LEGO isn’t all cheery minifigures and bright colors, sometimes builders conjure up imagery guaranteed to haunt your nightmares. VB‘s latest — The Red Death — is one such creation: a lurking horror surely deserving of its own chapter in the Cthulhu mythos. The overall frame is a wonderfully creepy form, the shape immediately evoking a hooded figure, with skeletal claws offering a deadly embrace. But then the eye is pulled in, we are powerless to resist, and we become aware of the egg clusters and the black tentacle form nestling within the red worms. The puckered purple mouths at the end of the red tubes provide a final, disgusting, glorious highlight to this sinister figure.
Only one thing pops in my mind with a scene like this, a creepy scene that Jigsaw would put one of his victims in. This one looks a little harmless compared to the more complex contraptions that we’ve seen in the sequels, but a reminder of the classic cult film Saw, that took the world by surprise with a tiny budget and making big headways. This scene by Douglas Hughes, pictures a classic man-tied-to-the-chair movie trope, but what makes it stand out as a LEGO build are the details. They say the details bring a scene to life. The closed-circuit camera, the air vent, that electrical outlet plug outlet, and the old school looking heater all lend the weight to the sense of reality. What’s the story here? Well, for me, reality kicks in for Saw movie is when the director yells “CUT!” and everyone gets a break and grabs a sandwich and coffee, and that’s my secret on how I get through watching a horror flick.
When it comes to things that inspire nightmares, balloons don’t usually make the list, unless there’s a murderous clown attached to them. This wonderfully crafted balloon cart by #1 Nomad may not have the scariest balloons you ever saw, but they are definitely one of the most unusual.
The inside-out tires make amazing eyes. And those teeth! I love the random yellow fangs mixed in. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention… is that a person in that cage? Maybe I need to reevaluate this scary balloon list. At least the builder didn’t include the balloon vendor.
Santa Claus rewards good behavior with gifts, but what about the children who have been a bit naughty this year? Forget the lumps of coal in your stocking; you might just receive a visit from the half goat, half demon named Krampus. Sounds like a pleasant experience, right? Letranger Absurde has drawn upon holiday horrors to a LEGO version of the character from the campy 2015 film, Krampus. While Krampus is decked out in a festive “jolly red suit,” the rest of him is pure nightmare fuel. Krampus sits hunched over with lengthy horns protruding, all while his face is creepily hidden behind the veil of the robe. Think about how you treat people this year, or you might find yourself trapped in an eternal snow globe of terror.
I love a bit of creepy LEGO, and this scene by Leonid An is probably as unsettling as they come. The Scala baby figure is a perfect foil for this grim tale of genetic experimentation. Lit from below in its artificial birthing pod, the infant’s eyes are covered, as it is slowly infused with whatever vile substance lingers in the second dome. The control panel has a retro-futuristic feel, with its rainbow displays and offset cartridges; an ominous bin of discarded limbs at its side. It’s just another example of the LEGO brick’s untapped uncanny potential.
Nobody likes to die horribly at the hand of a horrifying flesh and machine amalgam, such as this Remade inspired by the criminals and other undesirables sentenced to such an existence in British author China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station. This LEGO version by AdNorrel invokes a strange kind of morbid curiosity that just will not let you look away — as long as the incomprehensible thing is not coming at us…
There is a lot to love (or fear?) about this creation. The organic parts are very well done, using minifig arms and sausages and even a dark red scarf to create flowing rounded shapes, highlighted by blue rubber bands representing veins. If you look closely at the head, you might recognize a tiny bit of a shrub piece peeking out of a red flower element, making for a good structural part in a build with this many crazy angles. With the mechanical parts, the Remade combines gore and the fear of technology into something nobody wants to see, yet one that we’re unable to stop staring at.
I’m fascinated by Mihai Marius Mihu’s latest Cthulhu themed creation. Featuring a red shrimp-like ‘old one’, whose beady white eyes and muscular torso resonates a sense of otherworldly grandeur. It’s a unique monster design that utilises some excellent modelling skills to creepy effect. The composition sees the demon towering over the diorama’s micro scale fortress, again hinting at an inhuman scale suited to its Lovecraftian subject matter. Working like a latter day Hieronymus Bossch, Mihai’s art shows us the uncanny potential of the LEGO brick.
Beware this long-faced LEGO Jack O’Lantern man built by Leonid An. The expression on the character’s face is spine-tingly spooky, yet chillingly captivating. His sorrow-filled eyes are convincing–would you believe Leonid achieved this look with an upside down Bionicle mask? Mr. Jack O’Lantern is dressed to kill, complete with a white shirt, midnight-black jacket, top hat, and even a gold belt buckle. What’s more, he and his raven companion are overlooking the grave of…Leonid An!
This dark and mysterious figure by Fedde Barendrecht represents a powerful evil from H. P. Lovecraft’s horror stories. While not as well known as Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep is just as terrifying. In the stories and poems he is said to have a thousand forms, and Fedde has decided to build possibly the most sinister of them in LEGO; a tall, slender man with coal black skin and clothing, with tentacles spreading from underneath his robe.
Most of Fedde’s builds are small with a funny theme, generally centered around an imaginative new use for an exotic brick. Every now and again, however, a nightmare-inducing creation like this one pops up. The build itself is simple, or at least it uses very few pieces, apart from the numerous tentacles. My favourite part usage is the octopus used as Nyarlathotep’s mouth and the tentacles behind his head.
Erstwhile LEGO gearhead guru Lino Martins is mixing it up, bringing us a big vignette of a haunting brackish backwater with a dark secret. This collection of treehouses forms a small bayou village, whose residents are sworn to placate a fearsome beast with blood sacrifices, often in the form of giant alligators lowered into the creature’s tentacled arms by means of a rickety contraption. The smooth dark green bricks make excellent ponds of stale water, with a smooth finish of algae broken only by a few small ripples as the monster’s arms raise.
What with the swamp being infested by an otherworldly horror, it’s best not to disturb that calm water, or indeed get anywhere near more than is absolutely necessary. That, plus the lack of land in the middle of swamp, means the townsfolk of Mangrove Swamp have all the necessities built on raised platforms, from farming to swine raising. Continue reading
Builder Heikki M. is known for creating very realistic settings of rooms paired with clever photography angles. However, this blood-chilling scene sent a tingle down my spine after one look. A door slightly ajar and a trail of splatter across the floor tiles leaves room for anyone’s imagination to run wild. The visual cues of the grandfather clock past midnight which seems to be missing a pendulum gives it an eerie timestamp of the event taking place.
Heikki reassures us that the fake blood is leftover from the last Halloween’s party, but I’m more concerned if the stains are going to come off!
In anticipation of the latest screen adaptation of Stephen King’s classic coulrophobia-inducing book IT, builder Tim Lydy has crafted this wonderfully creepy bust of Pennywise the dancing clown. Guess I won’t be sleeping tonight! I also love the added touch of the brick-built origami sailboat.
I think Tim might be a bit of an IT fan, as this isn’t the first time he’s rendered these characters in LEGO. Check out his “adorable” Brickheadz versions too. We all float down here. (shudder)