A Month of Horror: Day 29

29 October

Movie: Ringu/The Ring
House of Leaves

I will lose a little horror cred here, but in the sake of transparency I will admit to having seen the American version of this story before the original. Both have their merits
1, but the original is superior. Granted, the concept is a little dated now. You watch a video tape3, you get a phone call, you have a week to live. The images on the tape are creepy as all get out, and must be deciphered in order to figure out how to save yourself. One additional benefit of the original is that it doesn't have the slick feel of the Hollywood version which makes the viewing even better.

If you don't mind investing the time,
House of Leaves is one of the most original and downright awesome books you will ever read.

I'm telling you right now, invest the time.

The story, or one of them, of a house whose owners discover is bigger on the inside then the out, is unearthed by another character going through a dead man's trunk. Often the "story within a story" is so poorly done that it drives the reader to madness, but this is NOT the case here. In addition to the two narratives, there are multiple footnotes, a series of letters, and additional addendum which flush out the story. Portions of the book employ creative formatting to create dense, claustrophobia inducing blocks of text. Others have only one word per page, forcing the reader to fly through them, creating a sense of panic.
House of Leaves is less a book and more of a reading experience and it is one you should definitely pick up.

1. In fact,
The Ring is just about the only Americanized version of a J-Horror or K-Horror film that I can tolerate.2

2. Actually, let's not limit ourselves. I prefer the original Spanish, French, and wherever else versions too. Hollywood remakes of originally foreign films just seem to fall flat.

3. Those are the analog recording devices we used to use to record episodes of
The X-Files.