“Body Ritual among the Nacirema” meets Eyes Without a Face in this skin crawling depiction body modification and beauty standards. Might I add that the new season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians looks great.
This one is just unsettling and I think that makes the message all the more effective. The masks are exaggerated sure, but how different is the result from some rhinoplasty botch jobs. This one really stands out, as it has eerie imagery but it’s treated as so normalized and quaint.
What I really enjoy about this one is that it’s not trying to strike up fear in the primal subconscious emotions, it’s trying to get you to consider the world we live in and how twisted it can be. The cinematography is great, that long take of her just walking in the rain is reel worthy. There’s great moments of production design despite the obvious masks at the centerpiece.
The twist ending is something that’s deeply unsettling. The lengths we go towards conformity and the consequences that sometimes brings. Is it more frightful of what you’ll become, or how you’ll be perceived, something I can’t quite answer.
I thing this is a great short that captures the same thematic depth on this topic as that one Twilight Zone Episode. If you haven’t seen The Eye of The Beholder, you’re really missing out. Essentially after a car accident, a woman has to have plastic surgery to help her disfigurement. The twist is revealed that her horrible disfiguration is that she’s actually quite good looking… it’s just that everyone else is a snouted ghoul person. I think this episode not only had a clever twist, but a nice message and perspective on the world. Horror often questions humanity, either proliferating sin our questioning what qualifies as human. It’s a strange world and sometimes it’s even stranger than we give it credit for.
I don’t know those mask of Human Form really produce an uncanny valley feeling. Realistic masks are an impressive art form, but also downright terrifying. It reminiscent of the “My Sister” video that circulated around the horror community a few years back with a girl with a jarring artifical mask. Recently people have been able to “unmask” the origin of the video to a Japanese silicone and plastic mask manufacturer. You can see their masks on display on the YouTube channel “zjcfhgf” (really rolls of the tongue) for plenty of videos such as this:
The uncanny appearance of an unnatural human also reminds me of “John/Jane Does”. A Doe being a missing person that often has a clay sculpture of their face done to identify them with. However, due to circumstances accuracy is typically an afterthought in the making. Since the goal is to make the missing person as distinct and memorable as possible, a John or Jane Doe often will appear as ghoulish caricatures.
For a fun fact, here’s an example of a Jane Doe, who has since become known as the most kissed face in the world.
This is the Jane Doe dubbed L’lnconnue de la Seine or the unknown woman of the Seine. Unfortunately to this day this drowning victim has and most likely will never be identified. However, even those who have never heard the story have most likely seen her face before. This face went on to find a new name as being the model of Resusci Anne or the CPR doll. There’s something beautifully poetic about using the face of a drowning victim to assist the practice of resuscitation and giving life to those on the brink of death. Yep, I’m going to go with poetic and not morbid.
Beauty is certainly a strange thing, but hopefully we learned a little bit about body positivity. I mean sure I’m far from gorgeous but at least I’m not a unnerving ghoulish counterfeit human that triggers a flight or fight reaction when gazed upon. Neither are you! Feel free to express some inner beauty in the comments below and let me know what your wonderful minds thought about some of these brief topics.
I ran a poll on Twitter and clearly their was an argument that either “beauty standards” can be spooky or there was at least a curiosity to how it would be featured in this spooky content. Yeah, sound of in the comments, and I’ll catch you next time. Stay spooky.