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Nightmare Fuel / ALiCE

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  • Starts right off with a heavy dose of Adult Fear. There is no food or medical supplies for children who desperately need them, your only option is to risk your own life to get those supplies, and you’re the only one who apparently can. You end up essentially stranded in an area with no way to call for help and with no hope of rescue, so those kids are going to be hungry and have no access to medicine for a while, and they’re already thin and in ill health so they might not all survive it.
  • The art style in the book is very cutesy, and a decision was made early on by the author and illustrator that the characters in the illustrations would always be smiling to crank up the dissonance between the illustrations and narrative and make it especially creepy. IT WORKED.
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    • Particularly the illustration for chapter four; up until this point we’ve had street signs, Christopher in a corner hugging himself, and Christopher touching hands with his albeit a little creepy reflection. And then chapter four’s illustration has MICKEY LYING IN A MASSIVE PUDDLE OF BLOOD WITH THE WORDS ‘WHY DIDN’T YOU HELP ME CHRISTOPHER ROBINSON?’ WRITTEN IN BLOOD THAT TAKES UP MOST OF THE ILLUSTRATION. JESUS.
    • And after this you can see dark circles under Christopher’s eyes that get more and more prominent with each passing illustration.
    • Michael’s Eye Scream in the last illustration and the fact that at certain angles he’s looking at you.
  • There’s a lot of Eye Scream in general, with that illustration, Matthew and Morgan’s eyes, Cheshire’s eye, and the eyes that frequently appear as a motif and symbolism for constantly being watched and/or having a stalker.
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  • The fear of having a stalker/being watched without knowing about it gets more strongly represented in chapters three and five.
  • Chapter Five in particular is pretty unsettling, especially the notes in the school hallway and Stanley.
  • And then at the end of chapter five Christopher gets hit with ANOTHER Adult Fear moment when Mickey vanishes again.
  • And immediately after that, sexual assault, portrayed somewhat realistically in that it’s perpetrated by someone Christopher thinks he can trust both times
  • People with severe arachnophobia and/or coulrophobia aren’t going to like the Jabberwock.
  • Solitary confinement fucks people up. It’s enough to drive Christopher to suicide. Keep in mind that he doesn’t just think about it, he actually starts to cut himself. He was really going to kill himself. We still don’t know how long he was in there.
  • Christopher’s Nightmare Sequence after he leaves the hospital has some rather unsettling imagery.
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    • Specifics: Christopher has a guilt-ridden dream about how he didn’t get Mickey out of the hospital in the previous chapter and sees the image from the chapter four illustration, described above. The corpse then gets up and Christopher can’t even fight, he just holds it even as it starts to eat him while crying “I’m sorry” over and over.
  • The notes in the second floor of the hospital definitely qualify.

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