Some Recent Reviews

Not of my stuff, but of some recent genre offerings that I enjoyed.  It’s October, so it’s the least I can do.


This anthology is a tribute to Clive Barker’s Hellraiser mythos, which started back in his novella The Hellbound Heart.  I remember watching the first Hellraiser several years after its release.  I was a high school student at the time, and nowhere near smart or mature enough to understand the themes of pleasure and pain and how they might mingle.  Years later, I can see the Hellraiser mythos as the groundbreaking work it really is.

This anthology, chock full of short stories set in that mythos, is great.  The worst of the tales is solid, and several are absolutely tremendous.  The best tales in the anthology: Sarah langan’s “The Dark Materials Project,” Simon Clark’s “Our Lord of Quarters,” and the Chris Golden and Mike Mignola tale “Mechanisms,” flirt with the mythos without turning in the base tale of “Character finds puzzle box, solves it, cenobites arrive and torture ensues.”  More great tales come from Tim Lebbon, Nancy Kilpatrick, a short comic by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, and a story by Conrad Williams that was so good I went straight to the bookstore to find novels by the man.


Nowadays, the horror movie seems to be a lost art.  Filmmakers think shock and gore is the way to go, that audiences are jaded and want to be prodded rather than entertained.  Well, thank whoever your god is that Trick R Treat has finally been released.  Trick R Treat is a fun, deceptively dark tribute to the eighties anthology movies like Creepshow and Tales from the Dark Side.  Instead of being presented one story at a time, however, the tales here weave together, a character from one story brushing against a character from the next, passing the camera, in a sense.  The effect makes for great storytelling.

And the stories… The tales presented here aren’t gory or full of slashers.  They’re atmospheric tales that play off of Halloween lore in ways that are fun and frightening.  A friend of mine called it cute horror, but I’m not sure that fits.  It’s subtle horror, the kind you can have fun with and not feel the need to wash later.  Highly recommended!


By now, everybody and their mother has written a review of this.  Don’t pay attention to them.  Just go see it and decide for yourself.  Personally, I loved it. It’s a movie that settles in slowly and wraps its fingers around you.  The last ten seconds aren’t so great, but the sense of dread building to those ten seconds is incredible.

2 thoughts on “Some Recent Reviews

  1. I received one of those Horror Mall news e-mails. Your chapbook was on the top of the list. I ordered mine this morning. Looking forward to it.

  2. Trick r Treat, awesome. Paranormal Activity, not so awesome. It was more like Blair Witch part III. What’s great is, we all see through a different window. I wonder what ending you saw. I think there is three different endings.

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