Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Every Haunting Hour Ever #30: Mascot
Original Airdate: November 19, 2011
Director: Jason Furukawa
I'm going to be honest with you. I kind of have a fear of people in mascot costumes, you know the ones that never blink and are like ovens on the inside? Yeah those are the ones I'm talking about. Ever since I was a kid, I never liked being around them. When I was about five years old, my parents wanted me to pose for pictures with various Disney characters when we went to Disneyworld. I refused at first and I had to be forced into it. Speaking of people in mascot suits...
Willie and his friend named Drake hate their school mascot named Big Yellow, and they decide to replace him with something more conventional (like a gray wolf). But after the gray wolf mascot disappears/vanishes, Willie and his friend Drake must break into the school after hours in order to find him and soon discover the secret behind Big Yellow.
The first thing that I find terrifying about this episode is Big Yellow. Now his design alone isn't all that scary. In fact, it's grimy and kind of dopey looking at best (This is coming from someone who would normally look away from things like this). However, through a combination of the atmosphere, music, and heavy tension, he suddenly becomes an object of fear. For example, one of the most tense scenes in the episode is when Wolfie is walking home at night, presumably from the mascot tryouts, he is suddenly stalked by Big Yellow. We actually see a shot where Big Yellow is walking behind Wolfie and gets closer to him as the music builds until he eventually kills him (This is implied in the following scene where Willy wakes up to find Wolfie's mascot head in his bed with scratches all over it). The combination of atmosphere, music, and heavy tension beautifully compliment the sense of vulnerability this episode is going for as shown by the idea that you know Big Yellow is coming but you don't know when he's going to strike next. This is also another major contributor in giving this episode its scare factor. Which leads me to my next point.
The other thing that makes this episode scary is the atmosphere. In this episode, they really take advantage of it and use it in a way to make something that really isn't that scary and turn it into one of the most terrifying characters in the series. Honestly, if you ask me, this episode serves as a great example of how atmosphere can really help enhance the scariness.
One of the big problems I have with this episode is that the main characters are really bland and underdeveloped. Outside of maybe one or two traits (Willy dislikes Big Yellow and wants to do something about it while Drake is the voice of reason) we don't get to know them all that much about them and I think if they were more developed, it would've made the scene where Willy gets eaten by Big Yellow all the more horrifying because I would've been able to care about them a little more. Don't get me wrong! While I think this episode still works, this issue does hold this episode back from living up to its full potential.
Overall, Mascot is one of the scariest episodes of The Haunting Hour you're going to find. While the premise of something going around and eliminating the characters one by one isn't the most original concept, it's still well executed and makes for an enjoyable episode.
Overall Grade: B+