I’ll be honest: The short film I am about to provide the link for scared me. For me, the worst part of being a writer of scary stories is that scary doesn’t always mean scary. The genre has, in many ways, been done to death (excuse the pun) and in the search for a new fright authors can often disappear down unrewarding or misguided channels. It is the nature of the job.
However, one thing you will always hear horror writers speak of is the annoyingly loose concept that real horror is a product of the mind. Nothing scares you like you can scare yourself, that sort of thing. The difficulty with this is that it relies upon imagination. The depth and form of individual imaginations vary greatly, and this is why some films (and books) contain similar motifs or tricks as commercial entities seek to find a common denominator to at least get a baseline platform of fear in place amongst the audience from which to work.
But we are a species of development. Collectively, we are not the same as we were 100 years ago, or even 10 years ago. We have become hardened and desensitised as we adapt to the genre and the wider horrors of life via the internet. We do not like to be made fools of, and so we baulk at horror techniques that once worked. In meeting this, horror has become more gory, and that misses completely the idea of horror being in the mind, relying instead on basic instincts of revulsion, like a Victorian freak show would.
So what is my point? Well, this short film is not made by any horror producer. It is not a new in-road in visual or written horror. It is a product of the human mind in the real sense. It is a horror that we do indeed create in ourselves, inadvertently and randomly. Indeed, one of the reasons it is frightening is that it could happen to anyone and they have no way of controlling it. And yet it happens in the place that many have grown accustomed to considering the safest: Tucked up in bed. And the final selling point is that it is bespoke – tailored to you by you based on all the things you are scared of.
In many ways, the science-fiction of having a fear-microchip, that you turn on or off according to whether or not you fancy a self-generated shockfest, is already here - Only it doesn’t have a control button, and once it’s on and you are lost in the game then you are truly lost with no way out save for time itself.
So here it is: http://www.thesleepparalysisproject.org/
(Please note that the link is accessible via my facebook page and not direct from this blog post. For some reason that is the only way it worked!)