New Horror Site

Hey Everybody,

Sorry for being MIA for so long.

I finished this paper critiquing The Taking of Deborah Logan a few semesters ago now, so this blog served it’s purpose.

If you were interested in this you may however also be interested in my new blog dedicated to reviewing, commenting, and rating YouTube horror short films.

This can be found at: http://www.scaredybird.wordpress.com

headersure

There’s also a Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook page.

Check em’ out.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU_znCqAAWonxJ4GqJN49TA

https://www.facebook.com/scaredybirdblog/

 

Thanks!

 

Late Night Fixation on Possession Horror

Clearly me using this blog has fallen off the deep-end into nowheres-ville.

For those who are still interested, despite that, the paper is due by the end of the week and I narrowed it down to simply contextually analyzing “The Taking of Deborah Logan” as a starter piece to a larger (hopefully, one day, conference-ready) piece in the future.

I did have thoughts last night as I was trying to sleep, up late from too much coffee.

Here’s what they turned into, let me know your thoughts:

“I am probably the biggest fan of possession horror you will ever meet. Despite loving the sub-genera, there is one part about it that deeply bothers
me. Nearly every possession movie you’ll ever see is about a woman being possessed.

No joke, in the entirety of my fan-ship, and believe me, I’ve just about seen them all; I’ve seen – maybe – two men be possessed in these films. So what does that mean representationally?

Clearly these films are seeped in religiosity. And any films that I’ve seen, which include possession, are on the basis of (some kind of) Christianity-based religion. It’s no secret that gender inequality and particularly woman’s submission and weakness is a theme of these congregations.

So there is a duality of woman’s preached weakness and a consistent representation of her body being overtaken beyond her control.

And guess what she’s usually possessed by? Some kind of male oriented force, a mythological demon of some sort with masculine demeanor and voice she ultimately embodies to exhibit his presence.

This is, every single time, might I add: either a virgin girl/woman, or a woman purposely depicted as worthless to society because she’s either a sex worker – or just, God forbid, enjoys sex.

Either way, once possessed, there’s a scene of her speaking (through a male possessors voice) sexually objectifying herself, otherwise shaming herself sexually, and/or seducing (usually a priest or other religious leader) on the basis of traditionally oriented female self-determined sexuality/body shame so the audience can easily pick up social cues.

So why does this even matter?

With the amount of real acts of sexual violence against women showing no signs of going down, and a continually perpetuated culture of female sexuality/body stigmatization, the LAST thing we need is – any – sub-genera of entertainment representing women as vulnerable bodies easily overtaken by a male force at any time.”

 

On a completely unrelated note: OMG HAS ANYONE SEEN THE TRAILER FOR “LIGHTS OUT”? WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA. I CAN’T BELIEVE I HADN’T SEEN IT BEFORE.

Progression or Placation?

Recently I’ve been struggling to get myself motivated to do anything.

So I apologize for the huge lapse in posts, to those of you who expressed interest in my project so far. I suppose, when you can hardly push yourself to do the exact type of research you want to devote your life to, it opens your eyes to just how real the hold of your depression and anxiety is on your ability to function.

I adore my program, as well as the material I’m studying this semester. That makes it so much more upsetting to know I’m not devoting the amount of time I should be to studying it.

Anyway, I didn’t come to write a post to complain about my current mental state, I came here to bounce some ideas I’ve been having off you all.

In my last post I mentioned how the executive producer of The Taking of Deborah Logan appreciated my comment about their progressive choice in putting all women in all main roles. From now having gone to more seminars of Representations of Race, Class, & Gender in the Media, I am now having second thoughts on how positive that is for society.

Progression is needed and the end goal is that media representations reflect a real equality existing in society. However, I’m beginning to recognize that forms of media portraying an unrealistically progressive reality actually hinder – rather than motivate – real societal progress.

Representations are created as products and then, when used, act as tools to reproduce or resist dominant social relations. So in this case [The Taking of Deborah Logan‘s unrealistic representations of gender progress], the dominantly held social relations [of larger movie production associations] are creating a sensationalized utopia of gender progress.

In doing so, they reproduce real experiences of subtle/overt sexism – they do not resist them.

Think of it like if you broke an arm, and you went to a doctor. What if that doctor dulled purely the symptoms of that broken arm, yet tried to tell you your arm was now not broken any longer? Sure you may be presently soothed by the lack of pain but you still have a serious injury needing to be addressed otherwise.

In that same sense, using all women characters in every main role does not reduce real inequality, it masks it, and therefore has the potential to harm real social progress through that appeasement.

So to answer an obvious question: What’s a better alternative?

I believe the best alternative would be including complex female characters who don’t unrealistically dominate every role of representational society, but who linguistically and actively address the current state of social relations in our society today. In doing so we aren’t pretending inequality does not exist [think: colorblindness], and therefore have the potential to open up conversations of further social change that needs to occur by the agency of their critical representations.

Thoughts?

Alex Cutler Likes This Blog. NBD.

