Lost Films is a sprawling tome featuring a treasure trove of stories based around…..yep, you guessed it, Lost Films! And here at Grim Reader HQ, we do love a themed anthology.
Anthologies such as this I find are often enjoyed in bursts; a story or two at night, perhaps another squeezed in during a toilet break? Lost Films succeeds by mixing things up quite well. We have all out horror (as you’d expect), some weird stuff, a bit of crime, a weird clown story, and a couple of entries that I struggled with…
Anthologies can be a tough sell and they can often be difficult to fully immerse yourself in. Regardless, here are a few stories that worked well for me. Brian Evenson’s Lather of Flies is a great way to kick things off. It follows the trail of a film aficionado and his quest to unearth a mysterious film from a cult filmmaker named Lahr. Things get pretty weird and our film buff soon finds out that he may be a little too close to this particular movie than he first realised. Leight Harlen’s story was probably my favourite in the book. I loved the ending to this, the all-around oddness of it, the unanswered questions. It’s a story that leaves a lot to the imagination. I like this, the reader isn’t spoon-fed anything and many doors remain unlocked (literally!). By the way, Leigh, What’s behind the GOD DAMN DOOR?!
Brian Asman is an unknown to me but his entry is about one of the most bizarre film festivals you will ever read about. It is a winner and I really enjoyed the imagination the author shows here. All I’ll say about it is that it’s all in the eyes…This Is Horror‘s Kev Harrison also came up with a corker about a cam girl who gets a bit too close for comfort with one of her regulars. This tale straddles a fine line between what is real and what isn’t. It’s creepy, voyeuristic and it is a story sure to make you rethink renewing your PornHub subscription.
Kirsti DeMeester and Jessica McHugh also weigh in with very solid tales as does John C. Foster-a short story specialist for me and somebody that never disappoints. Not everything worked for me. I loved the Gemma Files story but found my brain started to wander the further I got into it. Similarly, with stories by David James Keaton and Ashlee Scheuerman, I enjoyed them for the most part but I just felt they lacked a bit of the punch that some of the shorter tales had.
Lost Films is a damn fine anthology and overall this is a great collection of stories from established writers and writers that are now on my reading radar. Fans of weird horror would be wise to check this out.
4/5 static screens from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing or the