Title: House of Rot
Author: Danger Slater
Release date: June 14th, 2023
Huge thanks to Tenebrous Press for sending me a digital ARC of Danger Slater’s next release!
Over the last number of years, I’ve really grown to love Danger’s unique take on storytelling. I do struggle with Bizarro as a genre, but Danger has always had these underlaying aspects of extreme horror slowly growing and mutating more and more with each release. Now, with ‘House of Rot,’ we’ve arrived at his first ‘official’ take on horror. If you’ve read ‘I Will Rot Without You,’ or even ‘Impossible James,’ you’ll have a strong idea of what to expect with this one. A body horror story that is designed to distract us from the narrative of the human condition and relationship bonds that float just beneath the repulsive.
What I liked: The story follows newlyweds Elenya and Myles, who’ve just moved into their first place together. They’re excited – the future for them starts now – but almost immediately, things begin to happen that are unsettling.
First – it’s footsteps throughout the house at night. When they look, there’s no one there.
Second – a mold begins to grow and infest everything, even sealing the windows and door shut, preventing them from leaving the place.
Danger uses this all as a distraction behind what is actually happening and I’m sad when I think about how much this will be spoiled for readers as the book rolls out and reviews share the truth. It was wonderful and will remind you of some of your favorite movies as a kid, but it worked so well to be teased out that the clues subtlety wrapped within will be big massive billboards if you know the ‘why’ of what Elenya and Myles and experiencing.
The ending was really well done. It was emotional – as most Slater books are – but quantified the message Danger was going for. This was a love letter, masked in the form of a body horror novella, and I’d gather that a lot of what Danger is saying is really meant for his real-life significant other.
What I didn’t like: Can I just say Brad and leave it with that? Because (and I know he was purposefully like that) I hated Brad. I wanted to punch Brad. Well done, Danger, the next Brad I see today is gonna get punched.
I will also say, there were a few rambling moments, when Myles discusses different commercials or a similar thing, that just felt unnecessarily long. I suspect it was to show Myles’ character and offer some comic relief, but for me, I found them to be a bit out of place.
Why you should buy this: I’ve said it in probably every Slater review I’ve written – I would love to see him do a straight forward horror story, and while this is more weird/body horror than straight forward, this may very well be as close to that from Slater – and he nailed it. Danger always writes from the heart, his characters feel like your group of friends and the body horror components here were fantastically squirm-inducing.
Danger’s finally done it and this reader and reviewer smiled the entire time he read the book.
Thanks, Danger. Well done.