After summarizing The Taking of Deborah Logan yesterday I posted this comment as well as a link to my blog on their Facebook page…

“I’m doing a project about representations of women in found footage horror movies. I’d watched your film one other time before but never realized what an excellent job you all did of using nearly all women main characters, and providing examples of the struggle between the previous generations and the more recent ones. Brilliant job! I enjoyed your movie even more than I did the first time around looking deeper into the characters you developed.”

…because I was impressed with how fantastic of a job they did.

The executive producer, Alex Cutler, liked it, and that’s probably one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to me on the Internet.

The end.

The Taking of Deborah Logan – Summary

Main Characters

Mia Hu: Asian, 20s, working on her PhD Thesis in the form of a documentary

Deborah Logan: white, elderly, dresses relatively traditionally, single mother in the 70s, started her own switch-board professional answering service business in the 70s for an entire town

Sarah Logan: white, 30s – 40s, dresses relatively southern-inspired masculine, long hair

Mia and her documentary crew travel to Exuma, Virginia to meet with Alzheimer’s patient Deborah Logan and her daughter Sarah.

Deborah’s whole house is covered in traditionally inspired floral patterns, the wallpaper, the furniture, everything.

Mia and her film crew arrive and Sarah asks if she “looks okay” joking she has to be all “tucked in.” followed by asking if she has to act a certain way. 

Mia says “no just be yourself” [taking into account nervousness a person may experience being filmed for an extended period of time] there are theories about the idea that people being filmed automatically “perform or act in a way contrary to normal.”

ask they walk over to find Deborah, Sarah warns Mia that her mom can come off “kind of salty, but it’s all an act”

Sarah – “she’s excited you’re here, she’s been cleaning as if the president’s coming to dinner”

Mia and Sarah talk about the deal they’ve worked out conditionally allowing Mia to film, rent money.

Sarah continues to joke fills Mia in on how she should kiss her mother’s ass and say “please and thank you” and “smile”

when they find Deborah she and a man named Harris are raking up leaves. they introduce themselves and Deborah apologizes for being “a bad hostess” for raking leaves instead of catering to them traditionally.

Deborah mentions that she’s interested in Mia’s thesis in the sense it is for intellectual purposes, and makes clear she is not interested in being exploited.

Deborah – “i am not the butt of anyone’s joke” all – “oh no no no”

Mia discloses her grandfather also had the disease to reassure Deborah it’s not just a grade for her and that she wouldn’t take advantage of her in this vulnerable time.

Deborah mentions she is a very private person, and is having second thoughts.

“i think that you would be better off with someone else, i’m sorry”

and says “i know you’ve driven a long way” she doesn’t believe she’s the candidate for Mia. :walking into her house:

Sarah looks upset at Mia in response to what her mother just said. Sarah follows her in efforts to persuade her otherwise. :raises finger: “mom”

the next scene is Mia voyeuristic-ally filming Sarah talking to her mom in the kitchen through a window

Sarah “you want to keep the house you have to sacrifice”

Deborah “you talk to me about sacrifice?”

Sarah “yeah..i do.”

Deborah “i changed my mind”:admittedly: “i’m sorry. So sue me! I am issuing a retraction. I am not going to do it.”

Sarah sits at the kitchen table with a look of defeat upon her face speaking inaudibly…

:sound cuts to Mia’s film crew: he says “i thought they were broke”

Mia “they’re behind on the house, but they won’t sell, so Sarah’s in a tough spot”

:in the visual you see Sarah start crying out of stress:

:sound cuts back to Sarah and Deborah:

Sarah “can’t you see that? i am trying so hard.”

Deborah “you mustn’t cry.”

:Deborah tries non-verbally consoling Sarah by putting her arms around her head and resting her head on Sarah’s:

Deborah “everything’s going to be alright. it’s going to be alright.”

Deborah looks to the window and notices Mia and her film crew filming their private conversation through the window and expresses her feeling of violation on her face.

Sarah “we need the money ma. we need the help. we need the help.”

ONE WEEK LATER

Mia to her film crew “guys, I want to make sure you behave here because she’s like a really proper old lady”

Sarah says her mom is “an amazing artist,”

Deborah says “aw no, it’s just a hobby, i’m not an amazing artist”

Sarah’s room is shown

Deborah “she loved cars” they hadn’t changed anything since she was little.

her room has pink carpet, ornate looking furniture (a dresser, a nightstand, more dressers with a mirror) the walls have a bunch of pictures of old style looking cars, there are a bunch of sports trophies ontop of one of the dressers. another dresser has a baseball glove with a softball inside ontop of a book.

Deborah says “there’s no intermingling” between Mia and her camera crew as far as sleeping in the same room (because of traditional associations of sleeping in the same room meaning sex).

the cameramen are expected to sleep in this nearly empty room, one with a mattress on the floor with no made sheets, the other with a blow-up mattress that isn’t even inflated.

Mia is given this completely furnished spare bedroom with a really ornate looking bed, decked out in this gorgeous floral comforter, floral paintings.

