Originally published at Fangoria.com on August 13th
Comic-book fans are in for a thrilling ride in the gripping conclusion of Radical Publishing’s ABATTOIR saga. As a real-estate agent investigates the dark history of a haunted house, his entire life is thrown completely upside down. As he descends into madness, the agent struggles to understand what is real or not, and his own loving family may be his next victims. Created by filmmaker Darren Lynn Bousman (the SAW sequels, MOTHER’S DAY), this issue is an exciting must-read!
Real estate agent Richard Ashwalt had to sell the infamous Mitchell house, which is rumored to be cursed. In this suburban home, an entire family was slaughtered by their crazy father. Just when he finally had a buyer, Richard saw something very peculiar about the mysterious Jebediah Crone. Obsessed and mentally disturbed, Crone wouldn’t take no for an answer, and Richard’s life has spiraled out of control since he refused to sell the house to him. After being framed for a murder he didn’t commit, Richard immediately ran away from his wife and daughter, and even though he believed his best friend to be innocent, Detective Sperry had no choice but to deliver Richard in handcuffs. During Sperry’s investigation, he has come across more horrible truths about the Mitchell dwelling. Sperry doesn’t understand what unspeakable forces he is dealing with, which is why he may be too late to save Richard.
Driven to the edge of insanity, Richard becomes consumed with his search for Crone, which ultimately leads him back to the Mitchell house. The longer he stays inside the haunted place, the closer Richard comes to having a mental breakdown. Though he has a gun in his hand, Richard doesn’t really know who he is pointing the barrel at, and the eventual confrontation between Richard and Crone will have deadly consequences for the life of an innocent child.
The writing duo of Rob Levin and Troy Peteri add plot twists and shocks as Richard loses his grasp on reality. Because the protagonist is unsure of what he has done, readers are also able to question whether or not Richard is guilty of his crimes. Usually in these haunted-house scenarios, such as THE SHINING and THE GRUDGE, the climax involves the building being burned down. Thankfully this is not the case here, which allows the authors to focus on the character study.
Wayne Nichols’ artwork sets an eerie mood; using close-ups and medium shots, Nichols brings a great deal of suspense to the opening sequence. With vibrant colors by Andrei Pervukhin, the illustrations are quite striking as Richard dives further into his hallucinatory nightmares. These digitally painted panels always adopt Richard’s point of view, keeping the readers inside the mind of a potential madman.
With this moody artwork and a shocking ending, ABATTOIR #6 is a terrific conclusion to this well-crafted miniseries. Since the first issue, the authors and artists have always applied fresh creative twists to the haunted-house genre. ABATTOIR looks and feels ready to be made into a movie! The new issue is in stores now, and readers can also order the series through Radical’s official website.