Happy New Year, Hellions! Somehow, the start of 2022 feels worse than 2021. Now that’s an incredible feat. No matter how dire things seem in the world, at least we have horror movies to watch in the safety of our own homes. One thing 2021 brought us was Tubi stepping up their horror game, flooding the free streaming channel with a bevy of gems and turds and movies almost no one has ever heard of. It gave me hope that even after 50 years of watching horror flicks, there are still plenty out there to be discovered.
For most of last year, I wasn’t sure I would find 13 movies to put on my list. That only made sense, considering the shit show that was 2020 and what it did to the movie industry. Then, I did my usual end of the year binge and the list was complete! A post-Christmas miracle! Now, if you want to see what I thought of each of my top 13, you can watch it all unfold on the Final Guys podcast (plus get a grab bag of other movies that Jack, Jason and Tim put on their lists). Mind you, I’d had a very rough day at work before we recorded and drank some high octane spirits on an empty stomach. Which means I was hopefully more amusing than usual. Or annoying, if you ask Jason.
And for those who just want the damn list and none of the palaver, here it is, in order.
13. A QUIET PLACE 2
12. WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING
11. WEREWOLVES WITHIN
10. MY HEART CAN’T BEAT UNLESS YOU TELL IT TO
9. BLOODY HELL
8. JAKOB’S WIFE
7. THE NIGHT HOUSE
5. SHADOW IN THE CLOUD
4. LAST NIGHT IN SOHO
3. NO ONE SLEEPS IN THE WOODS TONIGHT PARTS 1 & 2
2. PSYCHO GOREMAN
**Bonus honorable mentions – VICIOUS FUN, SLAXX, VHS 94, LAMB and the uber odd TITANE.
Now that I’ve showed you mine, I want to see yours? What were some of your favorites?
Tis the season for giving, and I’m proud to be a part of an absolutely amazing charity anthology. DIABOLICA AMERICANA is the perfect stocker stuffer for the horror fan in your life. Better yet, all proceeds go to a charity called ‘A Place Called Home’, which gives children and teens a chance to have meaningful lives away from the influence of gangland culture in Los Angeles. By purchasing this book, you will be making a real difference to the lives of so many bright, young hopefuls.
Talk about an all star lineup. You’ll find spine chilling tales from Richard Chizmar, Gabino Iglesias, Cynthia Pelayo, Jonathan Janz, Chris Sorensen, Laurel Hightower, Jofn F.D. Taff, yours truly and so many more.
Need more incentive? I have a very different tale (for me) called DAUGHTER. Here’s a little bit to get your horror motor humming…
By Hunter Shea
Dennis Gordon dipped the paddles into the black waters of the Long Island Sound, careful to make as little noise as possible. His kayak sliced through a ribbon reflection of the moon. The island loomed ahead, shadowy trees waving in the breeze.
His phone vibrated.
Carefully setting the paddle across his lap, Dennis checked the message.
Honey, I know where you are. Please come home. This has to stop. Not just for your sake. For our sake. I love you. I can’t lose you, too.
He tucked the phone back into his pocket and had to course correct. The current, even in just that blink of an eye, seemed to want to push him to shore. It was as if it was in league with his wife and the lingering remnants of his rationality.
“I love you, too,” Dennis whispered into the night. “But we both know I can’t stop.”
There were times, especially during the light of day, when he thought she was right. Enough was enough. This was bordering on insanity. No, not bordering. It had long crossed over. He just had to look at the bits of dirt under his nails that he could never fully remove to remind him of his madness.
“It’s not madness.”
He’d been talking to himself a lot lately during his forays to the island.
“Not just to myself.”
He was right. And that should have given him pause.
“Keep paddling. Slow and steady, Denny. Slow and steady.”
He remembered how physically exhausting the trip was in the beginning. He was by no means a young man anymore. His forties had given way to fifty and there were a lot of muscles he no longer used. The burn in his shoulders just from kayaking threatened to cut his nights short.
Now, six months later, he was in the best shape of his life. Even better than his high school baseball days.
“I wonder if I can still throw a curveball?”
Water sluicing off the end of his paddle was his only reply.
He paused for a moment, checking for any lights on the island that shouldn’t be there. A seagull croaked overhead as it headed to the island.
