In Douglas E. Winter's guide to horror fiction, Alan Ryan contributed a piece entitled "The North and South of Horror," examining the use of isolated settings and the device of a particular house. The two books reviewed are Herman Raucher's Maynard's House and Michael McDowell's The Elementals.
A quote from his review:
"The Elementals is a fine novel with the quirky characters McDowell does so well, his usual rich and allusive writing, and a deep sense of 'the Southern way of life with its pervasive friendliness, its offhanded viciousness, its overwhelming lassitude.' "