ByMark Capehart, writer at
An academic lover of all things horror and folklore posting my thoughts and observations
Mark Capehart

Okay it has been a while but, hey, some of us have to work. Anyway got to watch some more films which is good cause I am heading out to about a half dozen events in the coming months with media and film being major parts of each. That is horror the way it should be: watchable any time!

Anyway, what i did this past weekend other than fight with my email server is watch a couple more films that really got some ideas going into my head. Now these films, I should state, are referred to me through friends and groups I belong to in the horror community. This is not part of any formal promotional campaign or anything like that. These are just films I like that you are not going to see on the big screen, probably, and they gave me some ideas to wax over-educated on.

Ethereal Chrysalis

This one is a visual treat with images both shocking and beautiful. Not just saying this because the director, Syl Disjonk, once did a video for one of my favorite bands. Voivod!! Don't recall them? They were the band that for the past 3.5 decades you should have been paying attention to while you were listening to White Lion and Winger on the "classic rock" stations!

But I digress.

Where this little gem of a disturbed mind and universe really works is in the fact that there is no language barrier. From the opening of the protagonist, I guess that is what you would call em, pulling open his head to the apocalyptic ending to his soul this film hits ya with the visual images. Which brings me to my academic media commentary point that I know you were looking forward to.

This is a piece tailor made for virtually reality adaptation. Or if not the formal kind you can now get on your phone then some sort of immersive entertainment. A large enjoyment aspect of media culture is that all encompassing feeling of loosing oneself in a movie. There have been dalliances with this at various times in cinematic history but nothing has ever really come of it. Now we hae virtually reality rides at Magic Mountain and games so why do we not have more movies in this area.

Lot of things may be standing in the way; cost, available tech, limited distribution, etc. All of these are valid but in this day and age there should be a way we can get to have the immersive experience that a film like this calls for. The colors and movement, combined with the sound and almost tactile feel of the film cries out for a truly encompassing endeavor. Tell me if you do not agree.


The second film I wanna bring up is a big trend that is going on and will even be a major release with Hardcore Henry. This film, Harbinger, is all POV and a very nice lovecraftian exercise with only one little gripe. Shouldn't the reclusive weirdo have a New England accent and not a southern one? This is lovecraft so....but anyway...I am just being nit picky . It is the POV that really grabs my attention because it shows the influence of video games growing like wildfire.

Recently I saw a feature length zombie movie at a film fest. (I wrote about it in an earlier post...LOOK IT UP!!!....LIKE VOIVOD!!!!!!!....I digress again) and this film had a similar effect on me as this short while I was watching. I immediately began to play the film like a video game. While I probably should have been watching the plot and the characters I started looking for weapons and things to pick up. Any glow from another room had me thinking "oh! side adventure". On the downside I felt frustration that I could not go wherever I wanted to and that I could not find the button to push that would escape the situation, leading to a very cool ending I must say.

Now this brings up another point, I did some looking into this production company and they are doing one short film a month which is awesome! Not all horror or POV but still shows an interesting trend.

With modern distribution it is not possible to have short series and short films be viable careers not just the bastion of film fests. Now while this is good in an of itself i wonder if anyone out there is planning on doing what i mentioned before, combining games and other platforms withing the some project to make a transmedia event out of it

(Okay, confession, I know of a few people doing what I mentioned but I refuse to think a bunch of over-educated academic artsy fartsy types are on the cutting edge!)

Seems a lot of films would be screaming for games, walkthrough experiences (which is what i am writing a boring paper about right now thank you) or some other such. This is the bold new land that media is going so want to see how far it has gone and how fast i have to run to catch up.

In the meantime I will watch these films and encourage others to do so. Creators of all media need our support and, hopefully like these did, make a think.

That is all for now. I promise more media thoughts and lighthearted posts later. Smooches to all of you.


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