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Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Legendary genre editor Ellen Datlow brings together eighteen dark and terrifying original stories inspired by cinema and television. A BLUMHOUSE BOOKS HORROR ORIGINAL.

From the secret reels of a notoriously cursed cinematic masterpiece to the debauched livestreams of modern movie junkies who will do anything for clicks, Final Cuts brings together new and terrifying stories
Paperback, 480 pages
Published June 2nd 2020 by Anchor Books
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Sadie Hartmann
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
FINAL CUTS: NEW TALES OF HOLLYWOOD HORROR AND OTHER SPECTACLES edited by the legendary Ellen Datlow is an anthology that will appeal to a huge audience. I don't know many horror fiction fans who are not also movie buffs. Fans of reading are typically excited about all forms of storytelling and since so many books are also made into films, it's quite enjoyable to get two versions of the same story: First the words; then the pictures.

As per usual, when I read an anthology where so many of the stor
What a fantastic theme for a horror anthology! I knew I would have to read this as soon as I heard about it. Horror inspired by film and television is one of my favourite kinds of horror. This theme has spawned some great novels – Experimental Film, The Witnesses Are Gone, The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing, Night Film, to name a few – and I was very excited to see what these 18 authors, many of them new to me, would do with it.

The stories I loved most were those that took a subtle approach
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
3.0 Stars
This was a diverse anthology of horror stories inspired by film. My favourite stories were:
Drunk Physics by Kelley Armstrong… about two girls who get drunk and film themselves discussing physics to post on the internet. However, things get weird when they start getting weird comments and unexplainable images show up in their videos.
Night of the Living by Paul Cornell … about a matinee theater showing for senior citizens that goes horribly wrong.
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Anthologies when done right are amazing and leave you wanting more. They have you researching the authors hungry for more of their work or you seek out more short story collections just like it, not wanting to devour a full book by just one fantastic writer but to stay in that groove of individual chapters. This is one of those books. Ellen Datlow hasn’t let me down yet and when I saw that this was A Blumhouse Books Horror original I was all the way in.

This collection is an ode to horror movies
Nisar Masoom
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Final Cuts—New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles (2020)—is edited by the renowned Ellen Datlow and I bet there was no better connoisseur who could compile 18 high-quality stories into a single volume in such expert fashion. It has been more than a while since I read and reviewed horror literature. The last work of horror I analyzed on Literary Retreat was Rami Ungar's Rose (2019). The previous horror anthology I reviewed was Garden of Fiends (2017) by Mark Matthews which was also my ...more
Robin Bonne
Ellen Datlow is notorious for putting together great anthologies and a great anthology is exactly what this is.

In my opinion, the best stories in this collection were Exhalation #10 by AC Wise, Scream Queen by Nathan Ballingrud, The One We Tell Bad Children by Laird Barren, Lords of the Matinee by Stephen Graham Jones, Hungry Girls by Cassandra Khaw, and Cut Frame by Gemma Files. All the stories in this anthology kept me entertained, so I’d recommend it.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher fo
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of Final Cuts.

I love horror movies, pretty much anything scary, so when I read the premise for Final Cuts, I had to request it.

Final Cuts is a collection of short stories where the basic plot revolves around movies, theater or moviemaking.

Short story collections are like a box of chocolates; I usually end up getting one with coconut. I don't like coconut.

But, I was pleased with the majority of the stories. For the most part, they were all enjoyable,
Jun 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
I was super excited to receive an advanced galley of Ellen Datlow's Final Cuts, which is a collection of short horror stories centered around one singular topic: movies. From real life films to fictional ones, home movies, snuff films, and big budget premieres, Datlow's latest anthology has a couple of shining gems, a few clunkers, and a whole lot of middle of the road offerings ... only several of which were actually scary. ...more
Diane Hernandez
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Final Cuts is an anthology of eighteen “all new dark and strange fiction inspired by cinema and television.”

As with all anthologies, the stories vary in skill-level. However, these tales also swing wildly in genre. All have horror settings or themes. But some are also thrillers, fantasy, and romances. My two favorites are like tiny perfectly crafted novels in compact form.

