Sunday, March 8, 2015
Review: DOLL FACE by Tim Curran
From the back of the book:
Six friends are returning home from a night out when they end up in a town called Stokes. They discover they are trapped there, as Stokes does not really exist. The actual town had burned to the ground more than fifty years ago. The Stokes they are in is a nightmare version of the former town, engineered by a deranged and undead mind, a supernatural machine of wrath that will destroy them one by one....unless they submit to its dominance and become living dolls.
DOLL FACE encapsulates all that is horror in a short, sharp-paced novel that never fails to raise goose bumps and shorten the breath using pulse pounding scare tactics and in-you-face gruesome and gore.
What DOLL FACE lacks, however, is editing. Whilst the novel itself is comparably short when measured up against its modern day horror genre counterparts, the repetitive teen-type horror antics seemingly more prevalent in the late 1990's and early 2000's horror-as-a-pop-culture boom do grow tiresome. After all, there are only so many 'turn a corner and see something horrible and run away' scenes you can fit into a single flowing narrative.
That said, those scenes were very well written and really did capture that shock and awe/scare moment perfectly. I can't help but think their impact would've been more had there been less of them.
As far as the story itself, the horror aspects did tend to lean towards a combination of Silent Hill (the movie) and generic survival horror. The blend was there, the mix of characters, however, didn't do all that much for me as I struggled to feel any emotion towards them.
DOLL FACE has flashes of brilliance marred by stretches of monotonous horror.