Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine
Lindy and Kris are identical twins, who compete at everything. They try their hardest to stand out, against the other sister. One day the twins find an old dummy in some trash at a nearby construction site. Lindy takes to the dummy right away, which she calls Slappy. After Lindy starts getting a lot of attention for her ventriloquist act, Kris wants to try her hand at it as well. Her father ends up buying her a dummy as well, but this one is wearing casual clothes. Kris calls her dummy Mr. Wood, versus the more formal looking Slappy, with the less formal name.
Things are fine. The kids get some laughs. They perform at birthday parties. Some strange things start to happen though. Mr. Wood starts to do some things of his own accord. He says some awful things, that get blamed on Kris. He tears up the kitchen. One night Lindy sees Mr. Wood moving, but the girls’ parents won’t have any of it. The girls know they have to deal with the dummy alone. It starts talking to the girls, calling them slaves. They know they have to get rid of it.
Ultimately, a steam roller becomes their last hope, but have they just gotten rid of one evil to make way for another?
What I liked
I like the idea of dueling evils, just hiding out. We tend to have stories with only one villain, why not more than one villain? Maybe your villain isn’t that bad, but he’s not nearly as bad as the one that would replace him if you got rid of him.
What I didn’t like
I don’t like dummies. I don’t like ventriloquism. It’s not that it’s not kind of cool, because it is, a little, it’s just not that cool. It’s boring. Seriously… it’s a trick. You expect me to be all impressed because you can make it look like a doll is taking? You know what, I can make a doll talk. I could put a voice box in it and put a pull string on its back and make it talk. I’d rather see Muppets, at least they’re entertaining.
I had a Furby that could talk and dance on its own, but a ventriloquist dummy has to have a person to be able to make it do those things. I’m just not that impressed. Ahmed the Dead Terrorist is funny and all, but there are funnier things I would enjoy.
An evil dummy is a bit of a gimme. This creepy wooden doll isn’t going to be possessed? Like, who believes that? If we see some creepy doll out somewhere, we pretty much assume the thing is haunted. How about a haunted tea kettle? I could go for that. It moves around the house on its on. It makes tea, without tea packets. It pours cold water on the cat.
Leave the dummy alone, if not for the threat of it being haunted, leave it alone because it’s not funny.
Would you buy a dummy?
Do you think dummies are funny?