Advance Review: Welcome To A Sanctuary For Slashers In `Where Monsters Lie’ #1

by Tom Smithyman


Fans of classic slasher films will find a lot to love in the first issue of this limited series. The normally quiet life of slashers between killing sprees is about to get disrupted. Some strong writing helps to set this quirky story apart from other horror books on the rack.


A new series from Dark Horse Comics answers those age-old questions of what Michael Myers does between Halloweens and where Jason Voorhees spends his time between Fridays the 13th.

Where Monsters Lie introduces the readers to the quaint community of Wilmhurst. It’s a small enclave of about a dozen houses. But its residents are not the most welcoming. In fact, they are a who’s who of maniacal killers pulled from every slasher movie this side of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Saw. There’s the shirtless tattooed guy with a Teddy bear. The cannibal hillbillies. And, of course, a clown. You get it.

This rogue’s gallery from hell spends their time in Wilmhurst when they aren’t terrorizing teenagers. But they aren’t permitted to kill in the village or draw attention to their temporary home. That pact becomes unraveled when Professor Puzzleman – think a cross between the Riddler and Jigsaw – ends up killing a few unlucky kids. One escapes and manages to tell his story to the authorities.

Writer Kyle Starks has created an imaginative world by answering questions most horror fans don’t spend much time thinking about. While the characters he’s created clearly owe their inspiration to classic slasher killers – good artists borrow, great artists steal – they each have their own distinct personalities. For example, their leader, the elderly Zel, has a great wit. After a meeting in her house to discuss Puzzelman’s missteps, she tells the assembled killers, “There’s Danish and coffee in the foyer. Take it with you so I don’t have to clean up.”

Understandably, artist Piortr Kowalski also takes his visual cues from slasher films. Of particular note, is a Leatherface stand in who hides his identity with a paper bag. There’s gore, of course, but not nearly as much as you might think, as the creative team has wisely chosen to develop its characters before setting them loose on some unsuspecting teens.

It’s a strong start for the killer series, whose creators are clearly not afraid to shake things up. By the end of the first issue, things already take a dramatic turn that will likely disrupt the would-be quiet life in Wilmhurst. Chances are, it won’t end well for someone.

Where Monsters Lie #1 will be available for purchase on February 1, 2023.

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