One of the captivating attributes of the Internet is that we aren’t exactly sure what is real and what is fake. We encounter this enigma every day in our news feeds, in the comments sections that accompany our favorite articles, and in outrageous videos that go viral almost daily.
We may have online personalities or influencers that we follow regularly, or occasionally, who seem to reveal their lives to us through the content they create. To many of us, some of these virtual relationships can grow, over time, to resemble what we think of as friendships.
“The chat participants pipe in with concerned questions about the mysterious figure…”
Yet, while these personalities may, through our online interactions with them, appear to care about us, the reality is that these people don’t know us, and we don’t really know them. YouTube personalities and the like are, by necessity, self-promoters who must keep their content compelling in order to survive in today’s cutthroat online ecosystem.
Tingle Monsters, the provocative short film written, directed, and starring Alexandra Serio presents a scenario that, if true, is terrifying. However, if what is depicted is fake, it is a cruel and shameless ploy for clicks. What interests Serio is discovering how people might react when they are confronted with a potentially dire situation that they can witness only remotely and with which they are powerless to affect. The film is more a psychological hypothetical than a movie, and the consequences are designed to provoke strong reactions.
Serio plays Dee, an ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) vlogger. To the delight of her many followers, Dee has returned after a lengthy absence due to her moving across the country.