The Man in The Hat Image

The Man in The Hat

By Ethan Padgett | March 22, 2024

Have you ever hallucinated that there was a stranger behind you? Ryan Harrison’s The Man in The Hat asks the audience to consider what is real or unreal. Horror is one of those genres where the psyche can be explored in fascinating ways.

The film follows an unnamed man (Shay Eberle-Gunst) as he meets David, who is haunted by the Man in The Hat. This is all explained through first-person narration. David (Ryan Harrison) shows him what he knows about this elusive figure, including its height and appearance. He is obsessed with this shadowy figure. Our unnamed protagonist thinks David is crazy until he sees the Man in The Hat. He tries calling David to check on his well-being because he hasn’t returned phone calls.

Gradually, David goes insane. He sees the Man in The Hat outside his house, which leads him to block windows and get many lights to remove shadows. David believes it is using his body as a vessel. Even in daylight, the protagonist continues to see the Man in The Hat. The stakes escalate as the unnamed man discovers David in a shocking state. Will the unnamed protagonist discover the truth about the Man in The Hat?

“…follows an unnamed man as he meets David, who is haunted by the Man in The Hat. ”

Ryan Harrison creates a unique premise. Having an unnamed lead creates easy audience identification with the character. Kevin Ogert’s cinematography is another strong aspect. His style is most prominent when the stalker appears, and the room is bathed in a cold blue light. He employs low camera angles to create disorientation and suspense.

The first-person narration is the film’s weakest point. Harrison uses this narrative style to carry the entire film. In the beginning, it is understandable to set up the mystery of the Man in The Hat, but after a while it feels repetitive. Our antagonist also lacks weight. There is not enough information given to make us fear this psychological stalker. Most slasher/stalker characters have a tragic backstory or a mythical element. These are key horror components that need to be included.

The story elements are solid for a much larger film. Unfortunately, this horror film goes by too fast at its nine-minute runtime. It is still worth viewing if horror fans want to see a different take on the psychological aspects of the genre.

The Man in The Hat (2024)

Directed and Written: Ryan Harrison

Starring: Shay Eberle-Gunst, Ryan Harrison, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

The Man in The Hat Image

"……protagonist continues to see the Man in The Hat, even in daylight. "

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