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ABATTOIR #3 (Radical Publishing) carries a well-executed
package of suspenseful storytelling and surrealistic artwork. When a real
estate agent investigates into the dark history of a haunted house, his entire
life is thrown into shambles. As he is thrown into complete madness, the agent
struggles to keep his last ounce of sanity from drifting. Created by filmmaker
Darren Lynn Bousman (pictured, of MOTHER’S DAY, REPO!, SAW II-IV), this is a
must-read issue for horror fans.
Real estate agent Richard Ashwalt has to do the impossible
and put on the market the infamous Mitchell household, which is rumored by
gossipy neighbors to be cursed. Ashwalt wonders how he can sell a building
notorious for its brutal violence and vicious murders. But when a fascinated
client shows major interest in buying the property, the agent questions why the
buyer is so obsessed with the Mitchell household. Richard’s life suddenly
spirals out of control when he defies to sell the house to the client.
Richard finds himself running from the law, framed for a
murder he didn’t commit. With Richard’s fingerprints on the murder weapon,
Detective Sperry has no choice but to search his best friend’s house. After
interrogating the wife and child, Sperry questions whether the two know more
than what they are saying. Richard’s wife doesn’t believe he is a vicious
killer; he’s just a cheating husband.
To clear his name, Richard becomes consumed with the search
for the mysterious Jebediah Crone. After going through records, it appears
Crone doesn’t really exist on paper. After many deadends, Richard finally finds
the necessary clues from another real estate agent. The more he learns about
Crone’s devious past, the more Ashwalt realizes his life is in utter danger.
Writers Rob Levin and Troy Peteri keep building the marital
difficulties between Richard and his wife, Vanessa. Who’s cheating on whom in
this relationship? Or, have they just lost complete trust in each other, that
no one has been unfaithful? The duo manages to skillfully transition from one
genre to another. What starts out as a police procedural becomes a
fugitive-on-the-run chapter and finally turns into a haunted house tale.
ABATTOIR’s cinematic panels by the gifted artists (Bing
Cansino, Dennis Calero, and Rodell Noora) elevate the well-crafted script. The
artists digitally paint realism with such detailed precision. The artwork takes
a step further into surrealism as Richard begins having feverish nightmares.
These hallucinatory sequences are the issue’s major highlights. The
illustrations are just striking to look at and yet menacing at the same time.
Ready to be made into a movie, ABATTOIR #3, a miniseries of
six issues, carries a foreboding sense of dread and suspense throughout. You
shouldn’t miss out on this wickedly fresh take on the haunted house genre.
Readers will be eagerly awaiting the fourth issue because of the
eyebrow-raising cliffhanger. You definitely want to know where the story is
going after this ending. The issue is out in stores now and you can also order
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