Don’t hug me I’m scared analysis

Although this may be more of a viral entertainment video rather than an ‘art’ piece I feel that themes within this still apply to my project because of the way I feel it creates anxiety and disgust in the viewer. In the first couple of minutes we are introduced to child friendly characters singing a song about creativity within a setting of bright, simplistic colours and up lifting but slightly annoying audio. Once the characters begin to ‘get creative’ the audio fastens with the pace of the change in shots and action. The audio suddenly becomes very messy with some instruments overtaking others and strange noises changing the tone of the video. This is where the video becomes really unsettling, the characters go from being puppets to strange animations which pixelate and blur, this is the turning point where the intentions behind the video transform. The first gruesome thing we see is a really quick shot of a heart against a bright yellow background that we have seen prior to this shot with glitter spread over it, but the shot is so fleeting that initially you don’t notice it as it is so unexpected. The weather changes from blue skies to thunderous clouds which is a very basic way of using pathetic fallacy but still effectively prepares us for the strange turn the video is about to embark on. From this point the video becomes unbearably strange, especially with the contrast of bright colours and raw meat becoming quite distressing comparatively. The video finishes with the original audio so that everything is seemingly back to normal. Although this is effective because it allows us to compare the surrealism of the video to the calm ending I think it would have been more effective not to conclude the video as therefore there would have been no satisfying cathartic release in the viewer, thus creating anxiety. After watching this video several times I have noticed that there are several examples of foreshadowing in the first couple of minutes indicating the gruesome ending. An example of this is the rather long shot of the kitchen knives, which in hindsight is very out of place for a kid friendly video. I also think the line in the song “listen to the voices in your brain” is quite disturbing when you think about it in the context of the rest of the video, although it fits in perfectly with the pentameter of the song, when looked at on its own implies an idea of mental illness, in particular schizophrenia, which one could argue is what the whole video is about because of the way the mood of it changes so dramatically in such a small space of time. Another thing that I feel is important to my project is the way things are concealed and revealed throughout the creativity sequence. For example at one point we see one of the characters placing the letter ‘D’ on an orange background, but as this is placed amid several other shots we as an audience don’t give it a second thought until it cuts back to it with the word ‘death’ spelt out and we then realise the true intention of the ‘creativity’. I thought this was really interesting technique that I could work with using film to deceive my own audience.

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