Deborah makes a comment to Sarah about how she disapproves her green army jacket by saying “eh it’s so military”

she turns to Mia and says “wouldn’t you agree? you always look so pretty”

followed by Sarah taking off her jacket saying “ok fine – gone. happy? awesome.”

Deborah “is that a shirt of your dads?”

a female doctor describes the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s on the brain.

Deborah goes to buy flowers, and bakes a pineapple upside-down cake poorly because her organizational memory is beginning to fail. she also gardens.

Deborah “i do all my little puzzles, i do cross words, i am lifting weights. i do everything that i have read will help to stave off the progression of this disease.”

Mia takes Sarah’s blood pressure and says “whoa your blood pressure, you realize stress is a real killer right?”

Sarah jokes “meh, it’s fine i plan to die of cirrhosis of the liver anyway”

Deborah has a Alzheimer’s breakdown. gets out of the hospital and apologizes.

Deborah to Sarah “Ooo that shirt, that shirt I hate” while hugging her hello.

Sarah “it’s nice to see you too mom, I missed you too”

Deborah to Harris who walked in behind Sarah “oh yes, thank you for all your help. it’s fine, it’s fine”

Deborah shows more signs of Alzheimer’s everyday and Sarah copes by drinking.

Sarah talks to her girlfriend on the phone and lies to her about getting a U-haul soon to leave her mother. She says she “doesn’t have the balls to tell her the truth.”

Sarah discloses to Mia and the camera man Deborah sent her away when she was younger to boarding school for hiding in a shed with her neighbor Annie Phelps(romantic insinuation) Deborah was so mad, she got all red faced and said she was embarrassed of Sarah. Sarah looks visibly upset while telling them.

Deborah has another episode where she wakes up in the middle of the night with a hammer and tries to nail a window shut. She then goes outside and runs into the forest and starts digging frantically at the ground to the point her hands are covered in blood.

Once Deborah is returned to the house, the next scene is Mia recording herself washing Deborah’s hands.

Deborah “you know, my daughter doesn’t like men?”

Mia “Sarah? ok”

Deborah “she never cleans her nails”

Mia “don’t worry I’ll clean your nails now. they’ll be back to their perfect state soon.”

Sarah is talking outside with Harris and they’re talking about how Deborah has been acting out.

Harris “why don’t you give her a little break on the filming, let her catch her breathe”

Sarah “we need the money”

Harris “she’s about wore out about it”

“don’t you worry sweet pea. I’ll clean this[referring to the space where Deborah frantically dug up the backyard the previous night] up. okay? Go in there. You look after her.”

Sarah “Thank you so much. Appreciate it.”

Harris “It ain’t nothin, honey.” :Sarah walks away:

Mia talking to Deborah “how do you feel?”

Deborah “well I was feeling peculiar, but not now, now I feel right as rain :)”

next Sarah and Mia show her footage of the night she had the digging episode

Deborah “who is that now? is that me? what am I do? that is obscene. why didn’t you stop me?”

Mia says they tried :Deborah starts crying: than jettisons herself at the group of them and falls down:

Deborah gets a series of tests done because the conditions she’s experiencing aren’t associated with Alzheimer’s specifically.

Sarah and Harris are talking on the porch

Harris “just let that go please. they are exploiting her and using her for their own benefit. That’s what those kind of people[documentary film makers] do.

Sarah “What’s wrong with you?”

Harris “If money is the issue..I can sell my tractor. Or sell the Suburban. So you get rid of them. You get them out of here, you understand me? You get rid of them or I will. You got it? You listen to me.”

Sarah “They’re trying to help. They’re staying, okay?” :makes a face like ‘who does this guy think he’s bossing around?’:

Sarah, Mia, and the camera crew are looking for information from Deborah’s old call records. A contact’s information has been ripped out.

One of the camera men ask Sarah if she has any charcoal and notebook paper around the house. She says yeah in her mom’s art room. He goes to get some and rubs the depression of the page that has been ripped out to get the number and name.

Mia “is it working?”

cameraman “look how nice that is”

Sarah “are you kidding me?”

Mia “good job, so smart”

the next scene is them at a computer researching this man.

A local pediatrician was thought to have ritualistically murdered and cannibalized four local girls [stated on a website called “Unsolved America”]. He kills them at the start of their menstruation, and they are called “Bleeding Flowers.”

Harris shoots up Mia and the cameraman’s van with a shotgun, while drunk.

A police woman shows up and questions him, and then talks to Sarah about her mother a bit. “Is there anything I can do?” It’s revealed that Sheriff Tweed is Sarah’s girlfriend she’s been talking on the phone to throughout the film on occasion.

the next scene is at the hospital where Deborah was staying, Mia and her film crew find her missing from her bed, she’s taken a young girl into a random dark place of the hospital. the doctor retrieves both of them and Deborah has another episode, and gets drugged and strapped back down to her hospital bed.

Harris has been visiting the last couple days and seems to be desperately praying.

Sarah and Mia visit an anthropologist, who says “the only explanation is that Deborah has become obsessed with the local ‘bogey-man[pediatrician murderer]’ and is trying to emulate him.”

