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Best Five Horror Books of 2018–Waylon Jordan’s Picks

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It’s that time of year. Critics and reviewers all over the globe are creating their “best of” lists, celebrating the movies, books, and music that swept us into other worlds, stirred emotions, and in the case of horror, chilled us to the bone.

I’m no different, really, and while many of my fellow iHorror writers are working away creating their own list of movies for the year, I decided that I would focus on the horror books of 2018 that deserve one more round of attention before the dawn of 2019.

Perhaps you’ve read them, or perhaps this will be your first introduction, but I guarantee there is something on this list for everyone!

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

#5 Hark! The Herald Angels Scream

Image result for Hark! the herald angels scream

First up on our list is an anthology of 18 short stories curated and edited by author Christopher Golden!

Each story in this particular tome is connected to Christmas in one way or another, and each reminds us of a time when Christmas Eve was meant for scary stories around the fireplace.

While each is a standout in its own right, some of my favorites include Josh Malerman’s terrifying “Tenets”, Sarah Pinborough’s genre and culture blending “The Hangman’s Bride”, and the hilariously dark “Good Deeds” from Jeff Strand.

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream is available in bookstores and in multiple formats online!

#4 Bad Man: A Novel

Image result for bad man a novel

Perhaps it is because I’ve spent so many years working a day job in retail, but there is something absolutely disturbing on a cellular level in Dathan Auerbach’s Bad Man:A Novel.

A creeping, disturbing southern Gothic masterpiece of mood and atmosphere, Bad Man tells the story of a young man named Ben who loses his younger brother Kevin in the local grocery store. No, Ben didn’t lose Eric; he simply vanished into thin air.

Years later, Ben has never stopped looking for Eric, but as his family falls apart around him, he has to find a job, and the only business hiring is none other than the very store where his brother disappeared.

As he goes to work stocking shelves overnight, he can’t help but notice the very strange things that seem to happen around him, and Ben begins to piece together the story of just what might have happened to Eric all those years ago.

He has no idea how unprepared he is for the truth. Pick up a copy today!

#3 The Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel

Image result for the cabin at the end of the world

Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World takes a classic horror trope, the home invasion story, and turns it on its head.

Eric and Andrew take their adopted daughter, Wen, on vacation to a secluded cabin. The young girl is precocious and inquisitive, and while she’s outside catching grasshoppers, a large man named Leonard emerges from the woods.

While briefly won over, Wen begins to expect something is wrong when Leonard tells her “None of what’s going to happen is your fault.” Three more men emerge from the woods and as Wen runs to tell her dads, Leonard calls after her, “We need your help to save the world.”

Once inside, the men reveal that a sacrifice must be made in order to stop the coming apocalypse, and the sacrifice must be one of Wen’s family.

The Cabin at the End of the World is a gripping story fueled by paranoia that Stephen King called “thought-provoking and terrifying.”

If it isn’t on your reading list already, make sure you add it today.

#2 Meddling Kids

Image result for meddling kids

Who would have thought that H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos could mix so easily and readily with the high jinks of a series of books for children called the Famous Five?

Edgar Cantero did…and if you add just a splash of Scooby-Doo into the mix, you’ll find yourself right in the middle of his novel, Meddling Kids.

It’s been 13 years since the Blyton Summer Detective Club solved the mystery of an amphibian-like creature that was stalking the countryside near their vacation home…or so they thought.

Since that time, their lives have fallen apart in various ways, and when one of the members insists on a reunion to get to the bottom of what happened to them once and for all, they find themselves face to face with monsters who aren’t just real estate developers in masks!

Cantero breezes through different writing styles to tell a story that is as hilarious as it is scary, and while it certainly pays homage to the previously mentioned fictional worlds, the best part about Meddling Kids is that it ultimately creates a world that is all its own.

Perfect for a summer reading listMeddling Kids more than earned the #2 spot on my best of list. It took it! Order your copy today!

#1 Jinxed

Image result for jinxed thommy hutson

Thommy Hutson’s debut novel surpassed my every expectation this year.

I knew that he was a capable writer, having been a fan of multiple movies he’s written and his non-fiction book Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, but I was just not prepared for how good this book really turned out to be.

Jinxed is, at its core, a literary slasher that kept me guessing until the final page was turned. Hutson translates the tropes we horror fans know and love into a novel that rivals Lois Duncan’s I Know What you Did Last Summer.

The suspense is high; the kills are gory, and as a masked killer slowly picks off a group of friends trapped at their posh school for the performing arts, you just might find yourself reading with every light in the house on for comfort.

If you haven’t added Jinxed to your library, buy a copy today and find out why it’s Number One on my list!

Bonus Title: The Haunting of Hill House

Image result for the haunting of hill house book

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking. The Haunting of Hill House is almost 60 years old!

This is true, but Shirley Jackson’s novel, which will never go out of style, had its own revival this year when it was loosely adapted into a series for Netflix.

Jackson’s prose holds up better than many novels of its time, and as a whole new generation of fans have discovered, it’s just as chilling as when it was first released.

The tale of Dr. Montague, Nell, Theo, and Luke, and their strange and increasingly dangerous encounters in the storied halls of Hill House has captivated some of the greatest genre writers for decades.