The gulls loved it there. They knew what was hidden just beneath the surface. If there was a chance something would come up, they would be the first to reap the gruesome rewards.
All was quiet, as it was most nights. Dennis paddled on until the tip of his kayak dug into the soft sand on the island’s south shore. He slipped out and pulled his kayak under a pile of branches and leaves he’d tied together as camouflage months ago. Under that carefully constructed pile lay his shovel. He grabbed it with split, calloused hands and walked through the brambles.
Want to read more? Click the cover image below to grab your copy and give to a stellar charity.
It ain’t the spooky season without a brand new Hunter Shea book. And this one is a dark and twisted doozy!
ABOUT THE BOOK –
How do you survive hearing your family being brutally murdered over the phone? For Father Raul Figeuroa, all faith and hope are lost. Turning away from the priesthood, he retreats to his aunt’s empty farmhouse in upstate New York, hoping to drink himself to oblivion. But he’s not alone in the house. Something is trying to reach out to him. Or is he losing his grip on reality? When his childhood friend Felix comes to visit, things take a darker turn. The deeper they dig into the mystery, the closer they get to hell literally breaking loose.
“Faithless is yet another example of why Shea and Don D’Auria continue to be a magical partnership.” – Cemetery Dance
Grab an ebook, paperback or hardcover today!
Way back in 2013, my editor at Samhain Publishing (the legend himself, Don D’Auria) said to me, “So, what’s your latest book idea?” Back then, I had pledged to write two books a year for Samhain, delivering a novel and novella before New Year’s Eve. I wanted to write about the real life haunting my family had been experiencing since the 90s, but Samhain didn’t have a non-fiction line. So, I took the high strangeness we were going through and fictionalized it. The end result was my novella, The Waiting. It came out in 2014 as an ebook only and was well received, though it didn’t get in front of a ton of eyeballs.
Samhain went under a few years after that and my little ghost story was as dead as the phantom boy who prowled my apartment.
That is, until the amazing folks at Silver Shamrock agreed to bring it back to life with a brand new cover by the incredible Kealan Patrick Burke, foreword by punk horror master Glenn Rolfe, and a revised ending and afterword by yours truly.
The afterword is very important this time around because at the time I originally wrote The Waiting, I had no idea what was at the heart of the mystery. Since then, we think we know exactly who – or what – spent so much time with us. I’m very proud of this book and know that Creature would never have happened if this hadn’t paved the way for me.
A little about the book :
Newlywed Cassandra Pagano lies in a state between life and death, her body fed and preserved by the machines at her side. While she struggles, unaware of the world around her, someone waits. A boy. A phantom that appears solid, real, “alive.” Cassandra’s husband, Brian, sees him in the house, by her bedside, running down darkened hallways. The boy walks without sound, whispers words that can’t be deciphered.
Terror and tension are driving Brian to the breaking point. Why is the boy there, and what does he want with Cassandra and her fading soul?
You can now grab a copy of this gorgeous, new edition, in ebook or print! Click here so you don’t have to ‘wait’ anymore!
I mean, who doesn’t have a lustful spirit hiding in the corners of their attic? I’m very pumped to be featured in the latest edition of Terry M West’s Weirdsmith series. My story, THE ATTIC, is not your average ghost tale.
About the story –
They say you can’ t go home.
Burt Cromartie would agree. Something unspeakable happened to him in the attic of his childhood home. He’d hoped to never return. But, now the house is his, and with no job and dwindling savings, he’s forced to accept the curse willed to him by his horrid parents. Whatever Burt left behind in the dusty attic has been waiting, patiently, for him to come back.
The gate to hell is a simple wooden door, a set of creaking stairs, a musty room that is never, truly empty.
There’s no running from the thing in the attic.
Welcome home, Burt.
It’s just dying to meet you.
And maybe, just maybe, Jessica and Eddie might show up to try to save poor Burt and his family.
DROP IT ON YOUR KINDLE FOR ONLY 99 CENTS!
Believe it or not, it’s pure coincidence that the release of Bigfoot in the Bronx happens to fall on the same day as King Kong vs. Godzilla. I could never have planned it so well. Trust me.