Sarah responds “with all due respect, sir, this is more than that.”

He tells them about how in some cultures they believe in possession. One time he’d experienced a mother mourning her sons death that she emulated him in every way for two months until they burned the body as an act of “purification.”

Harris comes in to visit and lets her out of her restraints, grabs a pillow and tries to suffocate her to death. A TV flies off it’s hinges and throws itself at him.

The next shot is Sarah visiting Harris, he discloses to her that Deborah killed the pediatrician before he got his fifth young female victim for the ritualistic ceremony.

Deborah’s now possessed by him and is going to try and kidnap the young girl she took earlier to complete the ceremony.

Deborah stabbed him in the neck with her gardening spade and then her and Harris buried him alive in their garden.

Sarah and Mia feel the only way to stop the possession of Deborah is to dig up the pediatricians body and burn it the way the anthropologist had described to them earlier.

Mia and Sarah dig in the spot Harris mentioned.

These two women are doing the digging, the camera men joke to them about this, and Mia says “if you’re not going to help us, shut the fuck up.”

The only thing they find digging in that spot is her spade.

So Deborah must have dug his body up previously and is hiding it somewhere in house.

Looking around for where she may have hidden it, they find a liquid outline of a body leaking out from the attic. Go up there and find a bag of the pediatricians remains. A bunch of snakes come out of the bag while they’re trying to burn his remains and scare them.

They all go to the hospital, Deborah has broken out again and taken the young girl.

Sheriff [Linda] Tweed drives them through an enclosed forest area where Deborah has kidnapped the young girl.

:While they’re all trying to detain Deborah: The young girl keeps repeating “don’t hurt him, he’s a nice man, he’s gonna wash me in the red river.”

Deborah spits snake venom at the policeman’s face who was with Sheriff [Linda] Tweed and the cameraman walk off with him to get medical help.

Sarah and Mia go into an abandoned warehouse area where Deborah took the young girl, Linda goes in and says she’s going to get her mother out while they wait outside a bit. They eventually go in and find Linda laying on the ground in some blood with snakes by her face.

They run to try and find Deborah and the young girl, and hear the girl screaming. They have to navigate through a dusty crawlspace scattered with random snakes negotiating their plan.

They plan to drug Deborah out before she can hurt the young girl.

They try and fail. Sarah pulls out a gun, and holds it up in front of her like she’s ready to shoot. Deborah is in full-blown snake mode at this point.

Sarah screams “FIGHT HIM, MOM! FIGHT HIM!”

Deborah seems to try to.

they trying burning the pediatricians remains again[thinking it could only be destroyed in this particular place], and it goes up in flames.

the next scene is a news broadcast of the situation that just went down.

the young girl goes into full remission from leukemia.

and for sure is just the reincarnation of the pediatrician murderer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Den – Summary

WARNING: extreme violence, sexist language, objectification, nudity

——————————————————-

Main character – Elizabeth

demographic: woman, white, thin, fit, long hair, olive complexion, from L.A, CA

——————————————————–

Elizabeth, pitches an idea for a grant to a group of three white men, a black woman, and a white woman. She wants to find out who’s on a Chatroulette type website called “The Den.” She wants to study human behavior by leaving her webcam on 24/7 the next few months and video recording everything her computer sees. She gets up from the computer and you see her butt sticking out of the bottom of her underwear as she walks away.

The black woman who was sitting at the table, Sally Winters, calls her on video chat and tells her she gets the grant. Sally, makes a remark about how although the people sitting at the table aren’t “the hippest group,” she is still very supportive.

She immediately messages a guy named Max K telling him she got the grant. He tries to ask her to go out that night and she tells him that she’ll have to take a rain-check and he’s sassy back, they kid with each other.

A guy named Damien C sends her a video chat next. She accepts and excitedly tells him she got the grant. He tells her “I’m so happy for you,” (paralanguage relatively un-enthused) she catches on to this and by the look on her face doesn’t believe him.

He gets a phone call.

Max K messages her again and says “give me a buzz if you need help with the screen recording software, k?” she says “thanks!” [Damien C still talking on the phone at his office with their video chat box up]

When he gets off the phone he says “sorry about that,” and asks her if she’s coming over tonight.

She says “she probably shouldn’t.”

He says “COME ON..you’d rather spend your evening chatting with a bunch of strangers than hanging out with me?”

she responds with “hey! this is my job. :smiles:”

aw I know. I just want to see you :sly smile:”

“well you’re seeing me now.”

“ya-but I want the real thing

she gives a smile and considers the offer, bares a shoulder, notices one of his co-workers peeking over the cubicle to get a look at her body. she motions to Damien to look behind him, and yells “Tod! God damnit :hangs-up call:”

she laughs and pulls her spaghetti strap back up.

