The Bruton Inn has had its share of evil history. Mysterious deaths that were later found to be murders at the hands of Sarah, a girl that exploits everything and everyone around her for her own evil whims. Fast forward thirty years and the Bruton Inn is experiencing some strange happenings behind the locked doors with the Do Not Disturb signs on the handles.
The Haunted Halls is a hodgepodge of good ideas and some sketchy ones. The storytelling tends to be all over the boards. Flashbacks and different characters POV make it a staccato burst of telling that you have to repeatedly go back to see who this and that character is. There’s lots of gore, but very little scares. Many of the characters are introduced only to be offed moments later. The character of Sarah is a real head-scratcher. You never really understand why she does the things she does or if she’s a real person, a demon, or something else. The most interesting character, for me, was Lee, the “ghost hunter” who re-discovers his shaman heritage. The Haunted Halls is one of Rolfe’s first stories that he ever wrote and it shows. His later work is written much tighter. There are some really good pieces in The Haunted Halls. I wish Rolfe could go back and reconstruct the story. I think he could do a much better job with it now.
2 1/2 Ice Queens out of 5
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