Strange monsters and unusual creatures, eye-widening legends and creepy fairy tales, and the worst of all: human nature. These are the things that frighten us most, but what most American horror junkies don’t realize is that there is a world of terror out there just waiting for new victims.
A World of Horror is an anthological cultural tour in the sacred art of horror that will terrify even the most desensitized scare junkie and force them to sleep with the lights on. Parsed together by Eric J. Guignard, the collection contains delectable choices from South Africa, India, England, Australia, Japan, and many more (even the United States of America).
This reviewer has long-since been a fan of foreign horror movies, and I would love to spend this review dissecting and reliving each of these tales. Only having enough room to focus on a couple, there are two in the collection that really stand out to me.
Asian horror is my favorite of all foreign horror movies, so it was no surprise that “The Wife Who Didn’t Eat” by Thersa Matsuura stood out for me. Beyond all of the superb writing and narrative flow, there is such a depth to the tale that is hard to explain. One thing that I’ve always loved about Japanese horror is there always seems to be a moral at the end, though, sometimes, it is hard to find amongst all of the terror. Based on a Japanese fairy tale, this story tells of a man who prays for a wife. The old saying, “Be careful what you wish for” is one that applies to this story a hundred times over. The twists are surprisingly delightful and fun – and so darn creepy! I will probably dream about this quite a bit in the future.
The other story that will stick with me for some time to come is “The Man at Table Nine” by Ray Cluley. This is perhaps the most unique plot I’ve read or seen in a long time. A new waitress, Nikola, waits on the owner of the restaurant, who sits at table nine with a Polaroid camera. The man’s oddness carries through to the frightening end, one that makes me smile and break out in goosebumps just thinking about it. Like many in the book, Cluley is an author I will seek out to read his other works.
This is not to take away from any of the other writers or stories; each tale is precious in its own right and perfect for a midnight read in a darkened room. It is a book of amazing stories I will treasure forever, and I will definitely return to it every few months for some much-desired chills.
Right now, there aren’t a lot of books that can deliver on the frights like this one, but it also exposes readers to new cultures and ideas, legends and fears – a phenomenal combination that needs to be repeated often. A World of Horror is definitive proof that ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and more are equally terrifying in every corner of the world.
Editor: Eric J. Guignard
Illustrator (interior): Steve Lines
Publisher: Dark Moon Books
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