:she customizes her webcam experience to include everyone:

(OPTIONS: people interested in friendship, people interested in dating, people interested in hooking-up, people from your high school, people from your college, people from across the globe, professional contacts, friends of friends OR give me everyone)

a warning pops up that says “Please notice that DenChat.com is not responsible for anything you see or the content of its users therein.”

the first chatter is a teenage-twenty something girl. the room behind her has words posted on it like “exquisite” “glamorous” and a bulletin board that says “Don’t get trouble in your mind!” she stares at Elizabeth boredly, has her hair up in a tight ponytail, and is leaning with her hand holding up her head. her username is yagirl96 from Ticonderoga, NY. Elizabeth says “hi” and yagirl96 skips her immediately afterward.

the next chatter is a slightly chubby/hairy guy from Korolyov, Russia with no pants on waving his genitals around and she looks blankly and skips the user. searching for someone new…

the next chatter is an Indian man under the username sudeepsudeep40 from New Delhi, Republic of India who tells her “you are very beautiful”

she says “ha, thanks,” and asks, “so what are you guys up to?”

he has a friend behind him laying down who gets a glimpse of her and gets up to pay attention for seemingly the same reason.

the first man asks her if she will tell them “how to satisfy a woman.”

she asks “uh..excuse me?”

the man responds with “my friend is getting married next month and he’ll have to satisfy the bride”

“ya know, maybe you guys should just download some porn.”

“well, it’s not that easy…ha..please..you must show us..just uh, show us where he needs to touch her”

“nice try, guys..” :closes window:

—-

she has a LOG of her thesis up. it says it’s day 3.

—-

LOCATION       | NOTES

India                  n/a

U.S.                    talked about online shopping, friendly

Philippines        exposed penis

UK                      webcam broken

U.S.                     empty room, no one came after five minutes

France                 group having a party, using site for fun

U.S.                      clicked off quickly

Mexico                did not speak english

U.S.                      danced for entirety of interaction

unknown             spoke about family and internet usage

Czech Republic     did not speak english

France                  talked about his studies – he uses site to better his english

Dominican Rep.    hoping to move to US one day

Canary Isles          woman on vacation, bored

U.S.                         boy who uses site to scare people

U.S.                         interested in meeting women

Canada                    wanted to talk about LA

U.S.                          played guitar entire interaction

—-

she gets a video chat from a girl named Jenni*wise who also lives in LA

they’re gonna hangout, Liz says she has some wine

Jenni says “no, it’s a beer night, maybe whiskey :smirks: and says see you soon”

the next chatter shown happens after Jenni shows up, under username Jacques_Cocatoo, from an unknown location is a puppet shaped like a penis with a bowtie on. that shoots what looks like white paint at the camera.

they laugh. Jenni asks “you’re recording all of these right? I want a copy of that one” (they are both drinking beers)

the next chatter under username ejosh_trader_2 in new york, NY is dressed in a collared shirt and tie and looks at both of them without saying anything getting sweaty, biting his lip, and someone skips.

the next chatter is a cat licking itself under the name silkdress44xo from Scottsdale, AZ and Elizabeth looks grossed out at the camera and skips it – Jenni is bummed and said “aw, that was cute”

the next chatters are two school girls who look about 12 or 13 in traditional uniforms from Taguig city, Philippines under the username nakakatawa 988. the one on the right whispers to the one on the left and then sticks out her tongue at them.

Liz and Jenni laugh and Jenni sticks her tongue out right back at them

the next chatter is a guy dressed in a bunny suit with sun glasses on from Tel Aviv, Israel. Jenni gets up and asks Liz if she wants another beer, she says
“thank you.”

the next chatter is a guy from Miami, FL under the username army_guyz_1970 who sits there laughing at them strangely. both liz and Jenni look pretty confused and blank.

the next is a group of people from Bogota, Colombia under the username naring. a guy from the group takes a picture of them and then flicks them off and the two women still on cam on their end laugh and look shocked at each other that he just did that.

the next chatter is a picture of an Indian woman under the username pyagrl*16 from an unknown location who has no webcam, just a picture. there’s something unsettling about the picture and the way it stares at the camera. Jenni skips it and says it was creepy and boring. Liz gets up and says she has to go to the bathroom. :NOTE LIZ HAS NOT SEEN PYAGRL*16 AT THIS POINT:

Jenni is now searching for someone new to talk to on TheDen.com alone.

the next chatter is an empty room. the next is pyagrl*16 again. the person on the other end of the picture sends her a message that says “don’t click off u dumb bitch”

Jenni looks shocked.

pyagrl*16 sends another message that says “you are an ugly cunt”

Jenni looks shocked again and flicks off the camera and closes the video chat with them.

Liz comes back, and Jenni says she doesn’t want to be on the site anymore because the people are mean, and says she just wants to watch some cute cat videos.

the next shot from Liz’s computer camera is of her own computer screen with someone going into “theDen” loading screen and trying to type her username in but getting the password wrong.

the next shot is of Liz’s living room into her bedroom at night, with her asleep in her own bed, from the perspective of her own computer camera. a video chat box pops up in the bottom right corner of her screen with the same Indian girls face (PYAGRL*16) and the sound is on with a woman’s screams being muffled by something. it gets louder and louder and Liz wakes up and goes over to turn it off, she looks really scared. she must have been half asleep because next time the picture is shown to her, she doesn’t seem to make the connection she’s seen it before.

next scene is her friend Max K from LA who is telling her “well that’s weird. are you sure you didn’t leave it on?”

and she says “no..no i am almost positive that I didn’t,”

followed by asking “can computers just turn on by themselves?”

and max responding “no, not likely. maybe it was a ghost ha”

she chuckles snidely and asks “be honest. were you hacking me?”

