Fans of the website may have noticed that two avatar personalities have undergone rather startling seasonal transformations. Mona, our brilliant young marketing strategist, generally looks fresh and sharp in her Macy’s sweatsuit. Alas – she is totally zombified! One eye has apparently been gouged out, teeth are clearly in disarray, and hands are skeleton bony. Monstrous? Perhaps, in a fun sort of way. Scary? naaa . . . Despite the awful innovations, Mona merely poses. She remains playful and cheery. She intends no harm. She is clearly having fun and we have fun with her.
Scary stuff has some critical components. For one, we relate on some level with the subject. There is something a little believable about something mostly fantastic. Or there is something with which we identify. Another critical component is feeling threatened, directly or indirectly.
Arty, Mona’s white lab, transforms in a way which subtly threatens us, even as we laugh and say “how cute!” We all know that Arty keeps a paint brush firmly in his jaws and at the ready for that unscheduled plein air opportunity. But now behold the creator’s tool is supplanted by a long and terrible knife already bloodied from violent aggression. And against whom is this wanton attack? He stabs none other than his (formerly) beloved sister Mona! His eyes glow demonically. They laugh at us, not with us. Top all of this off with the physical transformation (a long blue worm tail supplants his bottom and fits just a little too perfectly), and we have a scene that creeps us out. Some small part of us is appalled. This possibility of creatures, human or otherwise, transforming, snapping, becoming violent, smells just a bit too much of the plausible. Arty transformed is a little scary.
What is your take on the Halloween art featured this month – which is “merely” monstrous and which scares the hell out of you!
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