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The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The credits have rolled, but the lights are still off. Something is lurking on the other side of the screen. There are dark secrets, starving monsters, and haunted survivors who refuse to be left on the cutting room floor. But that’s okay, right? After all, everybody loves the movies…. Here are twenty-three terrifying tales, dark reflections of the silver screen from both ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Tachyon Publications
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3.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  117 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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I was excited to find this anthology up for review at Net Galley. I'm still very new over there, and I figured that there couldn't possibly be a better pick for me to request. I have loved anthologies like this since I was a kid. I cut my teeth on the likes of Dennis Etchison, Graham Masterton, Harlan Ellison and Dougles E. Winter and I've read a number of anthologies edited by Ellen Datlow. Unfortunately, of the twenty three tales within, there were only 7 that rated 4 stars or above with me.

Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy dark plots about movies (especially horror movies), and this definitely scratched that itch. I didn't love every story, but loved enough of them that I can definitely say I'm glad I read this anthology and would recommend it to others. Some of my stand-outs:

Illimitable Dominion by Kim Newman: I read a novel by Newman and disliked it, but was deeply charmed by this mostly-not-horrific story about Hollywood becoming obsessed about filming Poe's stories. Poe rises! Excellent, subtle writing
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Cutting Room is a collection of short stories all tying in with the movie industry or films in some way. Not all the stories hit the mark and there were several that were a chore to get through. The latter half of the book was a bit more consistent for me and overall there were quite a few stories that I really enjoyed.
Here's a rundown of what is included and the stories that left a more lasting imp
Frank Errington
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review copy

I believe it can be safely said that Ellen Datlow is one of the most well-known editors of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror working today. Her newest anthology, just released by Tachyon Publications, is The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen.

Here, Datlow has gathered 23 short stories all dealing with the movie industry. A wide variety of tales featuring writers, directors, bit players, and stars; from blockbusters to porn.

A few highlights include the opening story
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Aug 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2014
DNF! In the end, I just couldn't finish another story. This collection just didn't suit me...

“The Cutter” by Edward Bryant - 2
“The Hanged Man of Oz” by Steve Nagy - 3
“Deadspace” by Dennis Etchison - 1
“Cuts” by F. Paul Wilson - 2,5
“Final Girl Theory” by A. C. Wise - 2,5
“Lapland, or Film Noir” by Peter Straub - 1
“The Thousand Cuts” by Ian Watson - 2
“Occam’s Ducks” by Howard Waldrop - 1
“Dead Image” by David Morrell - 2,5
“The Constantinople Archives” by Robert Shearman - 1
“Each thing I show you is a
Received to review via Netgalley

I mostly requested The Cutting Room because I know Ellen Datlow is a majorly respected editor of anthologies, and the idea of a themed anthology based on the silver screen… well, it did appeal, even if horror isn’t really my thing. Unfortunately, that turned out to be only too true, and also I didn’t really understand the point of some of the stories. There are definitely some standouts, though, and some amazingly written ones, and clever ones which turn things ar
Lou Columbus
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
First of all, as editor Ellen Datlow states in her introduction to this anthology; not all of the stories are “horror stories per se”. Each of the tales involve films or the film industry and most, if not falling directly into the horror genre, are certainly very dark. I recently read a wonderful interview with Ms. Datlow where she briefly explained her thought process when putting together an anthology. After reading the interview, I have a better understanding of why almost anything she puts h ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Some of these were great, but some were awful. All in all a decent collection, but not my favorite.

