By: Noah Kihata
At the beginning of this class, we were asked to watch two short videos and a story. Since this viewing, I have become more interested in short horror videos. One day, while viewing Imgur before going to bed, I came across this page. Usually I am smart enough to file this page away and look at bunnies or puppies, but I wanted to push my limits for this class and watch one or two of these videos.
I started with ‘Get with the Times’, which revolved around brain stimulation for pleasure. The horror in this video results from societal implications caused by the stimulation, and the lives people may live if this comes to fruition. This video, while slightly disturbing, did not leave the same creepy feeling as pieces such as The Witch. Combined with a forgettable plot, the poorly animated cartoon gore and fuzzy voice-over were enough to make it creepy at best.
The next video I viewed was titled “Local 58- Weather Report.” This video revolves around a fake weather report concerning the moon. Watching this video late at night, alone, can give the viewer some inner turmoil. The video is purposely left vague as to the actual phenomenon happening. It is likely a video that plays at the end of the world or when some major meteorological phenomenon is happening. There is a very large feeling of existential dread when watching this video. The use of existential dread in horror is not a new or unique style of horror, but it is usually successful when used, at least on me.
When watching a horror movie, directors use eerie music, camera angles, and lighting as buildup to horror scenes. This may happen many times throughout the movie, and sometimes the director may choose for nothing to happen at the apex. Save the last scene, each of these segments is a few minutes long and is usually quickly forgotten. And that is why “Vicious,” the third video I viewed, has become so stuck in my mind. Vicious is a short film concerned with staying in this build-up phase for as long as possible. Almost the entirety of the 12-minute video is in this state, leaving the viewer little time to recover from the last episode of buildup. I viewed this video the next day, during the day, and with my roommate (As Rachel mentioned, videos are less scary in groups). I am not one to jump or scream at horror scenes (Sinister being a terrifying exception), but Vicious had me holding a blanket over my eyes like I was 8 again. The human brain can only stand so much strain from horror before it begins to wane. And I guess my tolerance is less than 12 minutes. The issue with this kind of horror is that once you’ve seen the video once, it is much less scary. This is the same effect that “Light’s Out” had on me, so I would place it in a vein of horror similar to it.
Learn from my mistakes. If someone puts together a compilation of horror films, do not assume that you are strong enough. Tread carefully when looking through horror compilations, and always have some puppies queued up just in case.