Social media is the cursed necessity of modern life. The never-ending quest for likes, RTs, comments and shares. Most of the time, it feels as if you’re just going around in circles down the drain, waiting for the next dopamine fix. The escalating pressure in the online world is insurmountable, forcing users to push their own psychological and emotional limits for greater returns in virtual currency. Eugene Kotlyarenkoof carnival and Brandon Christensenof Superhost Playing extreme, both films delves into the world of online streamers and YouTube content creators.
“No matter which side of the ideological spectrum we’re on, we’re all a little sad and pathetic and hopeless,” Comment Koteljalenko was interviewed. He later noted that his film was “anti-ideological” in many ways, especially in how it fostered a collective unease about online identities and lost the art of cultivating practical value.The desire to be liked inspires the film’s central character, Kurt Kunkel (by Joe Carey), they use even the most mundane real-life interactions for digital interactions.
Seeing a massive loss of subscribers to his platform, known as Kurt’s World, Kurt became a Spree driver and decided to livestream his day as a way to captivate his audience. However, he soon learned that his once-booming ratings just weren’t interested in Bobby — even Bobby (Joshua Ovalle), a child he once nursed, saw through his appearance and cried out for his feeble attempts. Bobby, a staunch Gen Z, sees Kurt’s deplorable behavior as indicative of an aging millennial generation with little adherence to false authenticity and old ways of digital curation. He also has his own problems. His own digital empire is all fantasy.
There is no sustainability when goalposts are constantly being recalibrated and glass ceilings are getting taller. The threshold that once gave a satisfying dose of dopamine no longer works, and you have to get higher and higher to get the same level of pleasure. It makes sense when you really think about it. It works like traditional medicine.
“Social media is basically a way of poisoning relationships,” says Anna Lembke, MD, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and director of the Dual Diagnosis Clinic for Addiction Medicine. An in-depth look at Teen Vogue’s coverage last year. “We have evolved for millions of years to want to make connections with people because it helps us protect ourselves from predators, exploit scarce resources, find mates. One of the ways our brains allow us to make these connections Yes [to] Release dopamine. “
From Kurt’s perspective, the only way to get to the same high level again is to go the extra mile at all costs. He was even willing to commit murder if he had to, and boy did he ever do it. He had everything planned in his mind: He would live stream his shifts, pick up as many passengers as he could, and provide them with water bottles with medication. The most disturbing thing is that he is completely transparent on the stream, but no one takes him seriously. It’s all happening right before the eyes, but the world is so narcissistic and addicted to its own dopamine chase that they don’t even read (or understand) the signs.
He first poisoned a real estate agent (Jessalyn Gilsig) and then drive a bunch of rich kids to a secluded place and slaughter them in a creepy way. That’s the name of the game, the game is murder of subscribers. But that doesn’t seem to be enough. Kurt goes one step further and faces Bobby at his house. In a heated conversation, he stabbed Bobby and, assuming his account and large following, claimed the deadly melee was a hoax. For the rest of the night, Kurt got further out of control (if you can believe it), he only stopped when another famous influencer, Jessie Adams (Sahir Zamatha), the most honest and authentic man in the entire movie, gave him the fatal blow.
The same teen fashion report later got to the heart of the matter. By design, social media is designed to “influence and manipulate your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors,” which often greatly contributes to mental illness. In Kurt Kunkle’s extreme case, his world became equating his worth as a person with what people said about him online and how they unwittingly flooded his account. It was never about what he could bring to the world, or even the joy he once had for his content. This is a repetitive and dehumanizing system.
Christensen approaches these issues through a slightly different lens. Superhost Follow two popular vloggers, Claire (Sarah Canning) and Teddy (Osric Chow), our antiheroes are devoured alive by the system they once exploited. Their content revolves around traveling around the country and staying in various Airbnb rentals, detailing their experiences and then giving them ratings. Many of their video reviews have gone viral and led to a rather lucrative life. However, they have seen declines in both viewership and subscribers recently. They’re starting to feel the heat of delivering top-notch content, and their controversial lengths will test their boundaries as creators and humans.
Their previous experience with a woman named Vera (Barbara Crampton) brings a whole new set of unnecessary problems. Their scathing assessment led directly to the collapse of Villa’s own business, showing that online activity, no matter how small, can have dangerous external knock-on effects. All it takes is one wrong tweet or Instagram post or TikTok video and someone’s life is ruined.
But Claire and Teddy hope to turn things around.
They finally managed to book a secluded cabin from a seemingly ordinary young woman named Rebecca (Grace Gillam). Vacation rentals are pretty hot places to book months in advance. There are only woods and mountains around them, which might be the place to get them back on track. When Claire and Teddy arrived, they immediately began filming the trip, pouring in overly dramatic reactions and obvious on-screen roles. It’s like peeking at the wizard behind the curtain. Streaming media is all about seeing flowers in the fog. Behind the camera are two people who desperately want to be liked.
Everything immediately started rolling sideways. First, they had the wrong door code to enter the rental house, and then the main toilet was blocked. It goes downhill from there. With a toothy smile and wild eyes, Rebecca always seemed a little eccentric, like she was a modern pod. Just like her new owner, she always has a look as she travels the world. She tries to give them the best trip possible without breaking a sweat, but everything gets disconnected in the third act.
Rebecca is a highly condensed version of Claire and Teddy. When it was all revealed that she was actually a serial killer who massacred and hid the body of the actual owner of the property, she flipped the vlogger team’s table and filmed their deaths. In Claire’s final moments, she managed to upload a video begging her subscribers for help – but everyone thought it was just another gimmick. Watching, blood dripping from her face, Rebecca just smirked at the laptop’s camera. It’s a downright chilling event that brings home the theme of the entire movie.
What people want most on social media is transparency — not authenticity. Authenticity is one of those buzzwords today that doesn’t actually mean anything. Claire and Teddy are mice on wheels chasing an imaginary cheese with nowhere to go. Their exploitation of real life – Teddy secretly planned the trip as an engagement announcement, and Claire doesn’t even believe his sincerity – isn’t far from us.
Each of us manipulates ourselves to share and publish every thought that crosses our minds; it’s not entirely our fault, platforms are built to be addictive. We are involved 24/7 because we just want to be liked. From Facebook’s reaction panels to quoting RT and Insta stories, we divide our moments and feelings into digestible chunks, and then exist only to feed the machine until it’s no longer human.
like many people black mirror drama, carnival and Superhost Capture the catastrophic present and the downward trajectory from which we are unlikely to escape. Where Kurt Kunkle, Rebecca, Claire and Teddy are at opposite extremes, we all comfortably occupy a position on the sliding scale. Hopefully none of us took advantage of tragedy (think Logan Paul and that disgusting “Suicide Forest” video) or committed murder. I think the rest of us still have time.
double trouble is a recurring column pairing two horror movies, past or present, based on theme, style, or story.