3 stars.
Four stars or five? Please read the above as at least four and half stars; some stories I didn't care for, but about one third of them are amazing. Horror’s not usually my thing, usually, but Ellen Datlow anthologies are and especially ones about movies.
*“The Cutter” by Edward Bryant Mr. Carrigan owns the Ramona Theatre in a very small town in Colorado and re-edits the movies he gets into something better. “Robby,” he tells the young protagonist, “you can alter reality. If you don’t like the wa
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cutters and splicers
Recommended to Alan by: Sheila
I had somehow missed the release of The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen when it came out in 2014, despite its theme being very much of interest to me, so when my Goodreads friend Sheila recently announced that she was reading this Ellen Datlow anthology, I put it on my own to-read list right away. Datlow is, after all, probably speculative fiction's greatest living editor. From her extended reign as Fiction Editor for the groundbreaking Omni Magazine from 1981 through 1998, t ...more
Baal Of
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, horror
I should start jotting down a brief note for each story when I read an anthology. All my reviews seem to say about the same thing. I liked some stories, I didn't like a few. This one is no exception. Datlow is always a reliable editor, selecting solid, high quality collections around unusual themes. There were only a couple of duds in this collection, "Deadspace" by Dennis Etchison being the worst with its boring narrative, empty characters, and not even an interesting idea to convey. I really l ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Ellen Datlow has done a stirling job in editing The Cutting Room, collecting together a great mixture of writing from authors, some of whom I recognised others new to me. The link is movie making, movies and how the silverscreen manages to become one with us (at times).

Even though horror is at the heart of this collection, some of the pieces feel more like newspaper pieces, critiques and essays, and yet again this I think is Datlow playing with her readerships brains and emotions. I particularly
LAPL Reads
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Horror stories infused with elements of the supernatural and, by design, created to fill the reader with a sense of dread and foreboding, have been around for as long as people have gathered around fires in the dark. The first published horror novels date back to the 18th century, with horror becoming a true phenomenon in the 19th with the publication of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818), the works of Edgar Allan Poe (1820s-1840s), The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis St ...more
Peter Bradley
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Please give my Amazon review a helpful vote -

The theme of this horror anthology is that each of the stories has something to do with movies or the movie industry.

Some of these stories take the mission and absolutely click. My favorite story in the anthology was Kim Newman's "Illimitable Dominion." I listened to the collection as an audiobook and I found the narration to be absolutely brilliant, and the story laugh out loud funny, as the narrator explains
This was by no means a bad collection, but most of the stories I found to be just fine. Maybe I've been in Hollywood too long? And now require more from stories about Hollywood/the industry? It's definitely worth a look, just not as stand-out as some of the other collections by Ellen Datlow.

The stand-out stories, in my opinion:

every thing I show you is a piece of my death by Gemma Files & Stephen J Barringer
A haunting collection of "found objects" including video transcripts about a man w
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SO I have a history with horror novels and stories about movies. Two stories in here I had read before; Wise's "Final Girl Theory", which might have been my first contact with the sub-sub-genre, and Files' "each thing i show you is a piece of my death", a brilliant prequel short to her wonderful novel Experimental Film.

Most of the collection is quite good, and is often more violent or gory than I anticipate from a Datlow collection. There are a couple of weak stories ("Cinder Images" was the on
Oct 10, 2014 rated it liked it
The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen
Edited by Ellen Datlow

I received a copy from a First Reads giveaway.
Overlapping mediums, horror on the screen comes onto the page. Datlow’s anthology centers around film, the viewers, and the making of movies. There are 21 stories and two poems.

“The Cutter” by Edward Bryant
A man recounts his youth when he worked at a theater where his manager tries to edit his own reality. I enjoyed the theme and found this one of the strongest stories in t
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this collection as a whole but the fact that most of the stories were written by men and most of them featured violence against women... we get it, Hollywood and the world in general hate women! I'm just so tired of reading about it.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, Especially Ardor by Laird BArron.
Vince Darcangelo

“With no dreams left to search for, I have only nightmares to anticipate.”The Cutting Room

This is one of the most haunting lines from the tremendous opening story, “The Cutter,” by Edward Bryant. It sets the tone for all the delicious horror in Ellen Datlow’s latest anthology, The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen.

Those familiar with Datlow’s work know that she is the go-to authority in the horror/fantasy world. The appeal of any antholog
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 4.0 of 5

Editor Ellen Datlow puts together some really good books and this might be one of my favorite to date.  Dark fantasy/horror stories strung along a theme of films and filmmaking.  What a brilliant concept.