So, who wants to squatch this place up?
It’s hunting season for best friends Shay and Vito. This year, with a bad economy and Shay out of work, it’s more important than ever to bag a deer so they can feed their families. Tucking their truck in their secret spot outside a state park in the Catskills, they settle down, waiting for a deer to come to them.
What they get is a giant creature that outruns a speeding deer and savages it with its bare hands and jagged teeth. Someone hidden in the woods shoots it with a tranquilizer dart. Shay knows what the beast at their feet is, and how its discovery can change their lives forever. They load it into their truck and head home for…
The drugged Bigfoot awakens in a cramped shed in Shay’s backyard. Confused, terrified, angry, it breaks loose in the middle of the night, seeking refuge in a nearby cemetery. When the bagpipes of a morning funeral drive it into a killing rage, the carnage has just begun.
From playgrounds to golf courses, apartment buildings to subway cars, the bigfoot is on the move – and it’s not happy. Can Shay and Vito find and recapture the beast before it burns the Bronx to the ground?
I can’t think of a book cover that is more suitable for Hunter’s Hellions than my upcoming release from Flame Tree Press, FAITHLESS!
Faithless will be out in October this year (when the world will hopefully have it’s Covid head out of it’s ass), but you can pre-order your copy today!
About the book:
How do you survive hearing your family being brutally murdered over the phone? For Father Raul Figeuroa, all faith and hope are lost. Turning away from the priesthood behind, he retreats to his aunt’s empty farmhouse in upstate New York, hoping to drink himself to oblivion. But he’s not alone in the house. Something is trying to reach out to him. Or is he losing his grip on reality? When his childhood friend Felix comes to visit, things take a darker turn. The deeper they dig into the mystery, the closer they get to hell literally breaking loose.
I wrote this book at the very start of the quarantine last March. It was one of the things that kept me sane during those first few months, including booze, watch parties of Joe Bob’s Last Drive-In Show on Shudder, and did I say booze?
Hope you remember how to say your prayers. You’re gonna need them for this one.
Because the writer is always the last to know, turns out I made my television debut on World’s Most Unexplained on the Travel Channel last night. Thank the fates that my friends watch these crazy shows all the time and they were quick to let me know!
Oy, look at that mug. I was filmed in a cramped hotel room in the height of the pandemic. Taking off my mask made me nervous as hell, which helped tamp down any butterflies I had about being on camera and interviewed by someone who was on a laptop in Ireland.
The episode is called Roadside Creature/Up in Flames. In the episode, I and several other Travel Channel mainstays talk about the very mysterious 2 night event in a bucolic Massachusetts town back in 1977. Several teenagers saw a bizarre creature on the dark, winding roads, all of them reporting basically the same odd being. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman was there on the scene and coined the name, the Dover Demon.
I’m sure you can stream the show. Here is a one minute preview –
When I was with Loren at the International Cryptozoology Museum, we got to talking about the DD and I was hooked. Not long after, my fictional take on the cryptid with UFO connections was born. If you’d like to explore the Dover Demon and what it could mean for the people who witnessed it when it returns decades later, grab a copy and be prepared for some high strangeness!
Wow, is this long overdue. When Samhain Publishing went the way of Beanie Babies, I had decided to keep the three Jessica Backman books for myself because, well, she’s my favorite character and I don’t want to share. In 2017, I re-released Forest of Shadows with a cool, new cover and promised the next two would be close behind. Boy, was I wrong…and late! But fear no more, the lost Jessica Backman books are lost no more! Guess it’s high time I wrote book 4.
How can you escape the ghost of yourself?
The Leigh family is terrified. They’ve been haunted by the ghostly image of their young daughter, Selena. But how can that be, when Selena is alive and well, and as frightened as her parents? With no where else to turn, the Leighs place their hopes in Jessica Backman, who has dedicated her life to investigating paranormal activity. Accompanied by a new partner who claims to able to speak to the dead, Jessica will soon encounter an entity that scares even her. And a terror far worse than she imagined.
Sometimes, the dead are best left in peace.
Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.
But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?
GRAB BOTH BOOKS FOR THE HOLIDAYS. SEE, SOMETHING GOOD DID HAPPEN IN 2020.