- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted September 23, 2012
A good horror story has a job: To take the monsters we are all familiar with and bring something new to provide a fresh perspective. The authors in this anthology all have a unique perspective that allows for experimentation. The best of these stories terrify long after the story ends, because so often the monsters lie within. Because I can, I’ll start with the last story first.
The Mummy’s Touch: There’s a predictability to this that undercuts the surprise. It was pretty clear from the beginning where this was going, and it’s difficult to care about characters that are marked for death. I felt that there could have been sections taken out of the middle and the story would still have held together.
Also It: An element of the absurd in this could have been tighter through further character development. Derivative. Paging Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones- You missed a few!
No Kind Return: To be honest I was rooting for the mummy to take out one character long before the end.
Death Echo: Haunting look at the Frankenstein mythos. Appreciated the character’s voice, it made him sympathetic, which makes the twist work.
Dracula’s Horde: Lots of action with not a lot of character development. NYPD-SVZU. Special Vampire Zombie Unit. Somebody watched a lot of cop shows.
Halloween: Is it wrong that I *wanted* those characters to die? Go monsters!
The Monster: If you’re going to put historical elements into a story it needs something more. Replace the Nazi element with another similar group and the story here will remain the same. It’s too easy. Not much of a sense of danger either.
Stink Man: Premise is interesting but I think the wrong animal was chosen. It changes the mood of the story when you’re not creeped out by the villain, and not in the way I think the author intended.
The Felix Redemption: This could be the beginning of something longer. I felt like it was the opener. Would be interested in reading more about the progression of the budding relationship. Not a great title, though.
One Strike for Connor: Where are the stakes? Many people who are close with siblings would do whatever they could to help, but why was he doing this? It would make the ending much more impactful.
Roll Camera: This was a clever use of a real life person. Thoroughly enjoyed this one, though I would have liked to have more access to his thoughts as events unfolded. But didn’t Nosferatu cover the same or a similar idea?
The Living Nightmare: Told mostly in a letter flashback form, the device works. It was only a matter of time before the origin of monsters went in this direction, but he pulls it off.
Absolution: This story hit the right marks for me- very well constructed mood, dashes of history and well-drawn characters woven with a sense of creepiness and danger. I found myself wondering what happened after the story ended. Can’t wait to read more from this author.
Dinner on the Town: Quite funny, unexpectedly, but I felt like given the nature of the characters, the humor could have been heightened and sharpened even further. A spoonful of comedy makes the blood go down.
21 Grams: Put me in mind of the Monkey’s Paw. The stakes start high and only spiral ever higher as a father works furiously to bring his little boy back at any cost. This was the first of the stories, and sets the bar high enough that few of the other stories can catch it. The author here is going to have a highly successful career in storytelling if they continue to mix the spiritual, fantastical with such engaging characters in a style such as this.
The anthology overall is well crafted, with something here for everyone. Highly recommended, especially during a raging thunderstorm late at night in front of a blazing fireplace.