Playback: Light and Shadow by Elizabeth Massie (Book Review)
Plot: A chilling prequel to the forthcoming horror movie Playback, starring Christian Slater, Alessandra Torresani, and Toby Hemingway, in which a group of high-school students accidentally awakens an evil that possesses its victims through video. The dark curse dates back to turn-of-the-century New York, and begins with a grudge surrounding the birth of film itself. While fooling around with the movie camera invented by his murdered grandfather, a rich young playboy is overcome with bloodlust—and sets out to kill one of history’s most beloved figures.
My Review: When I requested to review this short story from NetGalley I didn’t expect it to take place in the early 1900s, and be highly based on history. The history of Thomas Edison actually. I’m not really into history like this. I thought it would have to do with teenagers and whatnot like the movie is supposed to be about. But I was wrong, and really it wasn’t my cup of tea.
The book starts off with Thomas Edison and the “current wars” (yup, I researched that on Wikipedia) where Edison kills an elephant by electrocution (in graphic details) because he wants to prove that his direct current is better then alternating current. He decides to make a little money off of it and make the even public & film it. All of this is disturbingly true and gory to read about. I (not being a history person) thought all of it was BS, but come to find out it wasn’t. Edison also invented the first motion picture camera…or did he?
The story goes on to talk about Andrew, who is the grandson of Louis Le Prince, who supposedly really invented the first motion picture camera and later went missing. In the story Edison had something to do with him missing, because he wanted to be the first inventor of the camera. Anyhow, Andrew seems a little nutty. He has a lot of blackouts, and during one part almost seems possessed and commands two hookers to do whatever he wants. He later then vows revenge against Edison for probably killing his grandfather. Kidnaps Edison straps him to an electric chair and terrifies the man.
Overall: That’s really all there is to this story. I know, I ruined it now you don’t have to read it. But seriously. If you want to read it is only about 40 pages long and really a quick read – if your into it. I found myself constantly thinking of other things because I was bored. I just didn’t care for the subject matter. I’ll give the movie a try when it comes out though.