Modern horror can sometimes feel starved of the down and dirty themes of one Clive Barker.
Hulu’s take on his renowned anthology Books of Blood is an attempt to revive this old property and thrust it into 2020.
What we have is two main stories, one lifted from the source text and another which has been written specifically for this feature.
The first story follows a young girl who runs away from home, as an ability she can’t control starts to drive her nuts. She find solace at a boarding house where she gets more than she bargains for. This story has one great jump scare plus some of Barker’s signature body horror iconography.
Fate is inevitable is an overriding theme of this chapter and feels like a wrap around theme as we advance to the second tale.
This follows Miles, a young boy who dies before his 8th birthday, but his mother gets a visit from a seer claiming to have heard from her son beyond the grave. Miles’ story will feel more familiar to fans of the source text plus the previous adaptation of Books of Blood from 2009.
Barker’s story also plays the theme of be careful what you wish for as you may not be able to control it. While there is a sense of inevitably to this tale it is the visceral nature which makes it compelling.
As an anthology these stories feel slightly at odds which each other and maybe could have worked with either slightly more exposition or having a shorter tale inbetween to bridge them together.
While this is an improvement on the 2009 version of Books of Blood it is something I may struggle to revisit in the future.
Books of Blood is available now on Hulu.