Friday, January 27, 2012

What Lurks in the Longbox? #18

The Theatre #4
Writer: Raven Gregory
Artists: Robert Gill, Novo Malgapo, Michael Garcia 
$3.99, color, 29 pgs.
Zenescope Entertainment

Zenescope's The Theatre mini-series continues with an issue that gives plenty of food for thought, especially for those readers that are parents and/or guardians. 

As mentioned on the publisher's website, the series focuses on an old fashioned movie theater that releases horror on the victims that visit the theatre to watch horror movies themselves. 

"...This unassuming theater holds a deep dark secret, one that threatens the lives of anyone who dares enter it. And when an unsuspecting couple decides to visit the old movie house to watch some horror films, they soon will find that something full of horror is also watching them."

During each issue, the sadistic theatre owner "entertains" his victims by presenting a different horror tale.  In this issue, two best friends that live across the street from each other make a fateful decision for the sake of their families' safety, but one of the friends quickly realizes he may have made the worst mistake of his life. 

It also begs the question for all of us:  Could you commit a horrible crime if you felt it was necessary to protect your family?  Moreover, how long could you continue to justify commiting such an act if the guilt was driving you insane?  Secrets can be kept from those we love for decades, but you can never hide those secrets from yourself.

Things get worse between the two friends when one of them inevitably begins to crack under the guilt of what they have done.  The other man decides that his friend has become a weak link in their plan and needs to be dealt with permanently.  Unfortunately for him, things don't always go as planned.

The writing and art on this series is excellent, and besides being a horror story, it's also a great character study on how one person can influence another into doing a horrific act that they would have never committed on their own.  Episodes of the popular television series Criminal Minds often examine the concept of the "alpha," or the dominant member of a team of criminals, and this issue of The Theatre takes a close look at that type of relationship, while never losing the story's momentum. 

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