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The Scariest Things Podcast: Episode XCIX: Technological Horror


Do you ever feel like you are being monitored? That your communication device of choice is actively working against you? That the soulless automatons of industry are going to rise up and crush you? Well, we do! Join the Scariest Things as we talk technology and horror!

The relationship between man and machine is supposed to be a one way street. The machines are to help make our lives easier, more productive, and more enjoyable. But what happens if the things we use decide to turn against us? Cold, emotionless terror, that’s what!

Cyborgs (The Terminator), killer apps (Countdown), computers run amok, cars (Christine), laundry machines (The Mangler), cell phones (Cell), soda machines (Maximum Overdrive), cameras (Polaroid), video cameras (Paranormal Activity), VHS Tapes (The Ring), video games (eXistenz), pretty much anything you can flip on with a switch it just might get you. Technological horror is a great marker for what scares people at the time. What’s new… is scary! But looking back at it, the scares seem rather quaint.

Technological horror also taps into how gadgets can run our lives. Think of all the horror movies involving phone calls. When a Stranger Calls, Scream, Black Christmas, and Halloween were movies that all had audiences warning the hapless young woman on the phone to drop the phone and get out of the damned house! These films have now been supplanted with streaming internet horror like Pulse, Unfriended, Countdown, Selfie from Hell, Friend Request, and Fear.com. Everybody is using the equipment, but we all have suspicions that our computers have it out for us, and these give us the worst-case scenarios.

As science fiction is the great prognosticator of the genre, when blended with horror it becomes a great warning for us, as pushing the boundaries of science is bound to destroy us. It also warns us how humans can abuse the power handed to us, or the idiocy of humans and their new tools. I’m waiting for a movie called “User Error”. That would be me.

So, listen in, with caution, because you never know if your headphones or your phone may want to KILL YOU. But fear not, THIS PODCAST will not try to kill you. Honest. I swearzzzzzzzzttttt….tttt.k.i…ll….

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2 comments

  1. Que bien cuantas peliculas exelentes. No entiendo el criterio de poner obras clave del cine de horror, cuyos autores son maestros del cine de todos los tiempoos, contra peliculas solamente de cartel, que ni tienen que ver en nada.

    • Gracias! We try and cover the full range of horror movies, from the bonafide classics to the b-movie exploitation fare. Our genre allows for us to appreciate horror on many levels. Usually, I’m drawn to movies with strong characters and writing, but I don’t mind the occasional grindhouse movie. Thanks for writing!

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