cover image Anybody Home?

Anybody Home?

Michael J. Seidlinger. Clash, $18.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-955904-09-4

With this literary cross between Funny Games and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, PW reviewer Seidlinger (My Pet Serial Killer) meditates on home invasion horror from the invaders’ point of view. Via direct address from a seasoned home invader, the reader is cast as an amateur in the trade who’s in the process of planning their first home invasion. This creepy apprenticeship grows into a voyeuristic game of cat and mouse between the invaders and the family unlucky enough to be chosen, all performed for the gaze of a mysterious cult. The narrator spends a good chunk of the narrative reciting horror platitudes about the nature of fear and the theater of death, and rather than subverting or deconstructing this well-used machinery, things tend to settle into monotony, especially for horror fans already familiar with these tropes. Once the violence begins in earnest, however, Seidlinger pulls no punches in delivering gut-wrenching horror as he drives the novel to its bloody conclusion. Fans of Jack Ketchum and Samantha Kolesnik will want to check this out. (Aug.)