Monday, September 19, 2016

The Rains

Creek's Cause is a boring small town with farms, a close knit community, and not a lot to do. Most kids are resigned to a life as a farmer or dream to leave for bigger and better things. Chance and his big brother Patrick spend their days at school, helping out on the farm, or raising dogs. One day, a meteor crashes into a field of corn. The corn suddenly grows rapidly, much higher than usual, then suddenly dies. A local farmer feels ill afterwards, but thinks nothing of it until his abdomen is grotesquely distended. After he releases all the spores that formed inside him from the highest part of town, all of the adults are now mindless creatures set on capturing the unaffected children. Chance and Patrick feel it's up to them to try to get help before it spreads beyond controlling.

The Rains is part zombie apocalypse part alien invasion. The two work together rather well and I found the overall concepts just a bit different from the usual. The zombies here are all lumped into three categories: spore producers, mappers, and chasers. All of the zombies have holes through their eyes, clear out the back of their heads covered with a membrane of both sides. This made for some very creepy descriptions of lighting through the holes and the uncanniness of seeing every day people with this chilling detail. The spore producers go to the highest point of the city with their huge distended bellies and release their spores until they are truly dead. Mappers are always male. They keep their heads tilted to the ground and record every bit of terrain, then transmit it to whoever powers them. Chasers are always female. They chase down children, restrain them with whatever's available, and carries them off. All of them are unaffected by pain, even serious injuries, and have no sense of their former selves. They act as drones with no mind of their own. Hurwitz made zombies just a bit different, but no less chilling. Zombies now work together for one goal and it's frightening.

Although I enjoy the merging of two genres to make something cool and new, I didn't completely love the story. Many times, it felt like a teenage boy's fantasy fulfilled with way too many coincidences. Chance is a likeable enough character, but things seem to go his way too easily. I don't like deus ex machina solutions at the best of times, but a pack of dogs shows up to help him at the exact right moment, only to abandon him later. Also, a key character turns 18, which is the moment the spores turn people into drones (which I have a problem with), but Chance figures out a way to momentarily save him which didn't make sense at all. It's later revealed that this characters somehow conveniently has an immunity to the spores with no other explanation. It's complete bullshit and Hurwitz doesn't even bother to explain. There's also a creepy kind of flirtation/romance between Chance and his brother's girlfriend which felt pretty creepy. It felt like she was only created to have romantic attachments without really having a character of her own.

The Rains is a unique premise, but the convenient developments cheapened the story along with the unnatural wish fulfillment aspects. The writing was fine and I was interested in the story, but it got to be a chore after some unbelievable revelations. I most likely won't be reading the next one, but it's a good effort. I respected that he didn't dumb down or sanitize any of the danger the young people were in.

My rating: 3/5 fishmuffins

No comments: