Monday, January 5, 2015

Teen review: Horror

Cell
by Stephen King
449 pages
Horror/science fiction
For mature audience

Reviewed by Jonathan, grade 12


Clay Ridell leads a ragtag group of survivors to safety after a zombie apocalypse. The zombie apocalypse was triggered by a phone call that turns any regular human into some sort of creature hungry for flesh. That’s basically the story.

Unfortunately, this has to be one of the lowest points Mr. King has ever reached. I know the guy can whip up a pretty nasty story that’s entertaining and insanely scary, but this isn’t. Not only are the characters as flat as any horror movie character, but the story is so simple and so small that it feels as though it were missing a few elements. Sure, there are moments when Clay ponders over his son and wife, but they come infrequently. The point that I have to get across is that none of these characters (or the entire story itself) have layers. And I know Stephen King is making a social commentary on how many people use their phones a lot, but I think he should have written something more compelling than this--because if his point was for us to stop using our cell phones lest we become hungry cannibalistic animals, he ultimately failed. There is, however, a twist on the whole cannibalistic zombie story in that there’s a leader that this book calls the “Raggedy Man.” I know this book was published in 2006, but the whole “zombie leader” element reminded me of the 2007 movie I Am Legend, in which there was this one particular zombie/vampire creature who seemed to be the head honcho.

Anyway, out of five, it has to be a two. If you’re a die-hard Stephen King fan you’ll probably read this, but in the end be as utterly disappointed as I was.


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