Returning from a four-month hiatus, The Nice House on the Lake is back to thoroughly creep us out and reveal more about the mysterious house and the host Walter. This is a riveting series, to say the least, with expert character writing by James Tynion IV and great art by Álvaro Martínez Bueno and Jordie Bellaire. In the tenth issue, much more is revealed about how much control Walter has and how easy it can be to take it away.
Picking up where we left off in May with The Nice House on the Lake #9, we continue to get a snapshot of a terrible future where the land is red and characters are reminiscing before they were taken to the lake house. These openings always create a sense of dread and unease, foreshadowing how bad things will get. It’s a reminder that maybe these characters should simply accept their fates and live it up, but that would go against the deeper meaning of the series that humanity can never be content.
We also pick up where we left off with Walter and Norah, who are going through controls Walter has at his disposal. This is an excellent bit of sci-fi worldbuilding and creepy character work. Walter has incredible power–which is alluded to as too hard to comprehend beyond the controls–and it’s a lot to wrap your head around. We still don’t know what Walter is, but it’s safe to say his abilities are godlike. However, the fact that he’s afraid of others like him finding out about his little lake house and pulling the plug may be even more frightening in the grand scheme of things.
Tyniong and Bueno also continue to explore the rest of the lake house patrons and their fascination with healing any wound. They take things even further with this issue by shooting each other with a machine gun and watching how fast they heal. Tynion creates a great sense of anticipation with this detail, reminding us Walter can turn off healing properties or even speed them up and then dives right into the group cheerfully murdering each other. We’ve seen this concept in horror before, and it will not go well!
Bueno and Bellaire continue to work wonders with their collaboration. The scenes with Walter and Norah are cast in simple antiseptic colors, as if in a surgery room. Cut to the group experimenting with violence, and we see streaks of blue, pink, and purple, effectively enhancing the chaotic energy of the sequence. The color choices continue to create a surreal effect for the lake house areas as if they aren’t real.
The crowning achievement in the art of this issue is hand motions. These subtle flicks of the fingers and palm show how easy it is to control the patrons of the lake house. They create a sense of magic or godly ability from Walter, making the machine that controls it all quite fascinating and easy to understand. They also work well to pace scenes, which then turn to symbols that are conveyed over characters near the end to show changes are taking place. It’s a neat concept conveyed with symbols and well-placed panels.
Surprise, surprise: The Nice House on the Lake returns, and it’s a masterclass in dread, unease, and great-paced horror. Tynion, Bueno, and Bellaire are crafting something truly special and haven’t missed a beat since the very first panel.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!