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Witching Hour Theatre, by Craig Shaeffer Book Review | SFReader.com
Witching Hour Theatre, by Craig Shaeffer Genre: Horror Publisher: Creative Guy Publishing Published: 2005 Review Posted: 10/28/2005 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10
Witching Hour Theatre, by Craig Shaeffer
Book Review by Benjamin Boulden
Have you read this book?
Larry Wilson is a passive, almost invisible man. His life is comfortable, if unfulfilled and lonely: he has a routine, self-governing rules, but no friends and his "mild-mannered demeanor" makes him an easy target of ridicule for his co-workers. One of the few highlights of his week is Friday night when the local movie house, Starlight Cinemas, presents Witching Hour Theatre. It is a triple bill midnight horror movie marathon presented in the older of Starlight's two theaters. There is a curtain, dark shadows, a spooky atmosphere and a sizable audience waiting for three deliciously frightening films. The first is always a recent release, and the second is an older "classic film," while the third is usually a campy, often poorly made, but frequently fun, film from the Fifties or Sixties.
The audience is large on this particular Friday night, but many, except the diehards, leave after the first film, and then even more make their way to the exits after the second. It is during the third film that Larry finds himself alone in the theater and begins to see strange things. Then everything changes. Larry's quiet world is turned upside down as he is faced with a terrifying confrontation that challenges both his mortality and his conscience.
Witching Hour Theatre is a delight. It is a short novella, probably no more than an hours reading, written by Craig Shaeffer. It is a quiet story that blossoms into full-bore action-themed horror. There are no ghosts, but the old theater filled with its shadows and dark images is spooky and well described by Shaeffer. The images Shaeffer creates for the theater and films will thrill horror and movie fans, and the climax is effectively scripted to the action on screen. The writing is professional and the tension is built without melodrama: it is constructed with a slow, very literate, and almost agonizing pace. The reader can feel the terror coming, but it is created scene-by-scene from a low, almost unheard thrum, into an inferno.
Witching Hour Theatre is an unexpected gem. It is original and entertaining. Its quality and tone, along with its use of a well-known film to accentuate the action and mood of the story, will keep fans of the genre interested and thrilled. Witching Hour Theatre is novella you should read.
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