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Book Review: "Found" ed. by Andrew Cull and Gabino Iglesias

5/5 - a modern horror anthology masterpiece...

By Annie KapurPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
From: Amazon

Full Title: Found: An Anthology of Found Footage Horror Stories edited by Andrew Cull and Gabino Iglesias

You all know how much I love horror and what better side-line to take from folk horror than urban legend horror and suburban horror? I found out about this book from my Amazon Recommendations after completing Mister Magic by Kiersten White, a book I am still pretty obsessed with. I downloaded it to my Kindle straight away but got caught up in reading the two novels by Herbert Lieberman that I published before this one. Apart from that, I have come back to my Kindle and found that I was missing out on some anthology reading. Despite having many anthologies in my Kindle library, I had to go to this one first as it was sitting around for the longest time out of all of them.

The book starts off with a little bit of a story by Andrew Cull called 11/7/19. Now, I am sorry for not being a big true crime buff (or at least, not as big as I'd like to be) but I had no idea that the person he was talking about in this story was an actual person until I googled it. It's an introduction about a man who recorded some ASMR sounds whilst he killed his father, his mother and his siblings. Propping them up all around the house in their favourite positions, he stated that some 'smooth-faced' people came to tell him to do so because there was going to be an apocalypse and if he followed their instructions carefully, he would be reunited with his family. Of course, that was not actually the case and in reality, he was insane. This was about the single strangest introduction to an anthology that I have read this year and yet, I was very excited to read the rest of the book.

Another story was by Holly Rae Garcia and was called Two Months Too Long. It was about what seemed to be an abusive ex-relationship in which stalking and unwanted communication was involved. A woman named Shonda was trying to desperately get into contact with an ex-partner named Alex. At first, it seems like she is really quite psychotic until she mentions that she is pregnant. Alex obviously, does not believe her because if she had not mentioned it until this point, why would he? Then, comes a long string of events, all attached together like a web of weirdness. The best part about this is the narrative is told in text messages, emails and pieces of paper with notes on them. Facebook and Twitter messages also litter the mix.

From: @AndrewCull via X

As we move through the book, we see a number of stories dealing with not only the found footage horror in the style of the Blair Witch Project but also in text messages and social media, more modern and post-modern horror tales that encompass the same atmospheres that we ourselves live in today. Now, I know it is not normal for me to like this kind of horror scene but I really do think that some of these stories were really well written. They did not cheapen the trade by including social media, texting, phone calls etc. like people usually think that they will. But ultimately they used all these medias to create quite vivid, wild and unruly stories that built with tense and often changing atmospheres some incredibly intense conversations. The story Disappearances at Coal Hill makes great use of emails, for example.

Other stories that were also pretty good were told in straight narratives. Some of these included stories like The Veiled Lady are told in diary entries and though this may feel like an older form of writing style, it still works pretty well.

All in all, I thought that this book was really clever not only in the way the stories were written but the choice of stories that were included. We get a flavour of everything from texts, to diaries, to emails, to notes and everything in between. The curation of the anthology meets the interest created by the stories themselves, making for a truly immersive and changing reading experience for modern horror lovers.


About the Creator

Annie Kapur

200K+ Reads on Vocal.

English Lecturer

🎓Literature & Writing (B.A)

🎓Film & Writing (M.A)

🎓Secondary English Education (PgDipEd) (QTS)

📍Birmingham, UK

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  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    I love that cover, and I am wondering about those old VHS tapes I had... 📼

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