Junji Ito’s story of the Ice Cream Bus is so good for how creepy it is. Ito often draws his horror from very basic and ordinary things, then extending them to the extreme or obsession to make them scary.
The story follows a single parent father taking custody of his younger son and an ice cream bus visits his street to sell ice cream. It’s a fairly simple and ordinary set up but the way it spirals out is always entertaining.
Kids in horror often lack tack and they can be more open and expressive showing horror without self awareness. The kids expressiveness is pretty horrific for how open and honest he is.
Like it really hurts inside when the father says “Your mother says it’s ok for you to visit her” and the kid goes “ICE CREAM” as the bus shows up. Ignoring the thing he should care dramatically about over something so simple and awful.
Theirs also that aspect of a father who can’t control his kid very well and gives in to demands like that. I personally would hate to be in that situation where you either have to tolerate screaming for hours or to give in to demands you don’t want to do, like buy an ice cream when you’re already about to serve food. In the short term giving in is better however it doesn’t work long term (which sucks by the way).
Anyway definitely check this one out it’s creepy as hell.
But it is fun to spoil and talk about everything, so if you don’t mind that I’ll get straight into spoilers here.
The boys addiction to ice cream worsens and starts to get concerning to a large terrifying extent. The ice cream man overhears the dad saying that he can’t have much and will still need to eat when he gets back. And the look he returns is so spooky that you know he’s just up to something.
Then it’s all in the little tiny details that really sell how bad it is. We view the story from the fathers perspective and we see little awful signs before the horror to come.
Like we start with the son going “yeah we were just licking ice cream” back in the ice cream van. Licking wouldn’t really be the right word here, well it would be correct but it’s a weird way to say it. Normally you would expect to be given ice cream or to eat ice cream, not to lick it. Then later it’s shown that theirs a huge giant block of ice cream on the floor of the van that the kids are licking, it’s so creepy!
Then theirs the idea that the ice cream is different, it’s way stickier and even sticks to people, as shown by school kids licking ice creams off themselves the next day, that’s until everything starts melting and he comes home to find his son eating 4 of his friends. It’s actually quite disgusting. Was good though.