There is nothing about this 13-minute-long video that does now capture “The Uncanny”—especially when you watch it, as I did, in the late hours of the night. As the film unravels, what strikes me as the most unnerving is the mundanity of the events. This takes place in an average household with an average family in their seemingly normal kitchen, living room, backyard, and basement. And each “uncanny” scene is made even more vivid as it is contrasted against the normal living room scene where the child plays with his toys and the grandmother continues to watch TV.
What put me off the most was the use of surveillance cameras to document the series of events that unfold in the house. These security cameras seem to be following the people in the house as if it were watching them and spying on them. It zooms in and out to focus on the subject, and tracks the movement in each respective room. It behaves as if it has a mind of its own and is trying to either unravel the mystery or pull us deeper into the confusion about the terrifying series of events. This is underscored by the code at the beginning of the video, which is a log for the surveillance film. It addresses the people in the house as “subjects,” and describes what each of them is doing at a particular moment. This is Uncanny. As the description on the YouTube video notes, the teenaged daughter in the kitchen is Subject 3.
The description also includes the link to a (fake) website for the security company that operates the surveillance cameras in the video, but this is not any regular website. At first glance, the website looks to be real, with anti-septic stock photos and a corporate-looking theme. Yet, when you scroll through the pages and click on the different tabs within the website, it becomes clear that it is just as uncanny as the film itself. The “About Us” section for AB Surveillance Solutions, LLC reads as follows:
“All people have problems and all problems need solutions, therefore all people need solutions. We are solutions, you are people, and you need us.
AB Surveillance Solutions, LLC is a limited liability corporation operating out of a highly secured bunker located in one America’s sovereign territories. We are patriotic Americans. We believe that all people, if they can afford to, should have an equal opportunity to discover the secrets of others, while keeping their own personal secrets 100% secured, or vice versa. Whether you’d like to know something about something that’s happening, or if there’s something about something you would never want anyone to know–WE ARE YOUR COMPANY! Our mission is to simply increase (or decrease) awareness of things by any means necessary. What things you ask? Exactly.
To inquire further about our services click on over to the main page and select “Its a quote!”
All people have problems and all problems need solutions, therefore all people need solutions. We are solutions, you are people, and you need us.”
When you go to the home page, it is littered with images of security cameras, perhaps suggesting that the film (and the corresponding website) are trying to send a message about the creepiness of surveillance and the post-9/11 American surveillance state. The code at the beginning shows us that the family is being watched. What is even more scary is that surveillance in America is ubiquitous—Americans can’t escape the tentacles of the National Security Agenda. We are so used to security cameras everywhere that this film will leave us terrified of every security camera that is watching us…