You know immediately within the first couple of paragraphs that this is standard cliched horror – or at least you think you do. By the next paragraphs, it is also clearly obvious that it is classic YA or even teen fare, with the usual stereotypes of the popular girl and the high-school jock – basically all the things many horror fans like to see. But this is where the similarities abruptly end.
The first half of this book is atmospheric and gripping, with a nail-biting sense of menace permeating through it. We all think we know where this is leading – the misadventurous kids falling prey to some sadistic madman in a scary location. But when the reveal and final scenes are upon us, they are very strange, so unexpectedly so that it caught me a little off-guard; in fact - without giving anything away - I was expecting it to evolve into conveying some sort of eco-moral message, but this didn’t really come – that, I feel, missed an opportunity, and ensured only bizarreness could come from the tale. Still, I did think the story had a little more legroom than just the few pages Cummins chose to condense it into, and it could have been padded out for a longer word count. It is written and edited well, but I felt perhaps it could have been composed with more sincerity and purpose – more deeply indulged, maybe with a touch of psychology and intellect in its message.
Still, “the Warehouse Tour” is not a bad horror short - on its own not particularly satisfying, but well suited to forming part of an anthology, which I hope Cummins chooses to publish one day.