I read Hell House today, which is supposed to be a classic of the haunted house genre. First is The Haunting of Hill House and then is Hell House. Well, let me just say, if that is the case, then the first step is a doozy.
I must talk with you frankly about this book. So, spoiler alert, a short guy does it. How is this a satisfactory ending? The short guy, who has created his own hell on earth, is dispatched merely by shouting “Bastard” at him. It is as if he read The Haunting of Hill House and said, “How can I add Jesus’ boner?”
A short guy. The bad guy is just short. Secretly. Secretly short. And a bastard. And that’s what causes him to become evil. And die in a bunker.
Is this really the second best haunted house story ever? Because The Red Tree was as good as that, if not better. Am I missing something?
Point two in my “Is this a failed World War II allegory?” theory: the guy who funds the expedition is literally named Deutch. Really? Mr. McGerman sent you to investigate the monstrous legacy of a guy who killed himself in a bunker?
Benjamin Franklin Fisher is obviously America, who does nothing up until the last minute and then saves the day.
Lionel Barrett could be Winston Churchill with Edith being the Queen who doesn’t understand what the fuck is going on at first, but lives to shape England’s legacy.
But I guess that makes Florence Tanner Russia?
I don’t know. It doesn’t quite work.
Oh, and obviously, Belasco is the Italian connection.