“was I hacking you? you WISH I was hacking you. you wish a guy like this :pans himself a bit: would hack you” he continues to make a joke about “stalking her later” because of her question about if he was hacking her.

the next chatter she connects with is a username aw01jalzop from Van Nuys, CA. It is a person with their back to her wearing a black silky robe swaying back n forth a bit, who drops the robe to the floor and is wearing a pink bikini wearing a yellowish wig with long hair dancing. they turn around and it’s a 30 something year old red haired man with a long beard and tattoos rubbing his body.

the next chatter is pyagrl*16 with just the picture again.

Liz asks if her webcam is broken. no response.

pyagrl*16 sends her a message that asks “do u mind if i type?”

Liz says “no”

pyagrl*16 says “U r very pretty”

Liz laughs and says “so are you”

pyagrl*16 asks “where are u?”

Liz says “coffee shop”

“i like coffee too! Can we be friends?”

“sure, but..”:pyagrl*16 leaves the chat when a strange man walks behind her screen.

the next chatter is username exhibitorrentz21202 from neward, NJ. it’s a chubby dominatrix looking woman wearing a leather corset and pants, and a spike bracelet with long black hair. she’s standing up, straddling a guy who’s kneeling forward. his head is stuck through a chair, his wrists are bound, his mouth is taped closed and he’s only wearing tighty-whities. she’s hitting him with a riding crop, as if he’s a horse.

the next chatter is under username Br1anne_99 from Leeds, UK. her husband comes down the stairs dancing in his underwear,

Liz says “wow, your boyfriend’s got some great moves! :jokingly:”

her boyfriends says “YOU LOVE IT! SO DO YOU RANDOM GIRL!”

they both laugh and apologizes about him to Liz.

Br1anne_88 says it was nice chatting with her and good luck.

Liz says, “thanks. goodnight, guys” responding to Br1anne_88 and her boyfriend who isn’t even in the room.

Liz gets an e-mail from Sally Winters asking how the study is going because she hasn’t heard from her in awhile. Liz is about to respond when she gets a video chat request from DamienC saying “well, well, well”

Damien – “how did I know I’d find you on here?”

“Hey”

“hey, i cleaned up the place :pans his room:”

Liz -“oh, looks really good.”

D- “yeah, I know. you should come over here and help me finish this bottle of wine”

L – “I’m sorry, I’m still working.”

D -“eh, do that later. This can’t be good for us.”

“baabes.”

L – “don’t be so needy”

Damien is going out of town for an unknown reason, he wants her to come with. And tells her she could do work from the hotel room.

The next scene is from the perspective of Liz’s computer camera again on her own bedroom. It gets up and moves toward her bed.  Someone walks over to her, and a white male hand takes the covers off of her.

She’s wearing a blue short sleeve shirt, and grey underwear. they graze their hand over her leg and pull at the waist of her underwear and she screams and wakes up. It’s Damien.

He sets the computer camera next to her bed. And he says “you wouldn’t come over to me, so I came over to you.” they make out, and she tries to turn the camera off but he tries to stop her a bit. 

the next scene is someone going into her computer and logging back into her TheDen.com account, recording her and Damien while they are having sex on the bed, followed by them going into her e-mail.

the next scene is Liz on video chat with her pregnant sister who’s username is Lynben10 who’s in Valencia, CA. she says she just felt the baby boy kick. she just finished his bedroom. Liz makes a joke about how her sister should take her time because she’s pregnant and her sister makes a joke about having a bowling ball inside of her so it takes her time to do anything. Her baby’s room is space theme. Liz is bummed that it’s spaced theme because they decided together that the theme was going to be dinosaur themed. Her sister thinks the dinosaur theme was “way too 90s’.”

Liz – “okay, :sarcastic question: you trust a guy at the store over your own flesh and blood?

Sister – “flesh and blood that I haven’t seen in MONTHS

Liz goes on TheDen.com and the first chatter is Adebay055 from Lagos, Nigeria.

he’s got a headset on, and he’s trying to sell her a scam.

Pyagrl*16 messages her next saying “hi” “i want to ask you something” “Do u like this site?”

Liz – “ya I do. do you?”

pyagrl*16 – “i like watching people”

“Like when your bf licked your pussy last night”

Liz looks totally shocked.

suddenly a video appears on pyagrl*16s camera of the Indian girl whose picture is always up tied to a chair with tape over her mouth struggling and screaming. a man grabs her by the hair and slams her head against a table and cuts her throat as the camera continues to film her die.

naturally, Liz is completely freaking out.

she runs to the phone and goes to try and call authorities.

while she’s away from the computer pyagrl*16 sends her a message that says “talk soon :)” and leaves the chat.

the next scene there is an old white man in a police department re-watching the video Liz just saw of the Indian girls murder.

there is another window up on her computer that says “LAPD Cyber crime toolkit”

the officer says “well that looked real.”

