attention over the years and I can state here the Ring, Chakushi Ari and the Ju-On franchises. All of them concentrate of elements of an atmospheric horror genre combined with graphically unnerving scenes for a better effect on the public.
And today I will discuss the first two short movies that helped Ju-On gain popularity and spawned other theatrical releases, video-games, collectibles and other merchandise.
These are Katasumi and 4444444444.
The first two films in the series were so-called V-Cinema, or direct-to-video releases, but became surprise hits as the result of favorable word of mouth. Both films were shot in nine days and feature a story that is a variation on the classic haunted house theme, as well as a popular Japanese horror trope, the “vengeful ghost” (onryō). The titular curse, ju-on, is one which takes on a life of its own and seeks new victims. Anyone who encounters a ghost killed by the curse is killed themselves and the curse is able to be spread to other areas.
Under very tight budgetary constraints, Takashi Shimizu’s films garnered much acclaim from both critics and genre fans for their effective use of limited locations and eerie atmosphere to generate chills.
On a day off – in the back of a schoolyard – two schoolgirls are feeding rabbits. They are presented as Kanna and Hisayo. Stereotypical, standard situation in which one of them is involved in the tasks and the other one brags about this responsibility. At a certain point – Kanna cuts one of her fingers and Hisayo is going to get a bandage. At her return she discovers that the rabbits are dead and the cages torn apart- and her classmate is nowhere to be found.
After this scene we firstly assist to the appearance of Kayako – depicted as a female crawling ghost – making absurd sounds that inspire terror.
Apparently Kayako brought Kanna’s demise and since the movie ends with the villain approaching Hisayo – the end of it is left open to interpretations.
Probably even scarier than the first movie – 4444444444 – bring unto the screen the ghost of Kayako’s son – Toshio. A young man happens to find a ringing phone near what seems to be an abandoned building. The number calling is displayed as 10 fours – 4 having bad connotations in some of the Asian cultures. After picking up – he only hears some strange sounds resembling a cat’s cry. Soon after that – he asks if the unknown caller has access to a point in which he can see him. An answer comes.. along with the appearance of Toshio.
So the first two short movies set access to a longer and more elaborate story – and the director, in an interview said that the film that came after these two shorts was based on several short scripts as well. Currently there are 14 films released and the 15th is in production – expected to be released in 2019. I plan to watch them all, some of them re-watch and structure them into another posts.