“As a whole, Peel Back and See is probably my bleakest book to date, with only a few diversions into more playful genre territory (e.g. ‘Mr. Mucata’s Final Requests’, ‘The Furnace Room Mutant’, and ‘Virus’). For the most part, these stories are awash in the personal affective experiences of chronic depression, anxiety, psychological ruptures, post-postmodern despair, addiction, loss, grief, nihilism, pessimism, and suicidal ideation.”
“Shelter for the Damned is reminiscent of Stephen King in its acute examination of the mysterious pull of place and atmosphere. The descriptions of the shelter are beautiful and evoke a sense of dread I associate with King’s depiction of the Marsten House, the eerie mansion in ‘Salem’s Lot. As King’s work often does, Thorn’s novel also echoes H.P. Lovecraft’s sense of destabilizing ‘outer’ forces (most explicitly when a decidedly Lovecraftian tentacular monster assails Mark in his bedroom). The book takes these elements of Weird fiction and angles them towards the metaphysical.”
Mike Thorn appears to discuss the continuing relevance of H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction, its influence on his own work, and more.
“As I did with Shelter for the Damned, I have created here a list of titles that provide a kind of cinematic “mood board” for Darkest Hours. I included the films I reviewed in the expanded edition’s Criticism section, as well as the films that had overt or indirect impact on the stories.”
“It’s about being a total and complete fuckup and outsider. And there’s some gnarly gore too if that’s your thing.”
“Thorn gives us a slow burn story that shows a kid spiral as the shack he loves hooks its tentacles into him and begins to distort right from wrong.”