Where do all these haunted paintings come from? eBay’s full of the devils, but the listings only say they bought it at a car boot sale or found it in the loft of an aunt who died of spooking – they never identify the painter. Maybe Layers of Fear [official site] will be able to answer a few questions. It’s a first-person spooker set inside the spooky house of a painter whose membrane is compromised. Maybe he paints ’em all? We’ll find out, as after a stretch in Early Access Layers of Fear is heading for a full and proper release on February 16th.
The idea of Early Access for a linear horror game is a funny one, as the first–and most striking–experience will be incomplete. But hey, Marsh kinda dug parts of it and did suggest a few changes.
The kooky home and wacky nightmares of the crazy artist is a bit plorpppp, so instead let’s talk a bit about Louis Wain.
An English artist famous for his anthropomorphic cats, Louis Wain was committed to institutions from 1924 until his death in 1939. You might know his work from ‘Kaleidoscope Cats‘, a series of Wain’s drawings arranged by a psychiatrist in progression from tidy cats to psychedelic patterns, mirroring the progression of Wain’s supposed schizophrenia. Except the order in which they were painted is unknown, and Wain continued to produce conventional cats years after he’s supposed to have become lost in abstract patterns. You’ll still see those pictures all over the place, labelled as signs of intensifying illness rather than, say, changes in style. Any artist’s work will change over time, and every artist will experiment; it’d be odd if they didn’t. But hey, that’s what happens when people have weird ideas about art and artists and mental health.
I do like this Current 93 song paying tribute to Wain.
Anywho, here’s a trailer for Layers of Fear:
Even haunted paintings have sequels nowadays, you know.