The Splatter House Rules

The Splatter House Rules - Jeff O'Brien  5/5


      I am a huge fan of O'Brien's and the more I read the more I realize that you can't just dump his books into one category. He brings the punk, DIY aesthetic to his writing and it works. These are books that remind me of those classic B-movies that are full of cheese but have a an interesting plot that holds it all together. Splatter House is a combination of the bizarro/horror hybrid that he's become the master of. His fiction may not be for everyone but it's a blast to read and that's really all that matters. Splatter House is a lot of fun to read.

     If you're familiar with slasher films then you'll recognize the plot, but O'Brien throws a few curve balls that keep it from being a straight ripoff and more of an homage. I love that there's a healthy amount cheesy dialogue and gore and like all B-movies you have an underlying issue that throws the plot into unpredictable territory. You have an abandoned camp and counselors that know a little of the history and then like all good slasher hell is properly unleashed. O'Brien is a talented writer that doesn't even try and take himself seriously, The Splatter House Rules is the kind of novel you read just for the fun of it. The plot moves quickly and O'Brien is the type of writer that knows his subject matter and isn't afraid to take a few risks.

     As it says right on the cover this is a summer camp slasher with a bit of an edge. Finding out what's lurking in the camp is what drives this novel. Think Sleep Away Camp, or Friday 13th and you have a pretty good idea of what you're in for. This is for fans of classic B-movie slashers and if you're looking for a novel that will make you think you're reading the wrong book. O'Brien is a writer who is comfortable taking risks and venturing just outside of the rules of horror and bizarro. There's really no way to classify this guy and that's what makes this novel so damn good. Of course it wouldn't be an O'Brien novel without an underlying moral issue. This one you'll just have to discover on your own,

     The Splatter House Rules is a solid read that shows O'Brien growing into his role as a writer that knows how to craft a decent story with just the right amount of humor and gore. Horror and bizarro fans will no doubt enjoy this, and even if you're not a fan of either genre this is one of those books you should check out. This is the equivalent to a Saturday morning creature feature that you watch while eating bowl of cereal.