“Drunk Physics” is the tale of a YouTube channel haunted by an hazy image who also posts comments on their YouTube page. Is i
Jul 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, for-review, 2020
Final Cuts is a new anthology with fresh stories from some great writers. There is something for everyone in here. Anthologies are always about middle of the road for me. I never like all of the stories, but can usually find a few that stick with me. The stories all revolve around films, movies and videos.

Of the set, one my favorite ones was Drunk Physics by Kelley Armstrong. I also enjoyed From the Balcony of the Idawolf Arms by Jeffery Ford. As well as Lords of the Matinee by Stephen Graham Jo
Tracy Rood
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
The stories were just ok.
Becky Spratford
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review Appears in my April 2020 Library Journal column and on the blog:

Three Words That Describe This Book: inclusive, full range of horror, shared frame

Draft Review:

Datlow returns with yet another excellent compilation of today’s best horror practitioners representing the full range of diversity within the genre, asking eighteen authors for brand new tales of terror framed by a connection to visual media. Library shelf mainstays like Kelley Armstrong, Jo
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy anthologies, I have found new favorite authors this way and it's fun to read stories with a basic theme connecting them once in a while. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized how much Ellen Datlow had to do with the anthologies and collections that I loved. Now if I see her name I know to grab it; there will be something I love between the covers.

Final Cuts gives us horror tied to film, television, streaming video, basically anything caught on tape for your viewing pleasure in 1
Jordan Whitlock
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
First off, love the idea behind this anthology and would love to see it done as a TV series. How cool/fitting would that be? Now for the story reviews--
DAS GESICHT-Dale Bailey. 5/5 stars. What a great way to start this anthology. Gruesome, horrifying, tale masterfully told by the teller. Loved this story.
DRUNK PHYSICS-Kelly Armstrong. 4/5 stars. This is my 2nd short from this author. I ADORED her story in the Ten-Word Tragedies anthology edited by Christopher Golden. She can WRITE! I love her pr
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, october-2020
Personally, I think the ratio of good to “meh” stories in this collection was much better than your average anthology but there’s one big caveat, and I think it’s the reason for a lot of the bad reviews here; the title is misleading because hardly any of the stories have much to do with Hollywood at all.

With that subtitle, I was ready for some stories infused with Hollywood gossip and glamor and the collection starts off on the right foot with a nice atmospheric piece about a lost silent film. B
Kylie Summers
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ellen Datlow is undoubtedly the queen of horror anthologies. I’ve read almost all of the anthologies edited by her.

Her latest anthology is about the horrors of television, the silver screen and related media. She has rounded up some of horror’s greatest talents for this anthology’s 18 tales of terror, which are inspired by creepy movies, web series, grind-house flicks, and even snuff films.

Although I liked every story in this collection, some were obviously better than others. However, that’s
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very fun horror anthology that exceeded my expectations -- I almost didn't pick it up because the cover was too silly. Most of the stories are quite dark and thoughtful.

My favourites were:

Altered Beast, Altered Me by John Langan - A fascinating and creepy Dracula novella with stories-in-stories and wonderful research into the history of vampire cinema and literature, blurring the real and the invented.

Drunk Physics by Kelley Armstrong - Super fun, short tale that stood out with fun female chara
Jared Goetz
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, lit-horror
Wow. This is a fantastic collection. I wasn't sure about the idea of a collection based on the idea of film, but having just completed Experimental Film it seemed like an obvious choice. Even if you weren't that interested in the uniting premise, this is a fantastic collection of horror stories.

I had a few favorites. I really liked Drunk Physics by Kelley Armstrong, Scream Queen by Nathan Balingrud and Altered Beast, Altered Me, by John Langan. The last is hard to resist personally, because it's
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
* I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I was very excited to receive a copy of Ellen Datlow's Final Cuts, a collection of short stories that revolve around the film industry. As a big fan of horror movies and really anything scary, I was very excited to get the chance to read this.

