Book Review: The Troop by Nick Cutter

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This book is okay. As most people have mentioned, this book is very reminiscent of Stephen King’s style. Although it is not badly written, I found the story itself lacking. I should probably mention that I am an avid horror fan, so my standards for gore are pretty high. This is probably why I was not pulled in by this book. I expected it to scare me, but this book failed to deliver on that. However, I will say that the premise is interesting, and I did feel grossed out at certain points of the story. It just isn’t the kind of grossed out that lingers for days.

Story: As I said, The Troop is quite predictable. I also would have liked for it to have paid more attention to the survival aspect of the story. This is a book about a group of boy scouts being stuck on an island with a deadly parasite, so I expected a lot more survival struggles. At times this book felt drawn out, and it was one of those books where I felt as if I’d been reading so much only to find out I’ve barely made a dent in the book. It just didn’t captivate me.

Characters: The characters felt very clichéd. The dialogue felt juvenile and too boyish for me. I suppose it just wasn’t my cup of tea, but I’m sure it would appeal more to a younger and male audience. I did like the relationships between the boys though. I found myself rooting for them wholeheartedly.

The Gore: The gore was okay. I’ve seen worse. It certainly didn’t make me want to throw up my lunch. However, I’d attribute that to the fact that I rarely am ever affected by gore to the point where it would make my stomach churn. That’s just me though, but I’m sure a lot of other people would find this book terrifying, so I would definitely recommend this to horror and gore fans. I do have to warn readers that there is a substantial amount of animal abuse in this story, so if you are offended by that sort of thing, I would avoid this book. That was probably the most terrifying aspect of this book for me. In fact, I skipped those parts.

The Writing: The writing is not bad. I thought quite a few of the descriptions were very well done. It made me feel icky, so kudos to the writer for that. As I said before, I had a problem with the dialogue as it felt too juvenile and boyish for me, but that’s just a matter of personal preference.

Overall: This book is a good debut, and I’d be happy to read more from the author. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s a good start. I would definitely recommend this to a younger, male audience as well as horror and gore fans.

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Darkroom (2013 film) Review

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I’m honestly speechless with this movie and not in a good way. It was all just.. okay. The acting was okay. The characters were okay. The story was okay. The effects were okay. That’s not what you want the audiences to think as a director, and that’s most certainly not what we want to see.

The only reason I bothered to watch this movie is because it was on instant watch on Netflix. I hoped, against all odds, that it would be a diamond in the rough. It wasn’t even close. This movie was a missed opportunity. The plot was not overly original, but it could have been something. It had the potential to show us a different side of this already seen idea, and it just didn’t deliver.

The movie is about a girl named Michelle, played by Kaylee DeFer, who was recently released from a mental facility after killing her friends in a drunk driving accident before landing a job run by three psychotic siblings who want to “purify” her through, surprise surprise, torture with sharp things from Home Depot. So, the film is basically a girl trapped by these three siblings (one dominant male, one domineering female, and one submissive male), in a creepy room. It could have been some serious psychological outlook on the human psyche and limitations, but instead, the audience gets a couple of amateur gore scenes and characters who you don’t particularly care for. I honestly couldn’t have cared less what happened to the characters. I didn’t connect with any of them. The siblings were not creepy at all. I think the only creepy scene in the whole movie is when Michelle sees her dead friend, but that’s about it.

So, if you’re bored on a Wednesday afternoon or alone on a Friday night, skip this title, and just go watch Evil Dead or The Exorcist or something. It isn’t worth your time.