The reviews are in for the October selection and we all enjoyed this horror classic!
HELL HOUSE – Richard Matheson (Originally Released in 1971)
Here’s the synopsis:
Rolf Rudolph Deutsch is going die. But when Deutsch, a wealthy magazine and newspaper publisher, starts thinking seriously about his impending death, he offers to pay a physicist and two mediums, one physical and one mental, $100,000 each to establish the facts of life after death.
Dr. Lionel Barrett, the physicist, accompanied by the mediums, travel to the Belasco House in Maine, which has been abandoned and sealed since 1949 after a decade of drug addiction, alcoholism, and debauchery. For one night, Barrett and his colleagues investigate the Belasco House and learn exactly why the townfolks refer to it as the Hell House.
Can any soul survive?
Regarded as the Mount Everest of haunted houses, Belasco House has witnessed scenes of almost unimaginable horror and depravity. Two previous expeditions to investigate its secrets met with disaster, the participants destroyed by murder, suicide or insanity. Now a new investigation has been mounted – four strangers, each with his or her own reason for daring the unknown torments and temptations of the mansion…
Chandra’s Thoughts: 4/5 stars
Holy hell! 😈 I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read this classic horror book. This was the #BuddyReadsToDieFor October choice and just perfect for the Halloween month – Spooky Season is ALL year for this macabre loving ghoul and Hell House is an amazing setting to let my mind wander through for 302 creepy pages.
Would you stay in a haunted house for one week if you were paid $100,000? Personally, since Dr. Barret is a billionaire, that seems like chump change but who am I to say – I think that I would! Probably to my detriment but hey, YOLO and all that jazz.
I sometimes can find haunting stories to be a bit too slow for my taste but the atmosphere is hard not to take a taste of so I usually try to meander through. Luckily Hell House is written in a way that the slow creepiness that builds night by night goes at a moderate pace, thus keeping my attention from beginning to end. Definitely lots of sexual scenes but I didn’t mind them… the weirder shit got the more I was fascinated, nose deep into my kindle – which seems weird but you get what I’m saying here.
Overall this is a very satisfying read and I’m pretty happy with it from beginning to end. Strap yourself in and get ready to feel the creepy vibes crawl on your skin. It’s absolutely worth it. Apologies to the reading group as I had some great intentions but with these being holiday times it’s been madness trying to sort anything – like herding cats, I have failed. However, I’m still definitely going to try and watch the adaptation, The Legend of Hell House as Matheson also wrote the screenplay!
My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars
Being the October #BuddyReadsToDieFor selection meant I had the excuse to finally read this classic horror story. HELL HOUSE was also my first book by Richard Matheson and I can see why this is considered a classic in the horror genre. The atmosphere, the creepy setting, the writing, the characters – this made for such an immersive read.
There were some parts where the pacing felt a little slower and kind of lost my attention but nothing too bad! There is some sexual content in the book that I could see some readers not wanting to read but the more odd and creepy elements in a book, the better for me! I’d like to think that I would be able to make it through the night in the Belasco House but you never truly know until you’re in there!
I can see how this has inspired other haunted house novels and I need to pick up the others I keep passing over on my TBR! I’m curious to see how the adaptation compares to the book, especially knowing that Matheson wrote the screenplay.