The Thing In The Woods

-Matthew Quinn


There is very little that is completely original in The Thing In The Woods.  I’ve seen these tropes before in a dozen horror movies.  The idea of an isolated American town with a dark secret - in this case, a ancient man-eating monster and a cult that worships it - is hardly new.  And yet, the story does have an undeniable charm. 


The teenage hero of the story - James Daly - is an outsider in the community, someone who dreams of leaving.  (Most of the characters either want to leave or protect what they have.)  When he has a close-encounter with the monster, he finds himself targeted by the cultists and trying to escape a web of deceit and conspiracy.  The villain is someone who very clearly started out with good intentions - the protection of the community - and went steadily off the rails, something that eventually turns some of his supporters against him.


In some ways, the book doesn't develop some (or all) of its themes.  There are hints of a greater story that never seem to come into focus - government involvement, perhaps - although there might be a sequel that tackles the question of just how much the government did know.  (The government goes to some trouble to buy silence from the survivors, at the end of the book.)  You could wonder if the book spotlights those who want to defend their community or those who just want to leave ... but, at the same time, the book touches on the hopelessness of being trapped in such a community.  Intentionally or not, the book points to some of the reasons for Trump’s victory in 2016.


The Thing In The Woods is a fairly short read, but quite a decent one.  I actually wanted to say more about it, but little came to mind.  You’ll enjoy it if you like horror stories mingled with urban life. 


And it’s up on Kindle Unlimited as well as Kindle <grin>.