Saturday, September 13, 2008
The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff
Baird College freshman Robin Stone has decided to spend the Thanksgiving holiday in her dorm, a former Victorian fraternity house. During a massive rainstorm, she's joined by four other students: Patrick, a handsome jock; Martin, a scholarly eccentric; Lisa, every boy's friend; and Cain, a brooding musician. When they unearth an old Ouija board, they get some very odd messages. Soon, the unlikely group begins to believe that there's a sixth presence among them -- one that represents an indescribable evil. Upon learning of the death of a law student in their dorm eight decades ago, the five unite to fight the unseen evil before it can destroy all of them.
From the very beginning, The Harrowing sets the stage for a chilling ghost story: an empty gothic college, a power-outage, and an old Ouija Board. Although the characters fit into the normal clichés, the nerd, the jock, the beauty, the tease and the artist, they each have a hidden past that bonds them together and makes them unique. I found myself falling in love with the characters and being pulled into their struggle. The information on the Kabbalah and other Jewish folklore was really interesting, something I’d never heard of before. Screenwriter Alex Sokoloff excellently transposed a cinematic vision into novel form, and for those of us who love to close our eyes and imagine characters and places and all that goes creep in the night, it’s a tremendous read.