Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles

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For fans of all things film—especially those that skew dark—Final Cute: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles is a must read. Editor Ellen Datlow has assembled a wildly different but equally engaging set of 18 stories centered on the things that entertain us most. From television to movies to streaming media, each genre is represented by chilling thrillers that are best read with the lights on.

One of the shortest stories in the collection, “Snuff in Six Scenes” by Richard Kadrey, is written in a style more typical of screenwriting than fiction, but it is the spareness of the language that adds suspense to the plot. The characters, Ward and Jenny, engage in violence on a level that is so visually rendered, it is no surprise to learn Kadrey himself is a photographer as well as a writer. The scenes are graphic and terrifying, and the twists come on nearly every page.

The final work in the collection, and the longest—truly more of a novella than a short story—is John Langan’s “Altered Beast, Altered Me.” The story exists on two levels; in part it is an exchange of articles and emails between writer Gaetan Cornichon and his friend Michael Harket. The rest of the novella includes a work created by Cornichon, inspired by the movie prop the Dracula Ring from the film The House of Frankenstein, and the mystery of both men becoming ill as they exchange emails. This work, comprising a full 80 pages of the book, is too uneven to be fully satisfying.

However, the general fun and fear of the book as a whole makes it worth reading for those looking to be happily terrified.


Reviewed By:

Author Ellen Datlow
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 480 pages
Publisher Anchor Books
Publish Date 2020-06-02
ISBN 9780525565758
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2020
Category Horror
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