The Cellar by Richard Laymon
More bad horror. Picked it up after watching the superb film, “Let the Right One In”, which I thought a beautiful work that does credit to the horror genre. So, with vampires and murder on the brain, I picked out a likely candidate from the local Chapters. Read it fast, maybe four hours total on a colddarkrainy Vancouver Sunday at the Fairmont.
What happens is, there’s a house where something eeevil lives. It’s so eeevil that lots of people have been killed there over the years, and the family of eeevil inbred hunchback types who live nearby run a haunted museum of sorts of out the place. Luckily, this collection of clichés doesn’t prevent assorted folks from foolishly venturing into “Beast House.” Turns out, mostly bad things happen there.
Meantime, a young mother and her teenage daughter go on the lam from her eeevil and rapacious ex-husband who has just been released from prison. But when their car breaks down, it isn’t near Disneyworld. Nope, unfortunately for them, it’s near—you guessed it! – Beast House!
Overall, this was lurid enough to not feel like it was pulling punches, mixing plenty of sex with its violence. There’s a beast orgy, some very unpleasant child-rape sequences, and lots of good old fashioned murder. Otherwise, not too remarkable.
I’d give this one a B- for the pulp horror genre. It’s not as good as House of Leaves or Salem’s Lot, but it’s a lot better than The Farm, or The Right Hand of Evil.