A middle-aged woman works as a guide to a haunted house. Greed drives her deeper into unknown horrors than she bargained for.
Oskar Källners Mannerskiölds Manor (Mannerskiölds herrgård) is an entertaining horror-story in Lovecrafts territory, pinning puny humans against cosmic horror. Källner mixes the classic themes with modern horror-concepts into a spicy dish of writhing tentacles and flying bullets.
Mannerskiölds Manor (my translation; original title: Mannerskiölds herrgård) is Oskar Källners second venture into the world of horror after the convincing first step in ”Byssan-lull”. This time he also tries his hand on lovecraftian themes. Cosmic horrors have stuck their claws in Earth, using people both as servants and food.
The story centers around a nameless woman who works as a guide to a haunted house. Unfortunately, she gets in over her head with both humans and tentacled Old Ones. Much more cannot be said without revealing the plot. Surprising twists is something of a forte with Källner and Mannerskiölds Manor is no exception. It’s full speed from start to finish with interdimensional, skin-wearing bad guys and zombiefied humans. Bullets fly everywhere, brains splatter.
Källner combines the classic Lovecraft-concept with modern horror aestethics, turning a usually slow-paced storytelling into something different. It’s generally a standard Hollywood storyline, but Källner delivers a coherent and entertaining variation, mostly thanks to the many twists that keeps the reader on his toes, guessing. For me, there was a bit too much shooting, but I’m a Lovecraft-conservative and the conservative road ususally leads nowhere, whether it’s in politics or literature.
Language-wise Mannerskiölds Manor deserves a work-over, there are a few repetitions too many and the linguistic level doesn’t quite reach Källners previous levels. But that’s details in an otherwise entertaining encounter with a modern-day addition to the lovecraftian universe.