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‘The Darkness: Close Your Eyes’ is a grim and gritty descent into the mind of a murderer

‘The Darkness: Close Your Eyes’ is a grim and gritty descent into the mind of a murderer

The Darkness: Close Your Eyesdarkness_one_shot


Written by Ales Kot
Art by Marek Oleksicki
Published by Image Comics

The Darkness: Close Your Eyes is a grim and gritty descent into the mind of a murderer

Psychologists and police profilers have been delving into the minds of murderers for years in an attempt to come up with a reason why people kill. Sometimes it’s simple. A woman comes home early from work and finds her husband in bed with her best friend, becomes enraged, and kills them both. Crimes of passion are relatively straight forward. The reasons for murder expressed in The Darkness: Close Your Eyes one-shot are not so simple. For example, the protagonist, while contemplating murder, has no desire to kill.
the-darkness-close-your-eyes-motherWithin the first few pages of the book, Adelmo Estacado, the protagonist, is shown contemplating his impending twenty-first birthday and the fact that he may not live long enough to see that age. He lives with his mother, a woman who is in a vegetative state, and her boyfriend, the man who beat her hard enough to turn her into a vegetable. The revelation that Adelmo’s real father was a rapist who carved his name into his mother’s chest while he raped her then died while still inside of her makes his current state of affairs all the more troubling. This guy has some major problems and none of them seem to be his fault. Adelmo works on oil rigs where he makes just enough money to support his family. He also happens to be in love with the boss’s daughter, Emma Cayce. Emma loves Adelmo and they plan to get married as soon as they can, but they still need to talk to her father about it. With Adelmo’s miserable past in mind, one gets the impression this will not go well. Later, while Adelmo is sleeping, he dreams that he is being picked on by a boy. He calls his mother a whore and makes fun of him for being the bastard son of a rapist. In his dream, Adelmo smashes the boy’s face in with a rock and revels in the sights and sounds of murder before waking up in a panic. From there, the story plunges deeper into the darkness that is within Adelmo.

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Ales Kot has written one hell of a disturbing script in The Darkness: Close Your Eyes. From the very first page of the book, the reader is meant to feel uneasy being in Adelmo’s head, as the story is told through him. Kot skillfully weaves this uneasiness throughout the comic, slowly building the kind of tension that can only lead to impending doom for every character in the book.

Marek Oleksicki’s artwork further enhances the foundation of dread and unease set up by the script. While this comic is in full color, Oleksicki and colorist Sloane Leong deftly make use of browns, greys, and blacks that drive home that feeling of gloom and anxiety. All of the panels soaked by gore and blood are expertly rendered and are easily on par with the fabulously gory artwork done by Mike Henderson in the Nailbiter series.

The Darkness: Close Your Eyes is disturbing. It is gory. A read through of this comic book will leave you feeling uncomfortable, as if you can feel the darkness that Adelmo exudes. Like a viewing of the film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, scenes from The Darkness: Close Your Eyes will linger in your mind long after you finish the book. Fans of psychological horror, serial killers, and gore will love this book.

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