Return of the Night

When the Full Moon album cover dropped, the first thing that struck me was that how conceptually different it was. Dreamcatcher’s previous covers were all in ornamental trims with exquisite details. Filled with mystical symbols like the feathers, the spider, and the bird. The new cover was done in something similar to dot matrix art. Some might say it’s ASCII art, or pixel art. Nonetheless the design was influenced by computers, something more modern. I immediately started developing a theory around this very point. On how the Nightmares might return.

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After the events of Good Night, the Seven Nightmares escaped the Hunter and set forth with their into the night, as witches of the dark. Fast forward to years later. Their powers have thinned, faded, and nearly forgotten. A curious girl now lives in their old residence and finds their study. Filled with books and other artifacts for witchcraft. The girl turns to the dark arts to fuel her obsessions – about a boy. She finds a map hidden in an empty photo album, mysteriously already marked with the locations of catalysts needed to cast a spell. Why? Was this spell already cast before? The girl heads out to the forest and eventually finds tarot cards eerily hung in the middle of nowhere, as if someone left them there to be found. She prepares everything needed to cast the spell, including a chest identical to what the boy owns in his room. Why is this important? It’s because there are branches of witchcraft lore deeply rooted in sympathetic or imitative magic. Certain witches have the affinity for mirrors, voodoo dolls, and the like. The girl channels her spell through the chest, and the cards reappear in the boy’s room affecting him. She also uses another medium – the white Dreamcatcher hanging above his bed. It slowly becomes filled with black magic. With the incantation complete, the boy falls under hypnosis and arrives at her doorstep. The Full Moon gleams brightly across a purple-tinged night sky. As magic makes itself known to the world again the Seven Nightmares awake from their slumber. Ready to reclaim the nights they lost, to remind everyone of its horrors.

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It might not be the most accurate theory but I like the subtle themes of death and rebirth that ring through it. They can even mix in a hint of vengeance if they want to go even darker. One of the conflicting points in this theory is the timeline. Full Moon can either be another origin story or a continuation. The technology angle I presented can be easily knocked off since Chase Me included video cameras and CCTV’s before. There are some who say the characters are one of the Nightmare girls and the Nightmare Hunter himself. Personally, I’m just rooting for a literal ‘comeback’ storyline. The lyrics to Full Moon echo themes of walking through time, remembrance, and fulfilling promises. They’ve already given us Prequel for the backstory so I hope they move forward into the future next. Dreamcatcher already noted that they are ending the Nightmare Trilogy. I can only dream of a proper ending for the Nightmares where they walk freely into a new world of darkness.

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I recently binged-watched Penny Dreadful over the last few weeks. It is a 2014 horror drama series featuring Eva Green as the protagonist corralling classic literary characters, intertwining them into a larger narrative. Interestingly, I can see a lot of parallels between Vanessa Ives’ and Dreamcatcher’s stories. If you’re interested in watching it, beware as the next part of this post would be spoilers.

In one of the flashback episodes, we see the young Vanessa Ives living a happy life in their mansion in the European country-side. Until the day she witnesses something truly evil – one of inhumanity not of the supernatural. She decides to keep this a secret, not telling anyone. Eventually it eats away at her psyche and Vanessa begins to succumb to her darker desires. A spirit begins to haunt her. She is institutionalized. This is the beginning of how she became the Devil’s Bride, the Mother of Evil. This is her Prequel. Similar to how the seven girls were slowly corrupted by their act of disturbing the old gods in the French mansion. Vanessa is locked in a struggle with the spirit and herself. Of finding her identity. In time she learns to leverage her spiritual powers into witchcraft, as a Daywalker. Her mentor, the Cut-Wife, teaches her of the Devil’s Tongue and the Poetry of Death. Vanessa is warned to only use these in dire times. Because once she does, there is no coming back from turning away from her god. She would become one of the Nightcomers – witches of the dark. This turning point closely resembles the end of Good Night. The Nightmare Hunter captured some of the girls and it was up to the others to come to their rescue. This was their dire need. They needed more power so they turned to the forbidden black spellbook to trap the Hunter inside the mirror. By this act the Nightmares – once just malicious spirits in Chase Me – became truly corrupted by the devil and they leave into the night as witches. That is where their story ended so far.

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Vanessa’s arc in the last season is more of self-discovery. More flashbacks lead her to accept what has been growing inside her. She invites the power of the Devil more and more. Feeling left out and alone, she surrenders to it completely and fulfills her part of the prophecy. The end times have come. Death and Darkness rule the land. The Night Creatures walk the earth. What would I like for Dreamcatcher’s comeback? Exactly this theme. A perfectly open ending where the Seven Nightmares are unleashed in this new age. Singing of pride and victory instead of just malice and mischief. A grand anthem to solidify Dreamcatcher’s place in the industry. A symbol of how they would continue to fuse the elements of dark fantasy into modern pop/rock. Refining their concept and production even more than what they made so far. Full Moon is an amazing piece and something beautiful lies beyond that threshold. March is coming fast and it’s looking to be bloody. Dreamcatcher needs a stand out hit that will revel in the bloodshed.

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