Webtoon, Reviews

School Bus Graveyard Review: Stuck in a Demonic Dimension

Join six teenagers as they strive to survive every night in a monster-infested alternate reality. With their newly formed bond, can they find an escape?

School Bus Graveyard webtoon
Image: Webtoon
By: Amy MouaFeb 23, 2024, 2:06 AM

School Bus Graveyard

Review
Rating
10
Excellent
School Bus Graveyard webtoon

Writer: Red

Artist: Red

Publisher: Webtoon

Format: Webtoon

This thrilling horror webtoon is a pleasant surprise that all kinds of readers will enjoy. With an array of stellar creative elements, it will leave you wanting to learn more about its suspenseful and spine-tingling tale.

I read a lot of webtoons from different genres. Although romance dominates most of my list, I also have a soft spot for action, comedy, thriller, and such. But there’s one particular genre I usually tend to read less of, which is horror. Why? Because I’m a weak-souled human who is not mentally strong enough to handle the trauma and paranoia that may follow from reading dark tales of the supernatural and paranormal. But lo and behold, what do I find myself reading due to my curiosity? “School Bus Graveyard” by Red on Webtoon. Although it’s labeled a thriller, supernatural horror is a subgenre of the webcomic. Did curiosity kill the cat? To find out, continue reading for my full review of the captivating horror webtoon!

Overview

Ashlynn prefers to be alone. When her parents try to convince her to make friends at school, she’d rather choose the simplicity and ease of being alone. That is until the mistake of entering a haunted house during a school trip leads Ashlynn and five other classmates to be stuck every night in a different dimension filled with monsters. Now, they must work together to figure out why this supernatural occurrence is happening to them and how they can stop the cycle before they all end up dead in both worlds.

School Bus Graveyard webtoon - slump

Review

“School Bus Graveyard” wastes no time pulling you into its dark world as the webtoon opens to an intense scene with the teenagers running for their lives. As if hitting the ground running, the webtoon’s thrilling pace and storytelling keep building up from there. Creator Red is an expert at crafting suspenseful moments, with episodes consistently leaving readers on weekly cliffhangers. What makes the story so captivating is that you, the reader, are kept in the dark about the mysterious second dimension and its monsters as much as the characters are. This storytelling style makes the revelations throughout the narrative hit much harder as you learn about them alongside the cast of characters who are right in the thick of it.

A big part of what makes this webtoon such a joy to read is its cast of characters, whom I grew to love so much. But because this is a horror story, the thrill of reading “School Bus Graveyard” comes from the overarching dread for the characters’ survival. To help lighten the mood of its mostly dark storytelling, SBG also features plenty of comedic relief through the characters and their interactions. At first, the cast’s clashing personalities felt like they would never have come together naturally. But through the forced situation placed upon them, their differences ultimately make them work well together. The story is great at clearly defining how each member of the cast brings something unique to the group. Where one person is the rambunctious character who pulls everyone together, another is the more diplomatic one who can adjust to certain situations. Then, with their collective need to survive, you see how the diverse group dynamic pushes their bonds to deepen with each new thrilling experience.

School Bus Graveyard webtoon - stare

Similar to what the characters go through in the story (but to a much less dangerous degree), “School Bus Graveyard” brought me to unfamiliar territory because of its distinct art style. Most webtoons I read have the typical manhwa art style with rounder shapes (round eyes and soft body angles), thin line art, and shading details for a “fancier” feel. SBG, on the other hand, is more stylistic with its angular/sharp shapes, noticeably thick and dark lines, and more hand-drawn details. As different as it looks from my usual tastes, I adored SBG’s art style for how unique and striking it presents the world and characters. There is simplicity in the art that balances perfectly with the quick pace of the story, keeping satisfaction levels high, especially during climactic moments. Then, the more you read the webtoon, you realize Red is also one to subtly include hints about the story throughout the details in the illustrations. Those details add depth to the webtoon, giving readers fun elements to pick up on and theorize.

There is also so much more to the webtoon’s art beyond Red’s distinct style. The creator loves to kick things up by incorporating music and animated panels into their episodes, making incredible mixed-media experiences. With music composed by DeadSophism, the co-creator of another popular webtoon called “Purple Hyacinth,” the story’s creepier moments get accentuated in terrifying ways. By the first episode, the music and audio cues add to the suspenseful and sinister mood that effectively sets the tone for the webtoon. Then, the occasional animated panels you come across in the webtoon depict eerie moments that drive home the spookiness of the webtoon’s world. With all those interactive elements at play, “School Bus Graveyard” gives me a similar feeling to watching horror video game playthroughs. My heart would pound, racing in time with the background music, afraid to watch a character turn a corner in case a monster pops out.

School Bus Graveyard webtoon - girl is not interested

Final Thoughts

As more of a Korean romance webtoon reader, I enjoyed “School Bus Graveyard” much more than I expected to. It being a Western-made webtoon with a Western setting was unexpectedly refreshing on a physical and cultural level. It has surprisingly become a personal favorite for its delightful storytelling, exciting plot, and original art style. I’m excited to learn more about this webtoon when it returns from hiatus. So, even if you’re an avid romance reader like my usual self, I recommend experiencing this terrifying thriller/horror webtoon for yourself. It’ll get your heart racing in new and exciting ways.

Why You Should Read School Bus Graveyard

  • The well-written narrative and characters make for an exciting read.
  • Music and animations add a unique bonus not found in many webcomics.
  • The series is currently on hiatus, making it the perfect time to binge the webtoon’s 64 free episodes.
TAGGED: Webtoon
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