On of my favorite things in horror is when you have loosely themed trilogies that aren’t direct trilogies. More common in movies, there are a few in books (Peter Straub’s Blue Rose Trilogy comes to mind), and of course I aim to change that with my own horror trilogy novels that are a themed trilogy, lol. More than that below. But first, what do I mean by this? I know not everyone is into as obscure horror trivia as I am, and this might be a completely new concept to them. So here, let me show by example.

My first exposure to this idea was through John Carpenter’s loosely themed horror trilogy, The Apocalypse Trilogy. These three movies are The Thing, Prince of Darkness, and In the Mouth of Madness. really, they’re my favorite Carpenter movies, and it’s so cool to watch them back to back and watch them playing with each other. I saw Mouth of Madness in the theaters the day it came out. It was my first official R rated movie in the theater, one I didn’t have to lie about my age or buy a ticket for another movie and sneak into to see. (I did that with a lot of movies before I was 18, lol).

Years later, I would find out that Carpenter considered my three favorite movies of his as a loosely linked trilogy. And from that point on, I started to uncover more and more like that. By loosely linked, they tend to follow a theme, maybe have some similar characters or setting (or repeating actors), but never explicit sequels, with one following the other. The next series I discovered that was like that was Argento’s Three Mothers trilogy, one that heavily influenced my own novel, Glass House. These were three movies based on both Fritz Lieber’s Mother of Darkness novel, and Thomas De Quincy’s dark opium dream of a poem, Suspiria de Profundis, Again, these movies were loosely related by theme, and some ties to De Quincy’s poem, but weren’t directly related sequels.

After that, I found out about Fulci’s Gates of Hell trilogy. These were City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, and The House by the Cemetery. And again! Loosely connected, this one themed by the opening of the gates of hell, and what weird apocalyptic things crawl out and destroy our world.

In recent times I’d discovered that Japanese horror directory of Ju On did his own loosely themed trilogy, explicitly inspired by Carpenter’s. He called his The Scary Village trilogy, and the ones in this one are Howling Village, Suicide Forest Village, and Ox Head Village. With these being a kind of folk horror inspired take on the themed horror trilogy. With a lot of these trilogies you get maybe one or two good movies, and at least one stinker, lol. That’s the way it can be with anthologies, which these kind of trilogies are, loose anthologies with bare connections.

Personally, I find all three Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy movies to be fantastic, but with The Three Mothers I mostly enjoyed Suspiria and Inferno, but found Mother of Tears lacking. With The Gates of Hell trilogy I really liked The Beyond, but I found City of the Living Dead and House by the Cemetery to be really good too, though not quite as good as that one. As for the village trilogy…they’re okay. The one amazing stand out is Ox Head Village, that one is fantastic.

So, Paul! What about your own loosely themed horror trilogy? Well, they’re all going to be out from Underland. The first one was already published last October, called Glass House, which you can snag here-

The next one, Daughter of the Wormwood Star is coming out this October, 2024. This one will be about an antichrist witchcult on the run, being hunted by a cult of serial killers who wish to murder them. The third book in the loosely themed trilogy is Cancer Eats the Heart, a novel about disabled/chronically ill people who turn to vampirism, and the vampire hunters who chase them down and harvest them for their bones, in order to power their magic spells.

The title of my themed trilogy? The Hungry Void trilogy. If you want to find out more, stay tuned. Buy the books, and see how they connect! Both in themes and in settings, places, reoccurring characters that haunt the text like unseen specters.

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