We’ve seen the blending of horror and tech in films like Searching and Unfriended as their thrills and chills are conjured within the boundaries of our devices. Kevin Cappiello takes the next step and brings his dance with death to the ever-popular world of live streaming.
At just over four minutes, Cappiello’s Black Orchid Challenge has us watching a semi-popular streamer (Brooklyn Allan) as her followers send her to scary internet sites while she sits alone in the dark in her “studio.” At first, she’s working on a maze-type puzzle, and just before she gets to the end, an image appears on the screen, inducing a sophomoric jump scare. It’s like those seemingly blissful videos we’ve all seen on YouTube.
“…her followers send her to scary internet sites…Upon arrival, the words, ‘Can I come in?’ appear…”
Moving on, a follower dares her to go to BlackOrchidChallenge.com. Upon arrival, the words, “Can I come in?” appear with a yes/no set of buttons. Her followers pressure her into clicking “yes.” We’ve got to keep those followers happy and engaged. The single-click sets off a series of unfortunate events.
With Black Orchid Challenge, writer/director Kevin Cappiello effectively creates a mood of suspense and chills. First, the opening video of an orchid blooming is quite haunting. Then the story he tells is equally eerie and stays within the boundaries of watching our favorite live streamer on Twitch, YouTube, and/or Facebook. The accompanying chatbox also adds to the thrills like audiences talking to the screen at the movies—all without ever overdoing it. The short is quick and fun and best watched in the dark and on the largest screen you have. If you dare…
"…the opening video of an orchid blooming is quite haunting."