Night of the Mannequins

Stephen Graham Jones. Tor.com, $11.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-250-75206-2
Jones (The Only Good Indians) tiptoes the border between supernatural and psychological horror in this weird and wild novella. Sawyer Grimes is one of five bored teens who decide to pose a discarded store mannequin as though it’s a real patron in a movie theater in a suburb of Dallas, Tex. They all think it’s a funny prank—until Sawyer sees the mannequin walk out of the theater at the movie’s end. When one of the friends is killed, along with her entire family, in a freak accident shortly thereafter, Sawyer becomes convinced that the mannequin’s to blame. Believing “Manny” has morphed into a Frankenstein-style monster bent on offing its creators with no regard for who else gets hurt in the process, Sawyer decides that it’s his responsibility to kill his fellow pranksters before Manny can get to them, and thus lessen the collateral damage for their families. Jones expertly expresses Sawyer’s teenage attitudes and anxieties while skillfully tipping readers off to the chilling understanding that Sawyer is not the most reliable of narrators. Balancing horror and humor, this novella puts a clever modern twist on a classic monster story. Agent: BJ Robbins, BJ Robbins Literary. (July)
Reviewed on : 03/27/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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