Thursday, June 3, 2010

Book Review: OUT OF THE DARKNESS

Note: this review originally appeared as part of my column, "Grimoire" at Dark Scribe magazine.

Horror literature is filled with tropes. Look at all the rules, traditions, whatever-you-want-to-call ‘em surrounding vampires and werewolves. There’s a whole ‘nother set of well-worn paths when it comes to writing about haunted houses. It can make a confused horror fan wonder if there really is anything new under the sun.

The answer is yes and no. Even I, as a horror writer, will admit that something truly horrific and original is really hard to come by these days (for that, I would refer you to Sarah Langan or the early work of Kathe Koja, i.e. The Cipher). One of the many comforts of any genre fiction is that, with it, often comes familiarity. We read horror (and mystery, thrillers, or romance) because we know what to expect.

Lesli Richardson’s haunted/possessed house story is a good old-fashioned horror story about a house built on cursed land and the evil that comes to visit the generations that follow the initial evil and who have the nerve or naiveté to inhabit the land. From The Turn of the Screw to The Haunting and on to The Shining, we’ve read this story before.

And yet we haven’t...

Read the whole review here.
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