Welcome to Dead House
Cover Line: It will Just kill You.
Back Line: Look Alive!
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars in alignment
So a few months ago I was looking for something, that of which I can’t remember right now, and came across some old boxes from my childhood. It’s always fun to rummage through old keepsakes and memories, and as my wife and I went through them we came across my old Goosebumps books. Yep those cheesy horror pre-teen novels that everyone had to have. My selection spans the first 49 books in the “classic” series, and it got me to thinking about what any of them were about.
Although I don’t remember reading them all, I remember reading a few of them for sure. A few that stand out in my mind are; Monster Blood, The Haunted Mask, Night of the Living Dummy, and my favorite The Beast from the East. Typically plot based around one to three child protagonists who endure some evil/supernatural downfall, and are forced (usually without the help of able adults) to conquer it.
I guess im bringing all of this up because I plan on rereading through the series. And although I am missing the last twelve or so books, I think if the series is going good after 49 of books I might pick them up. Besides my kids my like them someday. So I began with #1 Welcome to Dead House, and decided to log this little challenge as I go and review each yarn as well.
Book Description: Amanda and Josh think the old house they have just moved into is weird. Spooky. Possibly haunted. And the town of Dark Falls is pretty strange, too. But their parents don’t believe them. You’ll get used to it, they say. Go out and make some new friends. So Amanda and Josh do. But these new friends are not exactly what their parents had in mind. Because they want to be friends… …forever.
So the new kids in town just don’t quite fit in with the rest of the folks in Dark Falls. By the way, who the hell would pick up leave their old life behind to move to a town called Dark Falls, seriously? Anyway, as the family tries to settle in, make new friends, the kids can’t help but feel a sense of dread, which turns in to paranoia for young Amanda. That was kind of annoying, but I guess it guilt up the suspicion in the story that the reader endures with the protagonist.
The story proceeds with strange encounters with what sound like pale emo pre-teens, who become Amanda and Josh’s friends. The family dog Petey seems to dislike everyone in the town including the real-estate agent that turns over the house, Mr. Dawes. No foreshadowing there. One day the dog runs off and the kids spend all day looking for it.
While the parents head off to a neighborhood party, the kids decide to head to the cemetery and look for the dog. On the way they encounter Ray, one of the emo pre-teens, who warns them that it’s dangerous to go to the cemetery at night. Duh. But they go anyway and discover more than their dog. Turns out the town is dead, and they find this out when they stumble upon the tombstones of the “friends” they’ve made the last few weeks. As they turn a flash light on Ray to inquire about this the kids face melts off from the bright light. Learning that everyone is dead including their dog, Petey, they realize that they are probably next.
So in a mad dash they head home to find their folks, but no one is there but the dead kids. Mr. Dawes shows up looking like a hero gaining Amanda and Josh’s trust and whisks them away in a car supposedly to see their parents. But it doesn’t take long to find out that Mr. Dawes is one of the town’s ghosts… zombies… vampires. I’m not sure what they are cause they’re out in the day, they just can’t be in direct light of any kind, they need fresh blood, but they appear and disappear like ghosts.
Anyway, the kids find their folks after melting Mr. Dawes, and crash a tree through a shaded area to expose sun light melting all the towns’ folk awaiting their bound parents sacrifice. So the kids save the day, and everyone is safe. They decide to move again and as they are leaving after everything is packed up, a new family rolls up the driveway and announces that they are the new owners of the house. But the worst part is that as they pull away from the home, Amanda sees who she believes is Mr. Dawes ushering the new occupants in the house. So she pretty much condemns the new family to murder. Nice.
Definitely not the best one in the series I can tell already, and im not entirely sure why or how this story kicked off the series, or helped in its popularity. The writing is obviously meant for younglings and I appreciate that. I’m hoping that the future books are at least a little better. Below is a little desert for those who want a mental refresher, I found the Welcome to Dead House episode that aired on Fox quite a while ago. Enjoy the commercials!
I came across this lovely video at io9 and thought I would share. It would seem, or at least it has been brought to my attention that our president is harboring a reptilian alien known to inhabit the heads of Egyptian Pharaohs. To me it looks more like a crazy demon, or skull, or haircut, but what do I know. Sounds like the lady in the video is a bona-fide professional though.
I have actually come across this theory and comments in the like on a couple of sites some folks really think this is a real deal. Do you buy it, or do you think that someone who hates Obama was busy trying to figure out to use Photoshop CS5, found a creepy filter and saw the what her eyes wanted? Either way it was a good laugh for this dull Monday evening, after all there’s no news like good news.
And don’t forget to pray for our President!!
Wow, A week has passed, and as I type this out the newest episode of the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast is up and running. So I thought I’d make this a quick one, especially since there’s not much to talk about in regards to this fine episode.
This week is a double feature, “The Evil Clergyman“, and “The Horror in the Burying Ground“. Neither are my cup of tea, nor were they very sweet on Chad or Chris by the sound of it. Though no one seems to be thoroughly impressed with these two, the reader this week is Michael Ford, father in-law to Chris, and all around handsome sounding character, cetainly gives these two tales a shine. If there is a reason why I like these two stories episode, Michael would be that reason, and the sweet sound of the music of fellow North Dakotan, Troy Sterling Nies.
“The Evil Clergyman” was a dream, according to Lovecraft, that he wrote about to a friend who later published it after Lovecraft’s death. So I wouldn’t be too hard on this one folks, like Chris and Chad said, I’m sure he would have worked this thing out better with a plot that actually made sense.
And then there was “The Horror in the Burying Ground” the final revision Lovecraft did for that terrible Hazel Heald. Well, I guess I don’t know how terrible she really was because it seems Lovecraft really never had anything nice to say about the folks he ghost wrote for. Both of these tales have a bit humor in them, but “The Horror in the Burying Ground” seems to resonate with the muffled chuckles of Lovecraft himself.
The sponsor for this weeks show is David Maurice Garrett. This guy has a great new book entitled, Tome of Horror: The Collected Dark Fiction, and its available in paperback or Kindle. Check out David’s blog, Visions of the Dark, because mainly his name is David, and I hear that’s a good name.
Though not a lot of praise has been handed to these two tales, I do suggest you read them and spawn your own opinion and tell us what you think, or head over to HPPodcraft.com and let them know what was on your mind while reading them. Of coarse its a great episode regardless of the tales being covered. I always enjoy my Thursdays with Chris and Chad, and its sad to think that maybe around April they will be done going through Lovecraft’s work. I only hope that they continue doing something. Cheers!