“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.”
“I loved seeing Mike’s love for the genre shine through in his work. This occurs in the fiction pieces alongside the essays that can be found at the end of the expanded edition.”
“Thorn just has a way with description that makes the stories hit the reader hard because you feel like you’re part of the experience.”
“Darkest Hours is a fantastic collection of short horror stories with some of the most unique premises I’ve ever read! Body horror, terrifying visions, and monstrous creatures all make an appearance. The clarity and confidence in the writing made these stories come alive.”
“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.”
“No sober person had any supernatural encounters. Nothing good happens after dark, so stay the F*** home. Oh, and mirrors are evil so get rid of them! Now!”
“In the short story notes, Thorn cites a lot of influences (both literary, musical and cinematic) that inform his work, but Thomas Ligotti seems to be a name that crops up throughout. While Darkest Hours covers a lot of the same themes (nihilism, anxiety, and the human condition), Thorn’s work approaches them in a far more mainstream and accessible way. Still, I think this says a lot about the prevailing tone of his work, and there are stories here that scared (‘Long Man’, ‘Sabbatical’), disturbed (‘The Auteur’, ‘Fear and Grace’) and disgusted (‘Fusion’) like few other collections have managed for me.”
Like everything else I’ve written, my debut novel Shelter for the Damned draws inspiration from a wide array of sources. It was influenced by books, short stories, essays, personal memories and relationships, music, dreams, and cinema. I have always been interested in films focused on adolescent experience and suburban milieus (especially, but not exclusively, within the horror genre).
The third and final part of The Pink Smoke‘s epic “Best Horror of the Decade” series begins with Hellbent for Horror‘s S.A. Bradley sharing his love for one of the great under-appreciated horror films of the last 10 years. Christopher Funderburg chimes in with one of the most artful horror movies from the last decade and John Cribbs cautions to think twice before angering the Gods.
Mr. Bradley and the hosts sound off on some other great horror films from lists contributed by notable horror filmmakers, writers and experts, including freelancer writer Anya Stanley, horror film director and illustrator Patrick Horvath, horror watchdog Tim Lucas, writer-artist Tenebrous Kate, and Mike Thorn, author of Darkest Hours.
To celebrate Halloween, Nathan Smith and Mike Thorn wrote a dialogue about Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) and Halloween II (2009) for Cinematary.