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A Thrilling Horror Novel that Plays with Form

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Emily Martin

Contributing Editor

Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals (www.booksquadgoals.com). She can be reached at emily.ecm@gmail.com.

Welcome to Read This Book, your go-to newsletter if you’re looking to expand your TBR pile. Each week, I’ll recommend a book I think is an absolute must-read. Some will be new releases, some will be old favorites, and the books will vary in genre and subject matter every time. I hope you’re ready to get reading!

I read this book over a month ago, and I’ve been chomping at the bit to finally recommend it to all of you. Now that it’s finally out this week (with its beautiful red sprayed edges and everything), I’m excited to say this is the best horror novel of 2024. So if horror is your thing, make sure you don’t miss out on this one!

cover of Horror Movie by Paul Tremblay; image of a shattered VHS tape

Horror Movie by Paul Tremblay

This super creepy book takes readers through two timelines. Back in 1993, a group of young filmmakers spent four weeks making an art-house horror film that would become a cult classic. Not because everyone watched it and loved it—in fact, the movie was never released to the public. But the weird events that occurred during the filming of the movie became infamous. And years later, a few scenes from the movie were released on YouTube, only fueling the public’s obsession with the film that never was.

Now, three decades later, a major Hollywood reboot is in the works, and one person from the original film is back to help recreate the “magic” of the original. The man who once starred in the film as “The Thin Kid” has vivid memories of just how strange the filming process was. And just how dangerous. As he attempts to help the big-budget remake get underway, memories of the original filming and all of its mysteries and secrets come flooding back. What was real? What was the stuff of urban legends? And does he even remember the difference?

If you’ve read Paul Tremblay before, then you might have noticed that the author is not afraid of experimenting with form. For example, just look at The Pallbearer’s Club, which was fully annotated. In Horror Movie, we get to read about the filming of both horror movies (the original and the flashy remake). But we also get what appears to be the FULL SCRIPT of the original horror movie. Does the script read the way an actual screenplay would? Absolutely not, and that’s kind of the point. Instead, reading the script made me feel like I was actually watching the notorious horror movie that has everyone talking. And I really got it. There are images from that movie that truly terrified and disturbed me. By the time I got to the end of it, I felt like just maybe I’d actually watched the movie. And maybe it was one of the top five horror movies of all time.

This book was one of my most anticipated books of 2024, and it did not disappoint. This horror novel gave me nightmares. I don’t think I’ll be able to stop thinking about it for quite some time. As of right now, it’s my favorite book of the year, and I’m so excited it’s out now so that all of you can experience it for yourself!


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