What an amazing amazing episode! However, unlike all the other episodes I’ve described as such, episodes choc-a-bloc full of exposition, this was amazing simply for its atmosphere!! Man, that was incredibly scary!!! I got some real horror movie (good horror movie) vibes off of that, the directing was done so expertly, and so many of our most primitive fears were played off of!
One of the possible explanations behind why we are scared of certain things is the evolutionary explanation. This states that many of us are afraid of, for example, spiders, because our ancestors were programmed to fear them, instinctively. This would help them want to avoid these dangerous little beasts, and aid in their survival. Now, I’m quite fond of this theory as it helps to explain why so many people, even those without direct, scary experiences with them, are afraid of the same things. To relate all this back to SSY- darkness, being pursued, and death are also things we all fear, possibly thanks to evolution, and were all used in this week’s episode. The entire episode was set at night, which would account for why the inside of the hospital was pitch-black. Not being able to see fully what was happening was very unnerving, as you weren’t able to mentally prepare yourself for what might happen next. Shortly after entering the hospital, our characters found themselves having to flee from the fiend (for it’s obvious that that was what that was). And there was no shortage of grisly deaths! All of this shows a great amount of expertise on the part of the producers, like, they must really know what they’re doing to play upon things that are so universally scary, things that the large majority of us have been hard-wired to fear like that!!
The directing choices made also helped in creating this tense, terrifying atmosphere. As I mentioned above, the episode was set at night, so you’d expect the characters’ surroundings to be poorly lit, but once they had all stepped inside the hospital, you could hardly see anything! Particularly when the body of their companion was discovered, or when the queerats attacked. This created this wonderful feeling of claustrophobia, of being surrounded, and, as I also mentioned above, uncertainty, as you couldn’t prepare yourself for what might happen next. The shape of the hospital entrance was also a nice touch. It felt like a dark portal that, once sucked into, would transport you to another world. The events that took place in the hospital certainly made it seem as though the characters had been taken to some nightmarish otherworld… I also enjoyed the use of sound. As far as sounds go, little can be more frightening than screaming, as such a sound can only ever be associated with being in intense pain, or fear- things we’ve also been programmed to avoid. And it only becomes all the more frightening if you don’t know why an individual is screaming. So it was no wonder our characters were so alarmed by the banshee wail of the woman they rescued. Also noteworthy was the use of silence as they were all hiding from the fiend behind the door, this is a tried and true technique to heighten tension. Hearing nothing but the slow, soft steps of the enemy as it approached was enough to make even me, the viewer, break out into a cold sweat. By stripping away all other sounds you could do nothing else but focus on that, and dread its implications. And then there was darkness, and screaming again… *shudder*
I originally wanted to talk about what us humans are prepared to do in order to survive, but that theme, briefly touched upon in the first half, was just totally eclipsed in the last ten minutes. I really don’t think talking about anything but the astounding final half would be worthwhile!