There are some well-known authors included here (such as Dennis Etchison, F. Paul Wilson, Peter Straub, and Laird Barron) as well as some names that are new to me.  But all the stories are well done and many of them manag
Aug 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Normally I’d give a little intro to what I thought, give brief takes on some of the individual stories from the anthology that struck me as in some way particularly good or bad, then wrap it up. Not this time, however. I’m not going to address individual stories because not many of them really stood out to me one way or the other.

There’s a certain similarity of pacing and type of voice in many of these stories that made the book feel monotonous and uninteresting. I love horror and find the antho
Aug 27, 2014 rated it liked it
We all love a good night at the cinema and The Cutting Room makes for perfect spooky October fare. The collection may not be perfect, but the most terrifying stories are well written masterpieces of horror. Using the backdrop of cinema as a theme, The Cutting Room says as much about terror as it does about our obsession with movies.

An experimental story by Peter Straub completely fails to do anything but here are a few words on the stories I absolutely enjoyed.

The Cutter - Edward Bryant
Sakura Sternberg
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
On a flow chart cataloging all of my personal obsessions, classic Hollywood cinema and contemporary horror fiction would probably intersect. So, in a way, I kinda think this collection was created specifically for me. And, barring a few duds (which I won't list here), this really hit that sweet spot. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

"Final Girl Theory" by A. C. Wise: It takes a lot to scare me. Like... a lot. But "Final Girl Theory," for whatever reason, really messed me up. Perhaps it wa
Oct 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
I’ve read anthologies edited by Datlow before so I got this one through NetGalley thinking that I’d like what I was reading. Not so much here. I’m not disappointed that the stories aren’t actually about horror movies or anything like that. They’re all rather creepy in their own right regardless of how cinema is mentioned. I’m just disappointed in the quality of the stories. Aside from the fact that there isn’t a Neil Gaiman story in here, I can really only say I genuine enjoyed three of the stor ...more
A Reader's Heaven
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

The credits have rolled, but the lights are still off. Something is lurking on the other side of the screen. There are dark secrets, starving monsters, and haunted survivors who refuse to be left on the cutting room floor. But that’s okay, right? After all, everybody loves the movies....
Here are twenty-three terrifying tales, dark reflections of the silver screen from both sides of the camera. James Dean gets
Alison C
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it
"The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen," edited by Ellen Datlow, is a collection of short stories of either the dark fantasy or outright horror variety; all but one (“Tenderizer,” by Stephen Graham Jones) are reprints of stories that were published anywhere between 1982 and 2012. As with any such anthology, I liked stories that others might not and vice versa; with that caveat, I enjoyed “The Hanged Man of Oz,” by Steve Nagy, in which our narrator learns of such an image in jus ...more
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
I love short fiction and I’m also a film buff, so when I saw this book I was pretty sure I was going to love it, but unfortunately that hasn’t been entirely the case. Part of the problem might have been that although I love speculative fiction, horror and dark fantasy are not my favorite genres, and most of the stories in this anthology belong to these categories, something I didn’t know until I read Datlow’s introduction.

Despite the aforementioned, I don’t think any of the stories were bad, it’
Jan 21, 2015 rated it liked it
This collection of short stories is not at all my normal reading fare. I almost never read anything considered horror nor even very much mystery. In addition, I seldom read short story anthologies. So, my three star review very much has to do with this just not being a type of book that I would normally choose, but I did enjoy trying something completely different.

These stories are full of violence, creepiness, and confusion. All of them touch on film in some way, and several blur the lines bet
Rachel Bridgeman
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If Ms Datlow is on a cover, I will be right there begging someone to take my money.
To my mind, having read extensively within the world of sf/fantasy and horror, she without doubt is one of the top anthologists of our time.
Hugo award winning for a reason, she not only finds subjects to chill the bones ('Doll Collection springs to mind) but they also get the little grey cells turning as the flesh is creeping.
No ordinary anthology, there is rarely a misstep in the tales told of movies, movie thea
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Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter