by Jasper Bark
Budding young film makers Sam and Jimmy have borrowed money from Ashkan, a pretty nasty LoanShark, to make a film which of course never happens!
JB uses this to lead you into the first gore-out scene, it’s the sort of scene you know you want to watch but have to do so through splayed fingers.
As they survive their ordeal a snuff movie drops into their laps, they decide to edit/splice it into their own movie, but of course this is a Jasper Bark novel and nothing is that simple.
JB manages to poke in some classical works and modern day horror themes, mingling the two with great effect to produce a fantastic over web for the story.
There is some really good discussion regards to wrapping up and spoon feeding your audience or to leave it open-ended for readers/audiences to figure it out; Sam and Jimmy are divided in this, which leads to some good banter, showing off their friendship.
As they start to audition, discuss, plot and film both Sam and Jimmy start to bug out in various ways, and they soon meet Melissa their leading lady, who appears to have her agenda.
The story speeds along, with some fantastic characters and tie-ins from various myths and legends (ie I was not able to put it down) coming to a brilliant finale that just had me cringing, smiling and then wanting to read it all over again.
There are sex scenes abound and some are extremely tempting but then JB manages to slap you like a wet haddock around the face and reminds you, that you are reading a horror novel not some erotic fiction.
Whilst JB has written some amazing stories, the length and detail of this book is beautiful and clearly my favourite, although Run to Ground comes snapping at its heels.
Whilst several scenes in this novel poked at me in various ways, there was one particular scene that scratched an old scar, Sam recollects how he first found horror; a panel at Fcon#15 put it in a nutshell for me “horror is cathartic”, it allows you to face your fears head on in a safe environment, he gives you that weird release that others get from drinking, drugs and a variety of other self harm mediums.
That said, I LOVE horror and am a fully functioning adult (most of the time!).
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