As with most collections like this, some stories are great... and some stories are okay, with a lot of stories falling in the middle. I really enjoyed the range of how the stories were to
May 13, 2021 rated it it was ok
Final Cuts is a horror anthology collection from 18 different authors, and edited by Ellen Datlow.
I was very hyped for this collection. You have horror dealing with Hollywood, film,books,etc... Who would not be excited. Unfortunately, this collection not a hit with me. I only really liked 1 of the 18 stories. That was:
Drunk Physics by Kelley Armstrong.
I kept reading hoping I would love more, but that is not the case. I feel that majority of these stories were not scary or entertaining. I found
A good, if not groundbreaking, themed anthology of horror stories about movies and moviemaking. Excellent collection of authors, but stories don't have too many highs and lows. Like many themed anthologies, stories hit the same ideas over and over again; the majority of the stories end up hitting the cursed/lost film theme. But some of the stories really do bring out unique ideas or hit on very specific aspects of film history. Stories about a studio fixer in the 1930s, the Canadian horror movie ...more
Alison C
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ellen Datlow has been editing dark fantasy and horror anthologies for decades, and she definitely knows how to do it. This anthology of all-original stories is no exception; there’s something for everyone here, really. Sometimes the concept of “Hollywood” or horror stories involving film is somewhat stretched, as in the last and longest story in the book (and the one that terrified me the most), “Altered Beast, Altered Me” by John Langan; other stories such as Josh Malerman’s “A Ben Evans Film” ...more
Erin Al-Mehairi
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
More review to come, but initial thoughts: I gave this 4 stars as some stories were an average 3 and some were extremely well-written 5s. Overall, it was an above average selection of stories of all various types though they all had some cinema tie. There are some of the best of the male horror writers included here, and I enjoyed them as they are some of my faves, but I did think that it would have made me happy to see more women - and the ones writing in this collected really made this antholo ...more
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars

a good anthology of horror stories related to film, some of which were really creepy and unnerving. here's a list of the stories that really stood out to me:

drunk physics by kelley armstrong
exhalation #10 by ac wise
scream queen by nathan ballingrud
snuff in six scenes by richard kadrey
lords of the matinee by stephen graham jones
a ben evans film by josh malerman
cut frame by gemma files
many mouths to make a meal by garth nix

garth nix's story was more of fantasy thriller, but which i'd re
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hard to go wrong with anything Ellen Datlow curates, and Final Cuts... is no exception. Some of the best writers from the horror / weird fiction fields (Laird Barron, Stephen Graham Jones, John Langan, etc.), presenting stories that share some connection to Hollywood and / or film. There are no disappointments among the stories, but (as with most anthologies) some are less satisfying than others.

Brian Hodges' "Insanity Among Penguins" and Gemma Files' "Cut Frame" were two of my personal favorite
Robert Saucedo
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the Ellen Datlow edited FINAL CUTS. It's an anthology of horror fiction themed around the world of cinema. Some of my favorite horror authors are included, such as Stephen Graham Jones, John Langan, and Nathan Ballingrud. Even the ghost of Paul Tremblay makes an appearance!

Some of the standout short stories include a tale of a cursed Werner Herzog film about cosmic horror, as written by Brian Hodge, and a very cool alternate history take on Hollywood as mixed with feudal folklor
Denice Langley
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a loyal reader, I have my favorite authors who I know will give me an excellent read. But I'm always looking for new authors too. Anthologies are the perfect "sampler" to introduce you to a variety of authors flexing their skills and sharing the little stories in their libraries too. These 18 stories were all good, some better than others, but still all good. The theme is horror stories, but there is a little of everything mixed in with the horror. A really good book to travel with since the ...more
May 17, 2021 marked it as partly-read-anthologies
Only read "Drunk Physics" by Kelley Armstrong

5 stars
I really loved this short story. Physics students Hannah - our narrator - and Trinity start a webseries where they drunkenly explain physics concepts. All is going great until the appearance of a ghostly orb on their videos and some comments supposedly posted from the girls' shared account ("the call is coming from inside your house") drive a wedge between them. I loved Hannah and was especially tickled by her timey-wimey Doctor Who reference.
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Ellen Datlow has been editing science fiction, fantasy, and horror short fiction for forty years as fiction editor of OMNI Magazine and editor of Event Horizon and SCIFICTION. She currently acquires short stories and novellas for In addition, she has edited about one hundred science fiction, fantasy, and horror anthologies, including the annual The Best Horror of the Year series, The Doll ...more

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