In my analysis of episode 1, I had a tangent about the 2013 short horror film Lights Out. I have watched this film literally dozens of times, as at one point I had planned on writing an in-depth analysis of it.
(What happened instead was I internalized the logic of the film and scared myself witless for a few months.)
Anyway, in all the times I watched it, I apparently missed a crucial detail. In the sequence I described, where there’s a shadowy figure in the hallway that’s only visible when the lights are out, I said that the last time the light is flicked off, the figure is gone.
Well, I was wrong.
Today, for unrelated research purposes, I was reading a plot summary on Wikipedia that said the last time, the figure is closer. I thought, “That’s wrong, they’ve gotten this completely wrong”… but then I went back and did something I haven’t done since 2013, which is watch it again, at least through the opening sequence.
And if they were wrong, then it’s only as an understatement. The figure is right in front of the protagonist, so close as to be illuminated by the light spilling out from behind her. You don’t get a good look because the figure is facing away, which somehow adds to the creepiness as it doesn’t seem like she moved closer, just that she is closer.
I missed this every single time because I was watching on a small screen and my gaze was focused on the spot where the figure appeared the first time, waiting to see what it will do… and from my point of view, what it did was just mysteriously fail to appear.
And the thing is, that worked for me. It was creepy. Horror at its best. The more traditional jump scare that actually happens is effective, but that’s all. It takes the film from a 10/10 to a 9/10 for me. It also shifts my understanding of the protagonist’s actions as someone who still isn’t quite sure if she *really* saw something.
The funny thing is, I’ve been talking about this scene for years, including to other people who have seen it, and no one’s ever corrected me. I’ve had people agree that the sudden absence is among the scariest things they’ve ever seen. So I’m apparently not the only one who made this mistake.
It’s an interesting commentary on the difference in viewpoints between the camera/audience and the protagonist who is, theoretically, the viewpoint character. The figure is right in front of the protagonist; she can’t fail to notice it. But the camera is framing the scene the same as it did when we were supposed to notice the thing down the hall, and some of us are still looking down the hall so hard we miss what’s supposed to be closer.
I’m going to go ahead and leave my commentary unedited, but with this correction on the blog.
So here’s an embed of Episode 2.
And after the cut, my thoughts.
Okay. The first interlude. These are about a tenth the size of the episodes, and so far have been coming between them. They sort of remind me of the “totheark” videos that were uploaded as a counterpoint to the Marble Hornets series, though they’re a bit more straightforward.
They’re very much in the style of the teaser. I’ll talk more about that after the cut. I will say that I have been quite anxious to get through the first episode so I can talk about an interlude, because the interludes excite me.
Some of the interludes (including this one) have been transcribed on the website, but it’s really worth listening to the audio if you’re able. There’s a lot in the delivery.
And now the jump.
Okay. Um. God, you know what, I don’t even fucking know where to start. Okay, I guess the beginning then. I woke up and everyone’s gone. Like, everyone. I mean, I guess I-I haven’t been everywhere in the world. I’ve been a few blocks around the house, but, um. I mean, there’s nobody here.
I don’t even fucking know why I’m doing this.
Awakening is the first proper episode of GONE, and I believe chronologically the first part of the narrative, as the teaser seems to be being relayed from some point after this.
My posts on this blog are going to be spoilery (obviously) so I’m going to put the meat of them under a Read More cut. Once you’ve listened to the episode (if that’s your thing), then… proceed past the jump.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do when the light dies.”
A Voice In The Dark was the first thing posted of GONE, back near the end of July. I’ve long been a fan of Sunny Moraine’s dramatic monologues, so the prospect of a serial story narrated in the first person as a podcast immediately grabbed me.
The teaser is certainly effective in conveying what the series will be about, and in piquing interest. I do have to say that I sometimes find myself reticent to recommend it to people when I’m trying to get them hooked on the series, though, for the reason that when I first heard it, I did worry that the episodes would be 20-30 minutes of voice layered over with the same distortion/FX the teaser uses.
They aren’t. That’s reserved for the 1-2 minute interludes that happen between episodes, and it works there for the same reason it works in the teaser: small doses.
That said, if I hadn’t already had a certain amount of trust and regard for the artist, I might not have checked back later after hearing the teaser. It’s not so annoying that I want to be like, “Hey, don’t let the FX turn you off. It’s not all like that.” because that primes people to be annoyed. But I do worry that if they don’t know, they might bounce?
So mostly I link people directly to episode 1, or if we have some rapport I tell them to listen to the teaser and episode 1. I don’t think the teaser is essential to the story the way the later interludes are. But it’s interesting.
Anyway, let’s talk about the teaser…
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
This is a fan blog for the episodic horror podcast GONE. I’m going to be recapping and analyzing the existing installments at the rate of about one a week until I’m caught up to The Story Thus Far, and then tackling new ones as they come out, for as long as the series runs.
You can listen along here.