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The Best Recent Horror Novels about Horror Movies

The Best Recent Horror Novels about Horror Movies

It’s summertime! And, as everyone knows, summertime is for meta horror movies and books about meta horror movies. I don’t make the rules! My friend and colleague Molly and I were talking about how there are SO many books coming out that play on horror movie tropes. So we rounded up a few of the best new ones, for your reading pleasure!

Take a look!


Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Silver Nitrate

Both of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s parents worked in radio, so perhaps that’s part of the inspiration behind this bonkers ode to sound engineering and the (literal magical) power of the human voice. Silver Nitrate features a sound editor and a has-been actor as they befriend an elderly icon from the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, only to find themselves drawn into a vast conspiracy to harness the magic of the silver screen and bring an occult-obsessed Nazi back from the dead. This book has everything, and I could not recommend it enough! –MO


Riley Sager, Final Girls

Quincy is a real-life final girl, the sole survivor of a horror movie-style massacre. There have only been two other such survivors in recent history: Lisa, who lived through a mass slaying at a sorority house, and Sam, who endured a slaughter while working a night shift at a motel. But then Lisa ends up dead, and Sam reaches out to Quincy, thinking that if they can team up, they can figure out if someone’s trying to finish them off. Only, Quincy has repressed her memories of that night. But she has to get them back, or else she’ll relive the slasher movie events that she experience once before.. and maybe won’t make it out alive, this time. —OR

Paul Tremblay, Horror Movie

There are so many books about cursed productions, and still not enough!! I’ll never get tired of it. This one, from master of horror Paul Tremblay, is about a cult-classic cursed film from the 90s that is about to get a big Hollywood reboot… and the sole surviving cast member from the original, who must first confront the events from his past to help remake the film that changed his life. —OR


Grady Hendrix, The Final Girl Support Group

My gosh, final girls are all over this list, aren’t they? (Stephen Graham Jones also has a novel called The Last Final Girl but it seems to be out of print.) Anyway, The Final Girl Support Group is great fun. Like Riley Sager’s, it is ALSO about a group of real-life final girls. This time, they do all know each other… they meet in a secret support group to discuss their traumas… traumas that only they understand. But then they start getting bumped off and it becomes pretty clear that someone has found out about their meetings and wants to silence them for good. —OR


Josh Winning, Burn the Negative

Another cursed production! This one with slashers. It’s never a good idea to reboot a beloved story, but it’s especially not a good idea when the original production is rumored to have led to several cast and crew members’ untimely demise. Winning’s final girl heroine, returning to the screen to reprise her childhood role, knows the remake is bad luck from the get-go, but it takes a few chapters for her to realize just how much danger she’s in. –MO

Riley Sager, Survive the Night

I love Survive the Night, and I knew I would from the moment I read the plot description: “It’s November 1991. George H.W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.” Done and done. –OR


Craig Russell, The Devil’s Playground

Just like Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Silver Nitrate, Craig Russell’s The Devil’s Playground revolves around a legendary cursed production – this one from the silent era. Russell splits his tale between two time periods; in the 1920s, a lavish film production grinds to a halt as numerous deaths are linked to the ill-fated picture, while in the 1960s, a film buff is hot on the trail of the doomed project’s single remaining copy. The Devil’s Playground is an epic tale of morality, corruption, and the lengths we go to in pursuit of artistic glory, both rooted in historical detail and full of universal concerns. –MO


Chuck Tingle, Bury Your Gays

Chuck Tingle may have made his name in steamy-yet-absurdist erotica, but Bury Your Gays, along with last year’s Camp Damascus, cements Tingle’s place as one of the best new novelists around, horror or otherwise. Showrunner Misha is giving a harsh directive from his studio overlords: either kill off his queer characters, or make them straight. When he refuses to do either, monstrous beings from Misha’s previous cinematic endeavors start confronting him in the flesh, and even worse: they’re threatening his loved ones. This is quite possibly the best spoof of Hollywood since Get Smart. And three cheers for a book with ace representation! –MO