Previously I shared five works that influenced HTDC. Now, here are four works that I did not discover until after I wrote HTDC, but nonetheless share interesting parallels and similarities.
Paprika is an anime film by Satoshi Kon about a new technology that allows psychologists to enter their patient’s dream worlds. When the technology falls into the wrong hands, dreams and reality collide in a kaleidoscope of surreal sequences.
The concept of dreams and reality combining is central to HTDC, and Paprika is a dazzling example that I wish I had seen years earlier. I really ought to read the book.
See also: Satoshi Kon’s entire filmography, Inception, Only Forward by Michal Marshall Smith and Sucker Punch (which was incredibly disappointing despite having a strong concept and great visuals).
Serial Experiments Lain
Lain is an interesting anime series which explores the blurring of reality with virtual reality, rather than dreams. When a young girl kills herself, her classmates begin receiving messages from her, telling them that she is not truly dead, but living in the Wired (what people in 1998 thought the Internet would become). The shy, withdrawn Lain decides to explore the Wired to learn more, and the line between the real world and the Wired begins to crumble.
I’ve never been completely sure what caused the state of reality that exists in HTDC. But I imagine an over-reliance on technology like this would be involved. Anyway, that’s a matter for the sequel…
House of Leaves
House of Leaves is very hard to explain. Basically, it is a book about a guy finding a book about a movie about a house that has a labyrinth inside it. The book is a labyrinth in itself. Text is colour-coded, fonts are assigned to different characters. There are copious footnotes and an extensive appendix. There are sections missing. Text is backwards, sideways, upside down. But at the heart of all this chaos, this fucked up maze of words, is a love story.
I have toyed with the idea of messing around with the formatting of my story, though not to such an extreme extent. I hope I have succeeded in capturing a similar labyrinthine atmosphere though.
The Path is a PC game by Tale of Tales. It’s not really a game by regular definition. It is a retelling of Red Riding Hood where you must lead six sisters to Grandma’s House. Each girl must stray from the path and into the woods, where they will encounter their own individual “wolf.” Everything is very symbolic, abstract and psychological. There is a sense of loss of innocence, of becoming a woman. A lot of the girls remind me of the girls in HTDC.