Episode 434: Night Vision

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: The Murky Darkness

Our eyes are pretty darn amazing. While we’ve evolved to operate during the day, with a little adjustment, we’re still quite capable at night. During my college years, I would as a night security guard, and was often amazed at how well I could see at night once I got used to the lack of light.

That’s all well and good, but how does that play into zombie and horror tropes? It’s all about light and shadows, and taking people out of their comfortable environments to get them all riled up. In the movies, people’s eyes don’t really adjust, at least not very quickly. The darkness remains an impenetrable veil, hiding all sorts of unknown dangers. These are usually played up in two ways: as a fake out, or as a very real danger. Often, these are done back to back. The character is frightened by nothing, relaxes, and is then attacked by the real threat. Cats are frequently involved.

About this Episode:

It’s probably hard to tell, but I’m inching Sam forward bit by bit here. If I’m in Sam’s shoes, I’d be going pretty slowly and carefully (and probably need a clean pair of shorts by now), so this bit of discussion on his side is more or less a way of buying time.

Discussion Question: Why Do You Like to be Scared?

A lot of us here are fans of horror in general (with a few notable exceptions, of course). When it comes to fans of horror, there are a few different things that bring people to the table. Some like the survival aspect, some like analyzing the “rules” of the genre, some like the gore, and many of us just like to be scared.

I know I’m a fan of all of the above with the exception of gore, although I do appreciate good practical effects. Being scared is a big one. It’s just fun. It gets the blood pumping and my brain imagining all manner of creepy stuff on the periphery of my vision.

That’s me, so why do you like to be scared? Or why don’t you, if you’re one of the people who don’t like scary movies?

19 thoughts on “Episode 434: Night Vision”

  1. I love gore! The blood and guts just adds an extra touch! Without it, it wouldn’t feel real. I prefer having the scare experience feel life like. But being scared in general just adds thrill to life! Getting the blood pumping, one of the best experiences!

    • It definitely gets the blood pumping, hopefully not all over the floor.

      • True, true

  2. “Cats are frequently involved”… lol. They should make a movie where the cats are the real threat! (or maybe it already exists?)

    • That’s a brilliant idea, sir.

    • Pretty sure there is at least one monster movie where cats are the monster, though there may be more. I know for a fact that there are several movies that feature large cats like lions and cougars as the main antagonists, but I get the feeling you mean house cats so I’m not going to count those.

  3. Turn any walking dead episode into a drinking game:
    1) you the player are outside the episode at all times
    2) you must chose 1 character the whole way through the episode
    3) take a shot every time character does something against your personal nature
    4) drink every time your character survives a zed attack, gets healed, dies, etc (add rule as groups sees fit)
    5) don’t turn into a zombie (don’t pass out with shoes on)
    6) when there is an extreme effort by your character roll a d20 to see if you would make it. If you don’t then take a double shot. (Double barrel!)
    7) everyone has to drink when zed-heads teleport
    8) slay your passed out friends (drunk zombies) with black markers (swords)
    9) you get caught during the slaying, you take a shot (the last bullet)
    10) last person standing shuts off the electronics for obvious reasons

    • 11) Kiss your liver goodbye.

      • “Oh. You weren’t using that, were you?”

      • Haven’t made it through 1 episode yet, and I forgot the:
        Drink your drink while your character on show does something stupid rule

        IE: trying to get a wet gek out of a tight well using rope.

  4. I hate spatter porn. I don’t particularly care for any gore; and I hate horror movies with stupid premises (Saw, Hostel, et. all). I do like tension, suspense, and intelligent plots. I like to think through movie plots and play the “what if?” game. How would I react in a similar situation, knowing exactly what I know now. How would the equipment I have in my pocket right now affect the scene (as in Sam’s case, above, a flashlight would be nice).

    • Torture porn is pretty icky too.

      • Honestly, I’ve never sat through one. Their plots are stupid enough: Man kidnaps people, and forces them to kill themselves.

        What happens the first time the kidnapper gets shot to death in the 7-11 parking lot by an armed coed?

        Shortest movie ever, that’s what.

        • Hah!

          There’s a brilliant spoof video that addresses that very thing, Bo. I’ll have to see if I can find it. Greg shared it with my a while ago.

        • Yeah, it’s called “Hell No!”, it’s hillarious:

        • One of my local gun stores did one years ago. It’s probably not on youtube any more, though.

          I’ll check.

        • Here it is:


        • lol, good one Bo!

        • They were a good outfit. I wish they were still in business.