September 8, 2014

The Kill Stays In the Picture: a review of Adam Cesare's "The First One You Expect"

The First One You Expect
by Adam Cesare
Broken River Books (2014)
77 pages
ASIN: B00I6Q5780

You'll occasionally hear one of your male friends complain about his crazy ex-girlfriend. I know I have. Well, it's safe to say that no matter how crazy those gals were, they got nothin' on Anna.

Okay, technically Anna is Tony's new production assistant, but let's not get bogged down in details, all right?

Ya see, Tony is an independent filmmaker, a connoisseur of super-underground, micro-budget, hyper-violent horror movies. As such, he's kind of catering to a niche market. A niche market that's barely heard of him, but that changes when Anna comes on board to help him with the online fundraiser. The fans love her. But as Tony's latest project picks up steam, things get weird. Like, oh my god I hired a psycho kind of weird.

Adam's offering of this psycho-thriller crackles with tension. I'm tempted to call it a roller coaster ride of horror, but it's more like poor Tony fell out of the proverbial tree house of horror and hit every branch on the way down. Despite the supremely bad choices Tony makes, his desire for recognition and validation outweighing instincts of self-preservation, Adam makes him sympathetic to a point, and as for Anna ... well, there is a certain attractive quality to her hidden under all that cray cray.

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