A Horror fiction magazine


Mark Gatiss: Dead Scary.

Posted by TomHodden on November 29, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Is this man the scariest person alive? He could very well be. Don't believe me? Allow me to produce some evidence:


1) He is one third of the League of Gentlemen. Not only was the League one of the funniest shows on TV, with the warped characters and strange twisting plots, the "horror" elements were genuinely horrific. The Butcher portrayed in the show by Gatiss, one third of the acting talent and one quarter of the writing team, is a beastly cad who already sells an addictive drug, but to compound the body horror of the nosebleeding it causes, there is the lingering suspicion that it is made of people. The film featured the Kings Evil, a horror film with in a film, that manages a few chills among the laughs. True, his muckers went on to produce the even scarier Psychoville, but Gatiss still has a few tricks left... Oh, and extra kudos for the League reuniting on radio this winter for a genuine haunted house experience.


2) He got the BBC to take his "History of Horror" seriously. And frankly, the very fact he made a three episode documentary series about our favourite  genre shown on the beard scratching BBC Four, deserves a harty round of applause.


3) He made Doctor Who scary again. He achieved it the first time back in the nineties when the only Doctor Who available on a regular basis was the series of tie-in novels. Everybody else was trying to be adult, but Gatiss wrote "Nightshade," and reminded the fanboys that we used to watch the show from behind a sofa. Once the two-hearted Timelord was back on television Gatiss hammered the message home with the first of three episodes he has written so far, the "Unquiet Dead", in which the good Doctor and Charles Dickens face a horde of ghosts. At Christmas. In Wales.


4) He wrote Crooked House. In terms of scares, this is the best horror show to grace television screens in recent years. another product of the Beeb it is three linked plays about the haunted history of one house. I don't want to descrie it too deeply here, as I am imploring you to look it up for yourself and I don't want to give away spoilers. These are very much the small scale, small cast affairs that are essays on building atmosphere over the cheap gore of a slasher film, in the MR James (or indeed Henry James) tradition. As we approach christmas, rekindle the tradition of ghost stories around the fire, and look up Crooked House.

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