Published by Unnerving on July 16, 2018
Genres: Crime, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Psychological Horror, Suspense, Thriller
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When a mysterious stalker arrives on a movie set in the middle of the night and offers the overnight security guard easy cash to procure him souvenirs from a starlet's trailer, a cascade of events is set into motion that ends in depravity, scandal, death, and revenge.
OVERNIGHT opens a world into the dark backdoors of the film industry in which every-day grunts get paid to protect the world-famous, and degenerates will do anything to open a vein into their most twisted fantasies. But at what cost?
OVERNIGHT is the third novella I have read by author Philip Fracassi, and his ability to wield words still amazes me. He can make a statement that sounds entirely commonplace and innocent at face value, turn itself over in your mind until it becomes something more insidious and sinister in meaning. On the surface, the premise of OVERNIGHT sounds simple enough. A nightwatchman on location at an empty movie set is offered a bribe to bring a small memento from there, out for a fevered fan. Easy enough, with no harm done, one would think. However, turn that over in the “right”mind for a while, and the deed becomes so much more . . . mentally life changing.
“. . . The world could surprise you with its greed.”
Our main character is Pete, a former gang member, now a respectable husband and father, doing his best to support his loving family. His job is to simply monitor the empty set for a movie filming–Abaddon–starring a controversial starlet named Holly Pages. With a decent job and calm demeanor, he represents a good family man–though one who can see past the “masks” and the baser nature of all the people around him.
” . . . the public–a squalling nest of open-mouthed baby birds with a collective attention disorder–to whom even the worse things . . . rarely had a life-span of more than a few days.”
This is where Fracassi’s writing style really shines through. The picture his words plant in your mind is normal and commonplace enough. Pete could be your neighbor, your uncle, even yourself in such a situation. There’s nothing singular that stands out about him. He’s just an honest man earning an honest living, right?
What the reader may catch themselves wondering, however, is what it is that lies between the lines we read. What–if anything–is the author not saying?
“. . . Debated . . . whether he’d let something crucial slip through his fingers . . .”
Then there’s the obsessed fan. We don’t have much to go on with him. For all that’s stated, he could be anyone with an interest in a certain celebrity. Is there anyone out there who hasn’t been in that state at some point in their lives? Is he really so different than you or I?
“. . . More . . . there’s always more.”
Again, this is a simple, straight-forward story at first glance.
It’s that second glance and subsequent thoughts that come to our minds afterwards that make us realize how much more it really is . . .
That is what I find so intriguing about this author’s books. They are NOT what I’m expecting. They are nothing I’m able to predict. The words are fluid and simple enough, but their meaning will hit you like a sledgehammer. It is his ability to shock the reader when they least expect it, that sets him apart.
“Don’t you want to see the credits? . . .”
Isn’t that what we’re all looking for in a good horror story?