Liz says “so what do we do?” “how do we even find out who this person is?”

O – “listen. we don’t have the resources to check every suspicious video that pops up on the Internet.”

Liz – “right, but you just said it was real.”

O – “I said it looked real”

Liz – “so is there ANYTHING else that I can do?”

O – “I can put a call into the cyber crimes unit, see if they got any similar reports, but like I said 99% of these things, they turn out to be fake”

Liz – “oh, okay, thanks :FOR NOTHING:”

Liz posts a new message in the community message board of TheDen.com titled “HELP: has anyone chatted with PYAGRL*16???

Including the picture of her on webcam and within the video of her murder.

Under it it said “I chatter with user PYAGRL*16 several times, but never saw her face until yesterday. When her webcam turned on, I watched helplessly as a young woman was brutally murdered. Please message me if you know anything about this…”

The next scene is her friend Max trying to invite her over. She tries to get him to look into PYAGRL*16. He says she owes him.

Liz tries to look into PYAGRL*16’s friends. She video chats the first one named dpphilinateor235 who says “DAYUM GIRL, YOU FIONE. YO, CHECK THIS OUT, I COULD MAKE YOU CUM SO HAR-” :video closed:

the next person she tries to video chat is username war_boy_44z. he messages her “show me ur Titties???” he looks like he’s probably 15. she leaves the video chat.

the next chatter is xx00000xx who is a fatter white women with curly blonde hair done laying on a couch in a red nighty with a red hand-fan who just laughs at Liz.

the next chatter is username els993849 that starts panning on a gun and a bullet sitting on a table. four people pretending to play russian roulette where a woman gets shot in the head, and after she “dies” wakes up and laughs maniacally.

Liz goes back to the message board she posted about pyagrl*16 on and there are over 50 pages of comments. The ones shown are:

 

Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark! LOL. – consTheDixk

This didn’t get me hard. – Grand tomato

>>>You sick douchebag. – Happitistically

Wow. – Missy.

FUCK THIS. – baseBallerzZ

Came for the boobs, came for the boobs. – Not A Fanboy

A sick white guy did this. – HarshliverS

>>A stupid fucking Mexican did it. – Eechy__0

Totally FAKE! – Meowzmango

: ( – sassychass2y

Another Mexican bit the dust. – Mad dilde

>>She’s Indian. – Nero_zero_Hero

>>How can u tell? – Exclaimer

Look at that blood!!!!!!!! Killer effect yo! – Exclaimer

She squeeeled like a pig. Oink, oink. – Harsh)critic000

 

The next scene is Damien saying “it’s fake Liz. it’s what these people do they probably got your reaction and everything.”

Damien – “It’s the Internet. You should have expected something like this”

Damien disappears. Liz gets hacked further. Jennie gets killed. the hackers uses each person they kill to contact other people Liz knows to kill.

 

the hacker tricks Jenni into going to Liz’s when Liz is over at Damiens place talking to the police. Liz finds Jenni in her bathtub with her wrists cut by the hacker. a hacker wrote a false suicide letter to everyone in Jenni’s address book. the hacker breaks into Liz’s pregnant sister’s apartment and ties her up holding a knife over her stomach like he’s going to stab it, hears police sirens, walks outside, takes off his mask and doesn’t get caught.

unbeknownst to either Liz or her sister one of the people responsible for the hacking is a police officer. he makes sure to keep turning the camera to capture both sisters upset and tears for whatever sadistic viewers. he walks outside with the camera and films Liz walking with another officer into a cop car. he gets into his own cop car, setting the camera down next to one of the masks, and follows Liz in with another officer.

they break into her apartment again, she ends up stabbing one of them to death and then gets captured by another.

the next scene is Liz waking up in a beat up looking room with her ankle chained to a wall like many people would find acceptable to do to an animal. she has a webcam strapped to her forehead she can’t remove with a light attached to the top. there’s a computer in the room she walks over to and damien is on the screen. the hackers kill both max and damien.

one comes into her room, she knocks them down and fights with them for quite awhile, wrestling them to the ground and retrieving keys from them to unlock her ankle. She grabs their machete and walks out into the desolate hallway. a couple hackers find her and start chasing her around the enormous camera-bugged building. alarms sound, she struggles with another and gets up to the surface of some kind of desert junkyard. finding a car and speeding away she gets in a car crash, and is eventually dragged back

the next scene is Br1anne_88 logging onto TheDen.com. a man holds up a sign that says “Let’s talk,” pans it up and it says “About your boobs.” at the bottom.

she skips it. next she gets a video chat request from Liz. it’s just a picture of Liz. Br1anne_88 asks Liz if her camera is broken. Liz says no. A video starts of Liz standing on a chair and two hackers: one filming, the other kicking the chair. Liz is left to die hanging for a bit, the cord is cut, then they shoot her in the head.

