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"Horror Movie" | Reviewed by Pat Sainz

In 1993, Valentina, a director, and Cleo, a screenwriter, gathered a small group of college acquaintances to shoot a low-budget horror movie simply called “Horror Movie.”  One of their friends, known to them as Weird Kid, was recruited to act out the part of a tall, thin, boy who morphs into a monster on screen through communication with the occult. 

Weird Kid became known as Thin Kid to future fans worldwide because of his height and slight build. It helps that Thin Kid forever resembles a teenager in appearance, style, and social awkwardness.

The setting of the movie was a suburban community within walking distance of an abandoned school. Scenes one through three went well during the shooting, but scene four ended with shots that morphed into unexpected horror on set. The movie was abandoned for 15 years. During that time, some of the young participants met troubled ends.

In 2008, Valentina uploaded the three scenes to YouTube. The movie went viral and a cult following developed.  After the video made its YouTube debut, Thin Kid gained popularity by participating in B-list horror film conventions. 

By 2023, there remained an untoward interest in the creepy movie with fans conjecturing their own endings. A major movie studio decided to capitalize on the frenzied interest of cult followers in the unfinished film and to reboot the movie with its own conclusive finale. It enlisted the now-adult Thin Kid to recreate his role as the monster. 

Thin Kid had his own ideas about how the movie should end. The last scene of the movie turns nightmarish and shocking with no warnings to the cast and crew.

The book “Horror Movie” is told from the point of view of Thin Kid. We never know his real name. The first filming was the only time Thin Kid felt accepted and useful. The second filming gives him a chance to make sure no one ever forgets him.

The novel is told in dual timelines with flashbacks.  A sense of dread builds until the catastrophic and unforgettable ending. 

Clues abound as to how things might turn out, but I missed most of them upon the first reading. I would urge readers to be aware of clues early in the novel because they will add to the tension and emotional strain that develop with each chapter.

About the Author: Paul Tremblay is the author of “The Pallbearers Club” and “The Cabin at the End of the World,” which became the Universal movie, “Knock at the Cabin.” He has won many awards for his writing.



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