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THE DOOR IS OPEN
A virally-spread Internet story told from 2004 to 2006, The Dionaea House consists of several stories told in various formats.
The first story, Correspondence from Mark Condry, takes place in September-October 2004. It begins when Mark E-mails Eric about their mutual childhood friend Drew, who recently shot up a diner. They remember that when they used to hang out, there was a house that terrified Drew. He had to house-sit there for two weeks, and came back... different. Mark goes to Houston to check out the house, then to Idaho to investigate further. He finds that the exact same house, roof damage and everything, is in Boise. He investigates the house.
The second story, Adventures in Babysitting, is a blog that takes place in October 2004. In it, 16 year-old Danielle Stephens tells about her new job babysitting an 8 year-old girl named Linney. Midway through we find out that it's in the same house. Weird stuff happens.
The third story is A Quiet Space, Eric's blog. It covers October 2004. It goes into much greater depth regarding the house and its mysteries. Much of it involves a homeless-looking man who keeps staring at him, a "Flesh Puppet." In it, Eric shares various theories about what the house might be.
The fourth story, The Blog of Loreen Mathers, is told from August 2005-January 2006. It starts off with Loreen telling us that she got back from 9 months in a mental institution because she killed a guy and said everything she knew about the house on the stand. She goes on to explain various peculiarities about the house, like how it smells weird, there's no fuse box, the windows aren't made of glass, etc.
Evidently, it was supposed to be made into a movie, but it unfortunately was kept in Development Hell, and is scheduled for release in 2011 under the title "The Occupants."
This work contains the following tropes:
- Alien Geometries - The house in Boise has a second floor with several rooms... which isn't visible from the outside. At all.
- Aloof Ally - Loreen, to the rest of the cast.
- Apocalyptic Log - Mark's correspondence and phone calls, Danielle's blog.
- Ax Crazy - Drew, causing Mike to start investigating.
- Bigger on the Inside - The House has a second floor that isn't visible from the outside.
- Came Back Wrong - Drew, and eventually Danielle.
- The Corruption - Danielle, after spending her last night babysitting.
- Connect the Deaths - What Mark attempts to do.
- Creepy Basement - And creepy second floor. And creepy attic and... you know what, let's just go with creepy everything.
- Creepy Child - Linney has colored one of the upper rooms of her dollhouse with red marker, and when asked, informs Danielle that, "It smells like cookies and candy."
- Curiosity Killed the Cast - A major trope--in fact, it's largely how the antagonist works.
- Dead Fic - The movie and related drama will presumably put an end to the original viral story.
- Distress Call - The House lets people find out about it so they'll want to explore it. Heck, just finding it puts you at risk of being lured in. In other words, it actually feeds on being a viral story. So keep sharing that link.
- Eldritch Location
- Empty Shell - Drew, after spending too much time in the house.
- Evil-Detecting Dog - From one of Mark's emails: "Andrew talked about it the weekend before. Dog had behavioral problems – whined, barked, scratched at the door, pissed on the carpet. Didn’t want to be inside, always wanted to be outside."
- Genius Loci
- Ghostly Chill - The air inside the house is described as 'cold and metallic', with a faint whiff of both sickly sweet smells--fresh bread, sugary cakes--and rotting decay.
- Glamour Failure - Loreen took an axe to the ceiling. It bled.
- Hazardous Water - When Danielle leaves Linney alone in the bathtub for a couple of minutes, one of the house's strings tries to drag her away by her ankles.
- Indian Burial Ground - Loreen implies in her last blog entry that the house was built by a man named Jared Lewis, a disciple of the famous real-life occultist Jack Parsons.
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme - "There was a crooked man / And he walked a crooked mile..." and "Red rover, red rover, let (person) come over."
- Madness Mantra / Arc Words - "The door is open."
- Meaningful Name - "Dionaea" is the genus name for the Venus flytrap. Much like the plant, the houses lure people in.
- No Ending - While some of the blogs clearly end with bad things happening to the writer, others just sort of... stop.
- Ontological Mystery
- People Puppets - According to Loreen, people partially-digested by the house are controlled via "strings." This is presumably the reason behind Danielle's final posts and Sweatsuit Guy.