“Thorn’s debut novel is an insight into male violence, the sloppily-hidden depths of suburbia, and the isolation of abuse. It’s not typically what you would find in the pages of a horror novel about teenage boys and a deadly, abandoned shack, but it’s the subtleties of Thorn’s narrative that keep the story moving along so quickly.”
“I have curated two playlists that aim to capture the novel’s spirit, one with vocals and one without. The former playlist includes songs recorded in or before the year 2003, ranging from industrial and nu metal to hardcore and post-punk. Many of these tracks summon vivid personal memories from my teenage years. The second playlist, comprised of instrumental pieces (black metal interludes, dark ambient works, horror movie soundtracks, field recordings, and more) seeks to capture the novel’s dark atmosphere.”
- What authors influenced you growing up? Who are you reading now?
As a young kid, I was really excited by J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and R. L. Stine. Discovering Stephen King as a preteen was a big deal, and the same goes for encountering Hubert Selby Jr. in my teens.
These days, I try to read as widely as possible. I’m currently making my way through Drawn Up from Deep Places, by Gemma Files, which is terrific. I was recently floored by two Henry James novels—The Portrait of a Lady and The Bostonians.
“Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to be a writer?
I can’t remember a time before I started writing. For better or worse, it has been a lifelong impulse. I was always drawn to reading, which is probably where my interest in writing originated. As a kid, I was excited by fantasy and horror (J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and R. L. Stine when I was quite young, and then Stephen King when I got a little older).”
Author and critic Mike Thorn swings by to talk about Prince of Darkness, John Carpenter’s 1987 horror film, and how it both expresses and interrogates the subject of epistemophobia — the fear of knowledge. It’s a great movie to go into knowing very little, so be aware that we spoil the entire plot in this episode.
We get into how the film withholds or ambiguates information for the audience, the film’s balance between pessimism and intellectual humility, and its place in Carpenter’s “Apocalypse Cycle” of movies.
The hosts of Film Formally spoke with Mike Thorn about John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness and the idea of an intentional deficit of knowledge in movies.
In style and substance, Carpenter offers a universe beyond understanding—but is there an order to it?
Stay tuned for the full episode, coming tomorrow!
Today on Night Worms, Mike Thorn shares his 100 favorite horror films.
Mike Thorn returns to Kendall Reviews with another fascinating discussion piece on horror cinema. The response to Mike’s first contribution which detailed his 10 favourite horror films from the 2010s was incredible. I’m delighted to welcome Mike back, this time to offer you chronologically his favourite horror films released between 2000 – 2009.
Mike Thorn is the author of the short story collection Darkest Hours. He completed his M.A. in English literature at the University of Calgary. His fiction has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Dark Moon Digest, Behind the Mask – Tales from the Id and Straylight Literary Arts Magazine. His film criticism has appeared recently in MUBI Notebook, The Seventh Row and The Film Stage.