I liked them. (Haven't seen the movie yet, so can't compare)
They are tame compared to Rice and DEFINITElY compared to Hamilton (to say the least!!!)
"FireStarter" was my first King book - in about the 6th grade, but it is much tamer compared to many of his other works as well.
I may have to check out this Mendal Johnson - never heard of him before, I've been looking for a new horror author (though I'm scrambling to keep up with everything right now, I always seem to make time for my "fun" books!) Loved Lord of the Flies and The Exorcist - the thought of combining those two is kind of strange thouhg - totally different types of scary.