The Dionaea House is a horror story told through a collection of emails and three blogs supposedly written by different people. It revolves around the eponymous house out to eat people.
It utilizes the medium a bit better than the Sick Land. For one thing, stuff written in blogs and emails is stuff people would actually write, none of this “I must hide things lest they think I’m crazy, so I’m posting them on the Internet” stuff. For another, the second blog does utilize the comments to enhance the story. It did result in a lot of shit-posting, but in this case it’s actually not a bad thing: the story is supposed to be set in our world rather than obviously fictional universe of the Sick Land.
Still, there are things that could have been better. The second blog really lacks the reaction of its host to the comments. Some responses in the comments or an announcement in style of “Think what you will, I’m not writing it to convince anyone. I’m leaving the comments open in case someone has similar experience they want to share, but I’m not going to respond to random anons” would be welcome. Still, it does demonstrate how comments can be used to enhance the story: just check out Zan’s comments in the context of helpful strangers.
Likewise, the first blog, one supposedly written by a sixteen years old girl, Dani, would have really benefited from comments. It actually makes sense for her to be focused on the plot rather than write about random stuff, since it’s the stated purpose of the blog and the story unfolds pretty quickly, but adding a few comments from her friends reacting to stuff that happens to her and, at first, talking about mundane stuff and making plans for the weekend would have been a nice touch. It could have given Dani a bit more depth as a character and imply a life outside of the story. As it is, the blog is more obviously fiction than it should be.
As for the plot itself… It’s OK. The story is much less ambitious than the Sick Land, which allows it to be far more coherent and focused. The story is pretty simple and very unlikely to produce the same confusion you can see in the comments for the Sick Land.
Unfortunately, the same simplicity works against the story. You may say it’s far too comprehensible. More specifically, the blame can be placed on the first story, the collection of emails. The protagonist, Mark, is far too quick in jumping to (correct) conclusions, and the nature of the house is revealed far too early, taking other stories into account. It would have been much, much better if emails weren’t giving us the solution (the dionaea house metaphor) and focused more on descent into madness and basic observations on the nature of the house (people starting to repeat stuff and the like).
The final blog serves as a sort of conclusion to the story with more information from the inside of the house and theories on its nature, that’s where its nature should have been stated openly instead of just implied and speculated over.
Overall, though, it’s worth a look. The story isn’t going to blow your mind or anything, but it’s short, it at least hints at the potential of using blog format for telling stories, and it’s solid in execution if far from excellent.