The horror genre is a tricky one. It’s very hard to get the impact you’d like from your audience, or to get people invested enough to see your story through to the end. I’ll admit that I’m personally very picky when it comes to horror stories that I enjoy. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared was something I never would have considered watching if it didn’t continuously pop up in my related videos on YouTube—it must be interesting since millions of people loved it, right? The video starts out with a bunch of puppets learning to be “creative” and express their emotions, but by the end of the video they’re cutting into a raw meat cake. It wasn’t what I expected, but I loved the video anyway. It wasn’t because of the shock value, or just how outlandish it was; I liked it for the deeper meaning.
The puppets act like they’re hosts of a children’s television show (like Sesame Street), and make fun of the way children are being told exactly how to act and think. It’s the kind of satire that’s not done very often, especially in the horror genre, and I’d love to see more of it! For a while I thought it was meant to be a one shot bit, possibly a student project and nothing more. Luckily the creators produced a second video, and a Kickstarter for more videos of the same nature was funded in 2014. Two more videos have come out within the past year, and they’re still as dedicated, satirical and creepy as their predecessor.
If you haven’t seen any of the four Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared videos, they’re available on YouTube!
What I love about the series is how they cover different heavy topics in a funny, yet dark manner. Each video has a theme about different aspects of life, from love to the concept of time.
The most recent video teaches you how helpful the internet can be. Like the rest of the Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared videos, an inanimate object comes to life to help the puppets solve a simple question. The red puppet asks, “What is the biggest thing in the world?” The puppets expect an answer to appear when an old computer comes to life and sings how clever and useful it is. It never answers the puppet’s question, and instead sucks the group into the internet. The computer shows the puppets three doors, and that they hold the amazing things that they can do on the internet. One has a bar graph, another has a fancy avatar of one of the puppets, and the last is the computer dancing around saying, “Hey, this is fun!” The puppets have no other choice but to continue to open more doors, with roughly the same three options to choose. Time speeds up and the puppets’ appearance become grotesque, and disappear from the real world altogether. This episode is an example of how the internet can be distracting and stop us from what we originally needed to do or find online—how some people can get so distracted that they don’t want to do anything outside of virtual reality or what’s available to them on a computer. The puppets get distracted by activities that don’t have much meaning other than as something to pass the time.
I can’t wait to see what other kind of videos this group makes! The morbid humor and props make the videos scary, without resorting to jump scares or massive amounts of violence. The detail they put into their sets and puppets is amazing. There’s a surprising number of mediums they use, from 3-D graphics to animation, that make each video unique and interesting.
Are you a fan of the series? Have any theories of what the videos are about? Possibly a padlock fan? Be sure to comment below!