Archive for July, 2019

Gone Home

About six years late, I finally got around to playing Gone Home.  You hear a lot of bullshit about interactive media and the future of narrative and much of it is indeed bullshit.  I’m a gamer from way back but I’m also very grounded in literary traditions.  Give me a good book or a loud, kickass shooter but don’t cross-pollinate that shit.  However, this beautiful, understated game just blew me away.  The plot doesn’t so much unfold as it coalesces from found bits as you explore an empty house during a storm.  The reveal is slow and layered, wistful and sweet, and the sense of having taken an emotional journey stays with you.   Check it out.

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Makes El Topo look like Lassie Come Home.  Bobby, an American expat kid in Japan, journeys “to the other side of the mountain” with his buddy Akkun and stumbles across a ruined amusement park where missing children are being transformed into grotesque humanoid robots.  Done in an animation style that features hand-pained cutouts and backgrounds and the occasional splash of viscous fluid.  I was the only person in the theater on a lovely Saturday afternoon.  When I stumbled, blinking,  into the sunlight when the movie was over, I was tempted to review my actions to be sure I hadn’t been dosed.  Surreal, grim, insanely inventive, bleakly hilarious in its loving riffs on horror and sf tropes, you should either rush to see this or avoid it like a creepy uncle.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/276157137

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