Review – The Uninvited (iPad App)

I admit it. I scoffed at the iPad when it was first introduced. I thought it was nothing more than an oversized iPod touch and I was going to be damned if I was going to lay out that kind a money for an oversized iPod. Let’s fast forward to me putting my foot right into my mouth so far that my big toe just gave a thumb’s up to my proctologist. I love my iPad and over the course of the year it has all but practically replaced my laptop. Among the actual “productive” apps I have, I have a slew of horror themed apps and games to satiate my thirst for macabre. Add in a full library of books and even a horror trivia app and the iPad becomes a “love horror, will travel” device for me. The Uninvited is the first horror anthology magazine for the iPad and when the office here at HorrorFix heard about we couldn’t wait to get our little bloodstained hands on it. I have always been a fan of horror anthology books, magazines and comics. Tales from the Crypt, Eerie, Shock Suspense Stories and Heavy Metal comprised the bulk of my high school study hall reading materials (reprints, gents… I’m old, but I’m not fartin dust yet). I’ve always loved the idea of being able to explore a wealth of different worlds and styles all within the same binding. So, I ditched second hour home-ec, fired up my favorite contraband smoke under the bleachers and bathed in the electronic glow of Apple’s little wonder for my first foray into the digital horror anthology arena. I have to give The Uninvited kudos for its look and its attention to aesthetics. The Uninvited is a nice looking app and a very graphic centric app for something intended to be read. It is the look of The Uninvited that effortlessly leads you into its electronic pages and lets you settle comfortably within its binary dust jacket. The stories within The Uninvited are every bit as polished as its exterior, and although you might not recognize some of the names, that doesn’t detract from its quality. The Uninvited brings us five horror stories in this, its first issue, two of which are comic book stories. The comic stories, in fact, might be enough of a drawcard to get The Uninvited its audience, but it is its middle addition, The Most Beautiful Girl, that is truly its standout piece. Anthologies, as much as I enjoy them, often make it difficult to let a store or idea linger. Dealing with short stories or episodic tales, by the time the ball gets rolling, its time for it to come to an abrupt halt, making most anthologies a mixed bag for many. If The Uninvited suffers from anything, it is the format itself. The Most Beautiful Girl feels the most complete of the yarns that the app spins and its author (Mark MacKenzie) probably has the firmest grasp of the short story template. The Devil’s Eggs (the first of the two comic pieces) should also be mentioned in its accomplished illustrative style and Lovecraftian storytelling. With more ups than downs, The Uninvited is a nice addition to the App Store and I’m anxious to see what the next installment brings us.

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Ash Hamilton is not only the owner of, but also one of its major contributors. A long time horror movie enthusiast, Ash has lent his personality to radio and television and continues to support his favorite genre through his writing and art. He also loves beef jerky and puppies... and low-grade street-quality hallucinogens.

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