Review: Horrorama edited by C.V. Hunt

Buy it here:

Grindhouse Press, Bookshop, Amazon

Synopsis:

Ready for the book version of a horror movie marathon? Horrorama brings you three novelettes reminiscent of those popcorn fueled all-nighters.

Stor-All Self-Storage by A.S. Coomer

Richard Dennison has just landed a new job at the Stor-All Self-Storage as a night security officer. The owners are a bit strange but not as bizarre as the renters who visit their units at night. And the only instructions he’s been given are to call the police.

Primitive by Lucas Mangum

A group of old friends decide to spend the weekend camping on Moon Mountain only to have their vacation interrupted when a disheveled woman appears out of the woods. She tells them she’s looking for her son but the group find her story hard to believe. Will she find her son and will they all make it off the mountain alive?

The Vessel by Matt Harvey

A cult, Heralds of Celestial Ascendancy, is hellbent on reviving their dark god. All they need is a body for their Master to inhabit. When Elise Abbington wakes in the middle of the night to find herself feeling strange, little does she know, she’s on a crash course with the cult and a deprogrammer willing to do anything to stop the cult’s cause. 

Review:

In the preface to this book of three novelettes, editor C.V. Hunt states that movie marathons are a huge peart of a horror fans life. Those nights when we watch movie after movie, staying up all night are some of the best memories a horror fan has. And these movies are not always good. They are low budget movies that do not always scream the highest quality of film, but even high budget studio movies are usually flawed in serious ways. None of these horror movies are going to win any awards, but those nights are still. C.V. Hunt has translated this feeling of watching low budget 80s movies on VHS or at a drive-in movie theater into a book called Horrorama.

This book consists of three stories. The first, “Stor-All Self-Storage” by A.S Coomer is about a guy who gets a job working night security at a self-storage center. What he does not expect is people coming and going throughout the night. When he gets too curious about some of the things that are happening, he gets caught into situations that would not have happened if he would have minded his own business. This is a well used ‘80s trope, where the single guy in the middle of the night is spying on things that he should not be spying on and gets caught. I liked this one the best of the three novelettes. 

The second story is “Primitive” by Lucas Mangum. The story starts with a bunch of friends going out to the woods for a guys weekend. They eventually run into a naked woman who is obviously living in the woods. They try to help her, but of course nothing goes well. Mangum is the only one of these three authors I had read before, and I enjoyed this story but not as much as the first one. 

The final story is “The Vessel” by Matt Harvey. Like most cult stories, this one is fun to read, even though it is more about the reason for the cult than the members of the cult. There are more sinister characters and nobody seems to be trying to do anything good. Maybe the right thing but not a good thing. There are parts of this story that really stick out as paths that could have been explored further, and so it is a shame that it is this a novelette. The writing in this story is much more vivid and descriptive but it also feels more gritty and pulpy than the other two entries.

In the end, I think that this collection of novelettes is exactly what C.V. Hunt is trying to accomplish. It does feel like a marathon of cheesy, low budget movies. None of the stories are perfect, but they are all good. Horror does not have many perfect movies or books, but horror has thousands of great movies and books that have flaws, sometimes deep flaws, but they are still worth recommending to any horror fan.

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