Yes yes, this is the book on which the movie was based. And no no, I haven’t seen the movie and I don’t have any intention of seeing it either. I have strict restrictions at home about watching horror movies which will then make me get up in the middle of the night, wake up the husband and ask him to check under the bed for snakes (true story this, not kidding). So in the interests of my marriage, I try not to watch horror movies of any kind.
Ok, given the hype this movie generated, I expected the book to be a bit more scary. Not that this wasn’t scary enough though – I did hesitate for 5 seconds when I got up to get a glass of water from the kitchen and passed by the mirror. What? I was alone at home! C’mon, gimme a break.
I personally feel it’s not very easy to write a horror novel – I mean, you can only write so much that is actually scary. The rest needs to be left to the reader’s imagination and there in lies the true test for the author. Koji Suzuki manages to do it pretty darn well. There is no blatant in-your-face gore or scary faces in the book. The horror is more subtle and the author has taken pains to paint the scene and set it up before telling us the freaky part. I liked that about the book ‘coz it managed to make me scare myself. That’s the thing, you know. That’s it.
Oh, and this can so be a part of the ‘around the world in xx books’ challenges – gives one a good view of Japan, their culture and lifestyle.