Stephen King noted that it was “[One of] the only two great novels of the supernatural in the last 100 years” and Neil Gaiman has remarked that “It scared me as a teenager and it haunts me still.”

If you’ve never read this genuinely spooky novel by one of the legends of the genre, then you owe yourself a copy with a recommendation from me to read it on a chilly wintry evening with a heavy dose of brandy in hand.

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Doug Bradley Wants To Play Pinhead Again In A ‘The Scarlet Gospels’ Movie Adaptation

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This is exciting news for fans of the actor and the franchise. In an exclusive interview with Bloody Disgusting, Doug Bradley says, I certainly never say never. I’ve never said I was done with it. Check out more of what he says in the interview below.

Movie Scene from Hellraiser (1987)

Doug Bradley says, “I certainly never say never. I’ve never said I was done with it. I’ve never said I’m retired from it. I’m sensible about these things, too. I was in my mid-30s when I first played the character, and I was just turning 50 when I played him the last time. I ain’t in that age range anymore. I’m now in my 70th year, and to some extent, I think special effects makeup is a younger man’s game.”

Movie Scene from Hellraiser (1987)

Then, when talking about a movie adaptation of The Scarlet Gospels, he says “If we did that, we could maybe present an older Pinhead to be aware of the fact that I am the age I am, that time and gravity does what time and gravity does. An older, darker Pinhead would intrigue me, one not so much in love with the flippant one-liners and the witty comebacks and so forth.”

Deleted Scene from Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (1988)

The Scarlet Gospels is a novel written by Clive Barker that was published in 2015. It served as a continuation of his novel The Hellbound Heart and the Harry D’Amour stories. The book followed the story of the Hell Priest, the demonic Cenobite nicknamed “Pinhead”, and his efforts to gain power. Occult detective Harry D’Amour must journey into Hell to rescue his friend and stop the Hell Priest’s plans.”

Movie Scene from Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

While Bradley does state he is too old for the role, The Scarlet Gospels follows an older pinhead which would work perfectly for the actor. Are you excited about the news of him playing the character again if this adaptation happens? Let us know in the comments below.

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Season 5 of HBO’s ‘True Detective’ Is Greenlit

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True Detective Season 5

Whether you liked Issa López’s interpretation of HBO’s True Detective: Night Country, the streamer has given her the go-ahead for another season, the fifth for the long-running series.

That’s right López will once again take the reigns of True Detective which HBO says the Night Country installment was its most-watched season of the creepy series to date, with its finale (aired on February 18) getting the highest viewership numbers since its premiere in January.

True Detective
True Detective: Night Country

“From conception to release, ‘Night Country’ has been the most beautiful collaboration and adventure of my entire creative life,” López told Variety. “HBO trusted my vision all the way, and the idea of bringing to life a new incarnation of ‘True Detective’ with Casey, Francesca and the whole team is a dream come true. I can’t wait to go again.”

True Detective: Night Country Official Trailer

Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming added, “Issa López is that one-of-a-kind, rare talent that speaks directly to HBO’s creative spirit. She helmed ‘True Detective: Night Country’ from start to finish, never once faltering from her own commendable vision, and inspiring us with her resilience both on the page and behind the camera. Alongside Jodie and Kali’s impeccable performances, she’s made this installation of the franchise a massive success, we are so lucky to have her as part of our family.”

López was very verbal on social media about doing Night Country, from the announcement she got the gig, until its completion. You might know her work outside of HBO starting with the sublime 2017 supernatural thriller Tigers Are Not Afraid.

Some viewers were divided on the supernatural direction Lopez took True Detective, but the overall consensus is that it was a great twist to an already phenomenal series.

True Detective: Night Country stars Jodie Foster and Kali Reis as two investigators examining the strange mass death of an Ennis, Alaska research team who may or may not have succumbed to a curse perpetuated by the indigenous people of the area.

There is no word yet on plot details but keep checking back with us and we will keep you posted.

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Josh Brolin Replaces Pedro Pascal in New Zach Cregger Film ‘Weapons’

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josh brolin

Horror fans who loved Zach Cregger’s Barbarian will be excited to hear that his new project Weapons is still in active production. An exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter states that Josh Brolin is in negation for the film’s lead role.

The role was originally meant for Pedro Pascal (The Last of Us) but a scheduling conflict with the new Fantastic Four film has caused him to leave the project. This is an interesting decision on the part of Pascal. The Fantastic Four film franchise hasn’t exactly gone well in the past. But hey, there’s a first time for everything, right?

Pedro Pascal
Pedro Pascal

Luckily, Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity War) is showing up to fill the position. Horror fans have been wildly excited about the new project from Zach Cregger, even though very little is known about the project.

The Hollywood Report states that the film is ‘an interrelated, multistory horror epic that tonally is in the vein of Magnolia“. And I’ll be honest, I have no idea what that means, but it sounds amazing. If anyone can pull off a film like that, it’s Josh Brolin.

Josh Brolin

This would technically be Josh Brolin’s first horror film. The actor has been known to be very picky about who he worked with in the past. Fans are taking this as an indication that the film will be well written. Or at the very least, have an original concept.

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