23 January 2007

Wiching Hour Theatre by Craig Shaeffer (Creative Guy Publishing, 2005)

Witching Hour Theatre takes place inside the fictional Starlight Cinemas, one of those movie houses that run double and triple features for one low price. Larry Wilson is a regular at the "Witching Hour Theatre," the horror film triple feature that runs every Friday at midnight. Larry is a creature of habit, that's pretty clear, but he also has a bit of a crush on Nicole, the girl behind the concession counter. When things start to get a little weird one Friday night, Larry finds himself tangled up in horror film cliches, trying to be Nicole's hero.

Craig Shaeffer knows how to pace a story. At just under 60 pages, Witching Hour is a quick read by any estimation, but it is also a suspenseful page-turner. I read this in an afternoon, not wanting to put it down for longer than it took to refill my coffee. Shaeffer's knowledge of horror films comes through clearly in the story, as does his sense of humour. Like the Scream franchise, Witching Hour's protagonist is aware of typical, overused plot devices in the horror genre, yet can't stop himself from acting the same way when he is in the same situations as characters in movies he ridicules.

Best to read this with the lights on; popcorn optional.

*** 1/2

Buy Witching Hour Theatre chapbook directly from Creative Guy Publishing
Buy Witching Hour Theatre ebook from Fictionwise

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