Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Review- The Other Side by Diana Henstell


Publishers released a slew of horror novels throughout the 1980s, and many of them were ripoffs of other books, such as The Other Side by Diana Henstell. And by the word "ripoff," I'm referring to the stories that borrowed plots from other books or movies.


First published in 1984 by Bantam Books, The Other Side centers on a woman, Maggie, being released from a psychiatric hospital nearly one year after her two daughters died in a fire. After returning home, she learns her son, Jebbie (Jeb), has been acting strangely. He spends most of his time staring and talking to an antique mirror. According to her husband, David, and her doctor, there is nothing wrong with Jebbie. 


However, Maggie has a different opinion about her son after he tries to stab her with scissors and later pushes a girl down the stairs. 


Is Maggie going insane? Or has something evil taken control of her son?


Final Thoughts

I found The Other Side at a thrift store many years ago. The story is your typical "evil child" plot that was in countless '80s horror novels. Yes, it's predictable and outdated. However, the late Diana Henstell was an excellent storyteller, and her detailed descriptions help saved this book from being a disaster.

Overall, The Other Side is a cliched but gripping horror thriller. Is it worth reading? It all depends on everyone's likes and dislikes. If you like '80s horror, then you will probably enjoy it. If you're not into horror, then you might find it a bit stale.

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