Wednesday, 21 October 2009

HORROR REVIEW: The Harrowing - Alexandra Sokoloff


Baird College's Mendenhall echoes with the footsteps of students heading home for Thanksgiving break and Robin Stone, who won't be going home, swears she can feel the creepy, hundred-year-old residence hall breathe a sigh of relief for its long-awaited solitude. As a massive storm approaches, four other lonely students reveal themselves to Robin: Patrick, a handsome jock; Lisa, a manipulative tease; Cain, a brooding musician; and Martin, a scholarly eccentric. Each has forsaken a long weekend at home for their own secret reasons. The five unlikely companions establish a tentative rapport, but they soon become aware of another presence disturbing the building's ominous silence. Are they the victims of an elaborate prank, or is the energy evidence of something genuine - something intent on using them for its own terrifying ends?


A tale of five college students that are left behind at Thanksgiving due to interpersonal family issues who find each other and start to play with a Ouija board that is located by one of the female protagonists. Events then spiral out of control and no one is sure whether it’s a hoax or the genuine article which leads to intense paranoia to the victim as well as the others.

What really sold this tale to me however was the concept. It really was creepy. However, at one point it suddenly changed going more from an Adult novel to a Young Adult story as the tale dived into the principle character’s sexual activity which I felt was unnecessary to the overall arc and appeared that the tale had changed authors partway through with different concepts that were never fully realised.

That said, the twist was fairly basic and had been utilised by a great many others so unfortunately was a little too predictable with the ending being a real let down after such a careful build up. But what was the saving grace of the tale was the author’s descriptiveness in her reanimation sequence which was intense and was similar to a scene in Random’s Birthing House.

Overall if you find it either discounted or on a carboot give it a go as you’ll get a bit of fun out of it however I wouldn’t pay the full cover price. A great shame as the premise had such potential.

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