Archive for November, 2013

I finally finished ‘Prank Night’ by Kristopher Rufty.  A Halloween tale about a small town that wakes up one morning to find themselves trapped inside their own homes.  One by one they are stalked and murdered by the last thing they thought possible. 

I am a sucker for Halloween tales.  Anything that involves pumpkins, scarecrows, costumes; and chaos all happening on a day that is supposed to be safe and fun.  It is the true essence of Halloween.  The day that we celebrate horror.  The day when we accept that things go bump in the night.

‘Prank Night’ does capture the essence of Halloween.  The atmosphere is perfect.  Kids and adults alike getting ready by changing into costumes.  Pumpkins everywhere.  And the cool, briskness of Autumn as Summer and Winter battle for control.  Oh and malicious mayhem and murder running rampant throughout the town.

It is called Prank Night, but really the murders begin in broad daylight.  Just a couple people at first, before the real siege begins. 

Rufty’s story stumbles a bit coming out of the gate.  I did not like the repetitious scenes of women coming out of the shower and becoming scared of being stalked.

I had trepidations about the motive for killing.  But in the end, no clear explanation can be just as scary.

To quote Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) from ‘Scream’:  “We all go a little crazy, sometimes.”

This past Halloween I got a chance to finish up Jonathan Janz’s serial novel, Savage Species.  The last two parts of this book are pretty relentless.  The action is very high tension and there is no ease off the accelerator.  Just when you think a threat has been eliminated, three more pop up.  Janz has done a wonderful job of connecting the readers with the characters.  To the point that my heart was pounding hard as I read each word.

So let me get you caught up.  Group A which consists of Jesse, Emma, Colleen, and Red Elk are being chased through some caverns by a vicious species that Red Elk refers to as The Children.  We last left off with Emma and Colleen being taken away by some nasty bats.  Group B is Sam and Charly, followed by Charly’s jealous husband, Eric and his assistant Mel.  Group B is searching for Charly’s newborn who was kidnapped by one of the Children.

So naturally both groups eventually collide.  In part 4, The Arena, both groups finally reunite with their lost loved ones and are placed squarely in the middle of a battle between the Children and the Winged Species.  From here its escape and survive.

Since I was able to finish Savage Species, I can now comment on the story as  whole.  I loved what Janz did with the Species.  They are not necessarily vampires, but they are vampiric in nature.  Way more vicious than vampires and they certainly do not sparkle.  The characters and their stories are well crafted.  They help keep the story going forward when there are not any savages breathing down their necks.  The connection with the characters also make it difficult to get through part 5. 

Janz has crafted one hell of an action-packed story with wonderful characters and some nasty antagonists.

And I have a feeling we will be seeing the Savage Species again.


Mini-Movie Review:

Evil Dead:  Not so great.  Like many remakes, this one fails to capture most of the magic of the original.  There are some iconic images that fit well.  But for the most part, there is no character development and a whole lot of blood.  I enjoyed the twist of the story and the characters, but not enough for me to really tout this movie.  I am confounded as to why this movie received so much praise.  Two out of five stars.