Jeremiah Devitt has been through a lot in the short time we’ve known him. He discovered the dead body of his childhood friend, Anthony Beechworth, in Chapter 1 - The Letter. He was buried alive in Chapter 2 - Memories. He was abandoned and stranded in a fog-encased slum in Chapter 3 - The Four Witnesses. While all of these events were the result of his own deliberate search for answers, they happened without his consent or desire. In The Last Door: Chapter 4 – Ancient Shadows, Devitt chooses to inflict what might be the final act of horror upon himself—or it could be the beginning of an entirely new struggle.
The Four Witnesses was an excursion for The Last Door; it deviated from the previous two chapters’ focus on Devitt and the enclosed, claustrophobic spaces related directly to him. In this, Ancient Shadows feels like coming home. Devitt begins this chapter travelling to the house of Alexandre, another friend from the boarding school he and Anthony attended, and a member of their occult group bound by forces we have been slowly uncovering for three episodes.
Alexandre’s home is the focus of Ancient Shadows, but everything about it is eerily reminiscent of Beechworth Manor in The Letter. The house staff have fled, scared off by events alluded to in diary notes left behind. A madness similar to Anthony’s has overtaken Alexandre, who has demanded all statues be turned towards the wall or beheaded to end their relentless staring. Even the house itself has a familiar setup, with a grandfather clock ticking away in the foyer and a cluttered cellar that hides a secret.
But there are plenty of differences, as well. Although the house is devoid of staff, Alexandre remains in his upstairs bedroom, unresponsive to Devitt but alive and “well.” Having been called to the manor by Alexandre but unable to learn anything from him directly, Devitt is forced to search the house for some clue as to why Alexandre beckoned and what is happening to him. Alexandre’s presence is used to solve some puzzles but also as an unsettling constant, providing further incentive for Devitt to unravel the mystery before they are both lost to madness. Read more »