The Red Book

Alt title: Ppalgan Chaek

Ch: 24
3.2 out of 5 from 149 votes
Rank #27,933
The Red Book

The more you think about it, the scarier it gets. This is about things that are everywhere and nowhere.

Source: Webtoon

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The artwork is very bad. It uses computer-generated, pasted backgrounds. Some of the color choices clash and look bad. The human characters are generic (which I guess is fine, since they're supposed to be everyday people), but they are also drawn simplistically and at times misproportioned. I noticed some instances of images literally being copied and pasted between panels with only minor adjustments. It's lazy artwork that is just trying to rely on the creepy, ghost-y stuff to get reactions from readers. I also didn't care for the way the emotions were drawn. The ghost people often have long hair, large bloodshot eyes, and elongated limbs or body parts. There are bodily contortions and some inhuman movements and ugliness, to help add to the creep factor. Each installment is super short and portrays a moment right before (presumably) a person is slaughtered by a ghost. I think the basic idea behind this type of horror is sorta akin to jump-scares, though only a portion of the stories involve abrupt surprises (while the others ease into the visually impactful moments a bit more). Each installment climaxes into a creepy, out-of-place image that is meant to inspire dread (or at least discomfort) in the reader. Several of them involve us seeing something which the focal character does not see (or seeing it before the characters). This can sometimes result in slightly funny moments of irony (albeit, with dark humor), though it generally just evokes a sense of unease at the impending doom of the focal character. Some of the installments include a twist, where things will be different than we first assume. A lot of scenes involve walking at night, texting, apartment complexes, being followed, seeing things others can't, doubting what was seen peripherally. There's no violence or gore shown. Just the implication that such things could (and perhaps will) occur. And in that sense, I can appreciate what this series is doing. It's not indulging in the cheap and easier entertainment value of blood and guts and is instead trying to distill the creeping sensation just before a slaughter. The mounting unease. Personally, I got tired of the repetition and lack of narrative substance. It's just trying to evoke a feeling. Again and again and again. Trying to evoke the same feeling, using the same methods. Yes, there are a few installments which switch things up or include some twists--and that did help keep things a bit fresher--but it was still largely monotonous.

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