I wasn’t alive in the 1980s, but I love reading books set in the time period. There’s just something about the aesthetic and the simplicity of the time that makes for a really compelling story. That’s why I jumped to request It Came From the Multiplex on Netgalley. An eighties themed horror anthology, centered around movie theaters? Yes! Fortunately, this collection delivered on its fun, niche concept.
What exactly is coming from the multiplex?
This story collection had an interesting structure in that the first couple of stories are related, but the rest stand alone. The horrors in the stories run the gamut from alien parasites to serial killers to werewolves. The one thread that runs through each story is that the setting is in or around a movie theater. Is “eighties movie theater horror” a super specific theme for an anthology? Yes. But it worked really well. This book captured the excitement of being young and going to the movies with your friends, that simultaneous comfort and anticipation. And honestly, if there’s anywhere I would want to face an apocalypse or monster attack, it’s my local movie theater, which will hopefully not go out of business!
Anything else good about it?
One strength that definitely stood out to me about this book was the diversity of its contributors. Each author told a very different story while still managing to maintain the balance between creepy and nostalgic. My personal favorite stories were the ones by Betty Rocksteady, Mario Acevedo, Stephen Graham Jones, and K. Nicole Davis. I feel like this is an anthology I will definitely be going back to reread, because I feel like there were details in every story that I could have missed. In my opinion, that’s the best way for an anthology to be. Plus, there are a ton of stories in here, so there’s always more to explore. And that’s not even mentioning the gorgeous, creepy illustrations before each story.
To me, this was an incredible anthology that I know I will be going back to. It has a long list of talented authors that all contributed creepy, fun stories. I just love the vibe of this book that mixes horror, comedy, and wonder. Thank you to Netgalley and Hex Publishers for the ARC. This book comes out September 15th, just in time for the Halloween season.(5 / 5)