Review of short horror collection Darkest Hours by Mike Thorn

It’s been a really really long time since I’ve blogged because out of all the things I spend hours writing and am in no way comphensated for (when someone tells me to contribute something somewhere for exposure, not that anyone ever has, but if they ever did, I would probably wonder where I would fit that in amongst all the other instances where I am, in theory, already doing that) my wordpress blog always seems the least conseqeuntial. Probably because I had one a long ass time ago and it seemed like a complete waste of my efforts. I know some ways to make it less that now, but my brain is still locked onto ‘this is an utter waste of time so whenever I’m busier, this is always the ball I chuck maliciously at a window and then run away, laughing.’

So anyway, after recovering my password and being informed I already entered in too many incorrect passwords even after setting up a new password, I can finally paste the entireity of my review for Mike Thorn’s Darkest Hours, reminding anyone who actually follows this blog (watch everyone roll their eyes and quickly look away when I put a photo of the physical copy of his book which I ordered because it is that awesome on ig and tell people to check out my blog. Check out her blog! What is this, 2004? Boo! upload some more videos)! To which I reply, I wasn’t aware this was a video site I was risking copyright infringement fines in order to impress people on. Should that have been inside the parenthesis? I can never tell. Reminding them! That’s what I was orignianlly doing. Just that this contains more detailed write up’s of the stories I really, really, really liked and may be considered spoilers by some, so be warned.

My mom and I took my aunt to one of our better hippie cafes – or really, our only one, way back in the mid 90’s and she claimed there was a hair in her hippie sandwich. And while one might speculate, ‘how could she tell amidst all those sprouts’ she immediately went into the tiny hippie bathroom to vomit and spent the rest of the day in a hypochondriac sulk. I didn’t have quite that reaction to the story which opens Mike Thorn’s Darkest Hour. But close.

Mictian Diabolus was like the best film festival trash – think Exeter, which I love and watch at least once a year – only this is a lot scarier. (I think I’m the only ones who likes Exeter.) Whoever says surviving the thing is worse clearly has never been flayed or been to a flaying. But it’s still not fun and the narrative seems to really get that. You feel really bad for these poor, dumb characters.

Mired is the funniest yet would probably be funnier if I weren’t basically an uneducated dummy. But the gist of it still works for anyone who worries they are only scanning the words on the page in front of them because that’s how we’re trained in college (I did sort of go to college) and wonders how much more improved their lives would be if they could truly absorb knowledge in a meaningful way. Stupid humans.

The Auteur is my favorite. Sadly, there was only one video rental store here which could actually afford to hire employees, and let’s just say I…didn’t know the right people. Still, I relate to scoring youtube for lists of no budget, SOV horror looking for…something. I was never exactly sure what. Now I know. This could act as a deterrent, except…I kinda want it? Which is, imo, why the best horror works so well.

Choo-choo is one of the ‘oh-shit-that-one’ stories. (When I looked back over the titles to refresh my memory. I read these over a very long summer. Anyway, the ones where I was like, ‘oh shit. That story.) What I really love about a lot of the stories is that kids doing really dumb shit in a low budget movie on Netflix. (Or when Netflix used to have those, anyway. Remember that…remember the like, 2011’s of streaming?) But also, it’s terrifying. But older cell phones kind of scare me and that’s what I was picturing? Who else ever needed to call you on those? 1. Your mom, informing you your brother has died. 2. Your doctor, informing you of some new and horrifying venereal disease. 3. A childhood friend who died the night things went too far! That’s it. Now, at least half the time, it’s the ghost of the dead person who owned the phone before you did.

Long Man was a great nod to found internet horror. I’m still so sad Channel Zero didn’t make it. What is wrong with everyone; that show was fucking awesome. Anyway, it also reminded me how everyone has a shadowy other-place from childhood where you’re not sure if any of it happened. (Mine is my aunt Marilyn’s house in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, but that’s not a story for here.) In this story, you find out what happens when that place follows you out of childhood and is the second story I had the ‘oh, shit’ reaction to.

Sabbatical is a much better and less dog murdering (I’m more of a cat than a dog person myself but what in the actual fuck) version of Whisperer in the Darkness.

Satanic Panic is for anyone who was that kid harassed by cops for being gothy on a deserted road late at night (fuck u, officer Walker) but Remembering Absence is a wonderful closer that understands what I think might actually happen to some of us, but also deals with how it is to be left behind by someone we love.

And is everyone this refreshingly gender neutral in Canada? It must be nice.

Oh, I always forget about Fear and Grace. I love that story but I narrowly escaped from and was romantically involved with a lot of sociopaths so I kind of willfully (willingly? Both)? blocked it out. It’s really terrifying though, and is a reminder about a certain kind of predatory magnetism that simeltanously makes someone charismatic to the masses and also a horrifying monster one on one.

 

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