Infidel is one of the scariest and most realistic horror stories I’ve read in some time. It’s a haunted house story told like no other in that it ties itself into the real world horror of prejudice and bigotry. Adding to this compelling narrative is a message about faith and hope that Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell capture very well.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The critically acclaimed horror hit of the year concludes with a spectacular and truly shocking extra-sized finale. Secrets behind the haunting are finally revealed, even as the horrific murders continue. In the midst of chaos, who will survive? And at what cost?
Why does this matter?
This is the finale to the super scary, visually stimulating, and soon-to-be motion picture horror series. We also get to find out who lives, who dies, and whether or not the demons that live in the apartment building will ever be vanquished.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with a flashback revealing the prejudice of the neighbors in the apartment building. Pichetshote probes the ignorance of the characters and does a great job of revealing how their fears, doubts, and misconceptions all factor into the rising anger and frustrations. This series has been very good at mixing in real-world horror with positively frightening imagery, making sure readers are aware horrors may be supernatural, but they also live inside of us all. This flashback does a good job fleshing out the first “terrorist attack” that has been lingering since issue #1.
Much of the rest of the issue is focused on the conflict between Medina and Tom, picking up where the cliffhanger left us. Tom is sure Medina has been behind all the murders and attacks, resulting in a horrific battle exacerbated by the demons. As the story twists and turns, and bruises and beatings take place, you’ll root for the good guys to prevail.
The pace of this issue is stellar too. The opening is a slow boil of hate and frustration, leading to a big blow up. It then slows things down again with violence and another moment of intensity. Again, it starts with a calm which then builds up to another horrific moment. It’s quite a rollercoaster and it’s unique in how it accomplishes this.
The art continues to be excellent as well. Campbell opens the issue with a sketchy sort of look that’s not common in the series up until this moment, helping convey that the scene is a flashback. The demons and ghosts continue to be horrific, with a great use of eye-catching color by Jose Villarrubia. Later, Aisha’s friend is depicted via a drawing as she was in a previous issue and it has a slight blurriness to it that conveys a sense of weirdness and supernatural flair. This helps make the realistic looking art feel special and extraordinary.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I was a bit taken aback by how Aisha becomes a supporting character in this finale. I’m still processing that, but it doesn’t quite seem right given how much focus was given to her personal struggle. She does become the focus in the later pages, but Medina’s place as the main character seems a bit unearned and a surprise.
Is it good?
A satisfying conclusion that mixes in supernatural horror with the horrors of common daily bigotry. There’s a lesson in this story that raises the value of the horrors within that should not be missed.