Review: The Girl in the Video by Michael David Wilson

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Paperback, 108 pages
Published April 28th 2020 by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing
ISBN
1943720436 (ISBN13: 9781943720439)
Edition Language
English

buy direct from the publisher or support your local bookshop

Synopsis:

 

FROM THE CREATOR OF THIS IS HORROR, COMES A NEW NIGHTMARE FOR THE DIGITAL AGE.

TELL ME WHAT YOU LIKE.

After a teacher receives a weirdly arousing video, his life descends into paranoia and obsession. More videos follow—each containing information no stranger could possibly know. But who’s sending them? And what do they want? The answers may destroy everything and everyone he loves.

THE GIRL IN THE VIDEO is THE RING meets FATAL ATTRACTION for the iPhone generation.

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Review:

Michael David Wilson is the founder of This is Horror: a website, publisher, and podcast that focuses on all of the greatest horror writing, reading, and reviewing that any horror fan can dream of. He is the host of the podcast with the same name, and if you are not familiar with the podcast, at least listen long enough for the way that he says, “This is Horror”, because he is from England so his pronunciation of “horror” is gorgeous. Also while listening to the podcast, I picture a thin guy with a beard or goatee, a bald head, and piercing eyes. These are all true, and if I lived near him, I would try to be his drinking buddy.

But alas, I’m not. We barely exist on the same plane. He has a strong reputation after years and years of working in the horror community, to the point where I heard more than one person be shocked that “The Girl in the Video” is his first novella. “The Girl in the Video” is getting a great deal of notice because of the reputation of Wilson but also because it is a damn good little novella. Published by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, “The Girl in the Video” is something you can read in one sitting and want to devour because the story moves so seamlessly. The novella opens with the main character, Freddie, receiving a video through his Instagram account of a girl wearing a Hello Kitty mask. The video changes him, and as more videos appear, Freddie gets sucked into the mystery that quickly becomes a horror. The pace moves swiftly, but there are no moments where the reader loses the plot (which can happen easily in novellas this short). I like all of the characters, and I really like how Freddy includes his wife in the things that are going on with him. It feels like there are many books where the plot is the husband (or wife) hiding the outside drama from his partner, but in this novel, there is none of that. Rachel is his ally from the moment he tells her about it all, and this makes for an ending that is a team against the girl in the video instead of a man against the girl in the video against having his partner knowing what is going on. Fiction in general is filled with marital strife, and it is refreshing to read a story that does not use this as a plot point.

I probably would have never read this if Michael David Wilson was not on the Bizzong! podcast with Mr. Frank. Listening to him talk about his career and the way this book came about was really intriguing. If it was not for him talking about this, I would have passed on “The Girl in the Video.” There are so many titles with “girl” in the title that involve some sort of violence toward that said girl that I have lost interest in this type of story. However. This is not the case. The “Girl in the Video” is a fun, tense, pop culture filled ride that I’m ready to take again. I do not hesitate to recommend this or to pre-order his next work. Or buy him a beer if I ever run into him.

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