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An Amazon Echo Is the Villain in This Scary Short Film

Horror filmmakers have struggled over the past two decades to incorporate technology that doesn’t destroy the atmosphere into their stories. Let’s face it. A haunted cell phone is about 1000% less eerie than an old shack in the woods where the lights don’t work. One springs a primal fear to our spinal column; the other, we use to make pizza appear. What the ambient short film Whisper does so well is to allow its technological baddie to be itself.

The villain? Alexa. You let her into your house, into your life. She watches over you when you sleep, claims to know when you’re in a bad mood, and is almost definitely plotting something sinister behind your back.

This is some real, “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that,” territory.

Obviously it gets its juice from the classic combination of anticipation and release, and Alexa has a horrific accomplice (I do not want to know the speed dating service they met at), but Whisper taps into the very real concern that our technology is watching us. You know, because it’s watching us. It is the abyss staring back at us and transmitting our user data back to the web host.

You can turn her into a talking skull if you’d like, but Alexa is already pretty frightening. Plus, writer/director Julian Terry gets all the basics right. The patience, the editing, the shots that put us right inside this woman’s (Michelle Khare) bedroom, and the gut level fear that, in the dead of night, we’ll hear a voice in the darkness.

What do you think of the short? Let us know in the comments.

Image: Julian Terry

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