Genres: Crime/Serial Killer, Dark Fiction, Extreme Horror, Fiction, Haunted House, Horror, Noir, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal, Suspense, Thriller
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As the Halloween season approaches, the newest residents of small town Eminence are hard at work opening a haunted house attraction called Hellsworld Hotel. The local townsfolk are excited, especially the teenagers. Normally you would have to drive to one of the big cities for something like this. But local Sheriff Stan Maxell is skeptical, even more so when he takes notice of how many of the young people in his town are disappearing.
Hellsworld Hotel is a tale of family horror in the vein of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and House of 1000 Corpses, brought to you by the author of The ADHD Vampire and Fast Times at Cine Mega Plex High.
HELLSWORLD HOTEL, by Matthew Vaughn, is a book that has more than enough gore and unique ways to die, to satisfy even the most blood-thirsty horror fan. It’s Fall, and something new is coming to the small town of Eminence. For the very first time, a haunted house attraction is going to open for the Halloween season. When a new family moves into town with this vision in mind, the teenagers there are notably thrilled to have something unique to do.
“. . . the thing about small towns . . . There’s just not a lot to do, so when something new comes along everybody gets excited.”
Of course, even in the movies, there has to be at least one dissenter in the group. In this case, it’s Sheriff Stan Maxwell, who has his suspicions about the “odd family” right from the start.
“I have a bad feeling about this . . . “
While there is a “motive” to this story, the main emphasis is placed on the descriptions of gruesome deaths and tortures that occur. This is not a “slow burn, atmospheric” read, but rather an “in-your-face, sadistic slasher” book. Fans of more extreme horror will love the scenes here, while those with more . . . delicate tastes . . . may want to look elsewhere.
“. . . The whole place just seemed twisted.”
Overall, I found this to be a fun, if gratuitous, story of a peculiar family’s lust for causing pain and death. Some of the scenes were especially unique, so detailed that you could virtually cringe at the mere thought of what you’d read. The one thing I would have liked different was a little more depth and backstory for the murderous new family, and a little less detailing of the lives of some of the “throwaway” characters–those whose only purpose was to add to the body count. All together, I found this a “fun” Halloween-themed novel of more extreme horror (think “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, but with more dark comedy).
Recommended to fans of slasher novels and films, or those with strong stomachs who like a lot of carnage and a high body count.
About Matthew Vaughn