Courtney, Bethany, Meghan and Grace are four teenage friends. They act like any normal teenage girls. Nothing too malicious about them, but they do get into mischief from time to time. One night while hanging around in the local cemetery, they dislodge a three-hundred-year old statue that ultimately, falls completely over.
They are too young to know about the legend of Old Ma Lacey or indeed the significance of what they have just done.
Old Ma Lacey was a witch. The statue was keeping her in the ground. The door has been reopened, and she want’s vengeance.
So, there are not a lot of characters in this. It’s mainly just the four girls. They are as I said, typical teenage girls. Mobile phones surgically transplanted in their hands and they like a sneaky beer when the parents are out. They are not vindictive or malicious kids that are out mugging grannies so you can’t help but like them. The circumstances they are in are disastrous, but accidental. Christine is Courtney’s mum. She comes across as an intelligent and courageous woman who would do anything for her kids. They all must band together in a dramatic fight to defeat evil.
The plot? It’s very old skool. An ancient legend of the last witch to be burned at the stake in the area. A legend that is so old that people of today don’t believe it is true. But it is. And it is real. The witch has been unleashed once more and is after the girls who let her free and ultimately to get revenge on all ancestors of the people who put her underground.
So what did I think of it? You know what? I’m actually rather surprised. I went in to this not expecting much from it. Don’t ask me why. I think it may be something to with it being a new author and the fact that I know them from another life before the writing so didn’t want to build my hopes up that it was any good. But it is. It’s mighty damn fine in fact.
When I mention the plot is old skool, so too is the writing. This story could be from any horror film you ever watched in the 70’s or 80’s. It has a wonderful old atmosphere to it that will transport you back to the days of Poltergeist (1982) and Tremors (1990) and The Gate (1997). It just has that feel about it that makes you smile while you read it. It keeps you on edge and it does creep you out without descending into the ridiculous or unbelievable. It’s horror, but it’s great fun while it’s at it.
Can I be negative for a minute? Sometimes you can tell it is an early piece of writing from someone new. That’s to be expected though, right? A bit more work on some of the phrasing, some of the grammar. I also have to say that for me, it ended too suddenly. It was an effective ending and if it was a movie it would be a great scene to fade out on, but I wanted a little bit more of the human story at the end. But that’s about it really.
You know I reckon this fella has a future at this writing lark. The surprised feeling is still hovering over me a bit. I’m more impressed than I thought I would be. This book brings back a certain nostalgia to the horror story. Nothing high tech, no CGI, just scares and ancient monsters. Good stuff.
To summarise: old skool, no frills horror that will take you back to the golden age of the 80’s. A very enjoyable short from a new name that could make his name shine in big bright lights if he keeps writing stuff like this.
Reviewed by: @nevmurray