 

The video pans out into a website that says “Watch ElizabethB’s narrative!”

The timeline includes:

-full webcam takeover

-home surveillance feeds

-over 120 hours of footage

-interactive torture

-POV

-friends & family

-50 free photos

-nudity

 

The website it pans out to include a white father inputting his credit card information including a category choice option on the side of the screen:

Abuse, Amateur, Axe-play, Blowtorch, Beating, Bottle, Bound, Box, Burial, Collection, Chain, Choking, Cannibal, Classy, Cleaner, Decapitations, Demoralizing, Disembowel, Drilling, Dungeon, Erotic, Eyes, Exhibition, Fantasy, First time, Foreplay, Gas, Gun, Hardcore, Hanging, Hooks, Impaling, Knife play, Marital ex, Psychological, POV, Solo, Spike, Team, Throat slash, Whipping

Found-Footage Female?

BACKGROUND

The purpose of this blog is to establish a thinking-ground and work space for a paper I plan to submit to a conference, as well as continue developing within my master’s program for various course requirements.

I will be examining and qualitatively critiquing representations of women in (one or multiple[to still be decided])found-footage horror film(s), released in America, within the last decade.

According to FoundFootageCritic.com, found-footage films are defined as,

“feature-length movies, shorts, or web-series designed to have the look and feel of actual (non-fictional) filmed events that were lost and subsequently discovered and made available to the viewer. For a film to be considered as “found footage,” all of the cameras used to shoot the footage must have known sources within the film itself – i.e. all cameras are effectively props in the film.”

The beginning and end of this sub-genre of film’s juxtapose each other in their representation of reality. For conceptual purposes, it’s easiest to understand the way representations within these movies are depicted on a spectrum from most realistic(at the start) >  most supernatural(at the end).

The juxtaposition of these two extremes is a distinguishing factor of this method of narrative film from those of the traditionally-shot variety. Actors within found-footage horror movies are specifically meant to represent real individuals from the start; unlike traditionally-shot horror movies, which many times include characters who embody one-dimensional hyper-extenuated stereotypes throughout.

As noted, the found-footage horror films I will be critiquing will all have been released within the last decade. The point of doing so is to recognize whether representations of women in recent found-footage horror movies reproduce or resist traditional gender roles and expectations.

Naturalized(many times invisible) representations within media are used as tools to reproduce a dominant discourse of social relations individuals are expected to follow within larger society.

As FoundFootageCritic.com also points out,

“A key selling point that impacts the realism of a found footage film is convincing the viewer that the film can actually be found footage.”

METHOD

The method I will use to critique this(ese) film(s) will begin by:

First, distinguishing examples of textual content(in this case discourse) of the immediate settings within each film;

I will next, establish how interactions are being influenced by a particular social setting(a specific group or institution) within the film;

Thirdly, I will analyze the social context, such as class relations and historical conditions; briefly defining and elaborating on what traditional feminine roles and expectations could potentially be emulated within these films;

Lastly, I will discuss whether the representations of women in these movie’s I’ve critiqued communicate a “reproduction of” or “resistance to” the dominant discourse of social relations expected of women.

WHY FOUND-FOOTAGE HORROR REPRESENTATIONS?

I have chosen the genre of horror within found-footage styled movies for two reasons:

Reason 1) I have arguably seen more horror movies than many people have seen movies total. Many people argue that art isn’t meant to provide answers, but to ask more questions. I agree with that for the most part.

However, I find found-footage horror movies to be a riveting and analytically purposeful exception to the genre. I argue that because of the sub-genre’s initial intent to mimic reality, in attempts to add a more realistic experience of terror during the supernatural ending.

This personal interest led to reason 2) I noticed overwhelmingly traditional representations of women within nearly ALL of the recently released found-footage horror movies I’ve watched.

If some progressive societal change has taken place in our actual world(which it has), yet that isn’t being represented within media meant to exemplify real-life – that says something.

I’ve created this blog to delve further into that something.

MOVIE CONSIDERATIONS

The Devil Inside http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1560985/

The Bell Witch Haunting http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2991532/

Lovely Molly http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1707392/

The Amityville Haunting http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2042447/

100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2297108/

Greystone Park http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588886/

Apartment 143 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1757742/

V/H/S http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2105044/?ref_=nv_sr_1

V/H/S 2 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2450186/?ref_=nv_sr_2

The Taking of Deborah Logan http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3387648/

The Houses October Built http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1958043/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The Den http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2503154/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Mockingbird http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2125685/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Inner Demons http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3038142/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Episode 50 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1728976/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

NEXT STEPS

I will re-watch each of these movies and make notes here to track progress and keep motivated.

I’m going to start with Lovely Molly because if I do decide to critique a single film, that would be the one(if my memory serves me) holds the most promise.

EDIT: I’m sad to report Lovely Molly isn’t on Netflix anymore. I just closed both my Shudder.com & Screambox accounts because they weren’t worth the money. 

I am considering reopening one or both for the specific purpose of this project.  

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FOUND-FOOTAGE FILMS GO TO:

Found Footage Film Genre