Dark Screams: Volume Five

Dark Screams: Volume Five - J. Kenner, Mick Garris, Richard Chizmar, Brian James Freeman, Bentley Little I was given an ARC copy of this book by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have read the other 4 in this series and have really enjoyed 4 out of 5. This is one of the good ones. Over all rating: 4 stars

Everything You’ve Always Wanted by Mick Garris
Horror has its share of cautionary tales. The Monkey’s Paw comes immediately to mind. Not very many reach this level of cringeworthiness, however. Actually I found it so over the top to be amusing and I doubt that it is to be taken seriously. 3 1/2 stars.

The One and Only by J. Kenner
Classic ghost story format that was predictable for me from the outset. 3 stars.

The Land of Sunshine by Kealan Patrick Burke
Ok, now we are talking. KPB is a literary horror writer. Other than the Hammerish “Master of the Moors” you won’t find the usual horror suspects romping around in his stories, tearing up the scenery. The focus of his stories and novels is the human heart and the monsters often wear our faces. The Land of Sunshine is atmospheric and lush, full of symbolism and each word and scene is thought out and deliberately selected. A story to enjoy once for the language, then to read again to admire what is going on below the surface. 5 stars.

Mechanical Gratitude by Del James
Another story in the classic style. I can picture this one in Creepy or Eerie magazine. I mean that as a compliment. The story felt familiar to me in a good way, and didn’t veer of into unpredictable plot lines, but I still enjoyed it as a classic story done well. 4 stars

The Playhouse by Bentley Little
I had high hopes for this story because I am a big fan, like tons of other people, of Bentley Little. I wasn’t disappointed. I loved this story. Warped reality and time shifting converge but in the end it is the delightful characters that make this story special. Made the “Twilight Zone” portion of my brain very happy indeed. I would love to see an anthology composed of twilight zone type stories by famous modern authors and I would not be surprised if this one wasn’t one of the best of the bunch. 5 stars.