Okay, so, you know how I’ve repeatedly said that Fazbear Frights shouldn’t be read by kids? I mean it here especially. This book, like The Cliffs, is so horrific that I don’t understand how there’s no obvious backlash. I’ll cover each story as usual, and you’ll see where I drew the line. I don’t want to spoil any more than that, so let’s get into it.
Section 1: “The Puppet Carver.”
This is just a weird story, especially for these books. The horror of it is understated, and the twist at the end is very guessable. I’m perhaps biased against it, though. I hate when in-universe books are called “fantastic” and then the excerpts shown are no better than the surrounding book’s prose. It feels like bragging and always takes me out of a story. But I do see the fun parallels—they’re rather obvious—and at least this section has a happy ending. Well, depending on how you look at it, anyway.
Section 2: “Jump for Tickets.”
The twist is in neon lights with this one. And, even worse, the logic of it is flawed. I won’t spoil it exactly, but there were so many ways the protagonist could have approached his problem—including stealing—that would have gone way better. Despite a lot of things happening around the main plot, there’s not a lot to this story, and it might be my least favorite in the last three books. The only appeal is how dark and ironic the ultimate fate is—and how much it involves young children. Between this and “Gumdrop Angel,” having little kids contribute to nightmarish happenings is almost a trope.
Section 3: “Pizza Kit.”
This story made me nauseous, and almost stop reading. It has the most horrific descriptions in the entire series. Only “He Told Me Everything” and “The Breaking Wheel” come close to the sheer body mangling presented. And, unlike those, “Pizza Kit” spends so many pages on a child dying of… well, you’ve got to read it to see. They try to soften the blow in a later part, but this is potentially too much gore even for adult readers. The true ending is dark (if a logical leap), but pales compared to the bathroom scene.
And what’s almost upsetting in its own way is “Pizza Kit” is a well-done story. Sure, the all-consuming guilt and subsequent reactions are a tad contrived, but this has unsettling psychological horror and is resoundingly bleak. It has more memorable moments than entire Fazbear Frights books.
But make no mistake, only read this chapter if you’re an adult accustomed to body horror, cannibalism, and extreme gore. Read this only if stuff like Saw and Hellraiser doesn’t bother you.
I’m only being slightly hyperbolic with this warning.
Well, that’s The Puppet Carver. The cover is disarming. It’s the worst of the published ones (I’ll get to you, Prankster) but contains the strongest nightmare. I’m unsure where the new releases can even go from here. I already think they crossed a line. But we must wait and see what happens in September, when Friendly Faces releases, and we get another taste of this wild book series.
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