Puppets, mannequins and dummies are often cited as being unsettling to look at, maybe even scary to many people. In particular, those that are fashioned in an attempt to exaggerate human characteristics, like Mr. Punch and his nose or Xbox Live avatars and their massive, bulbous heads. If any of these were animated with the breath of life they’d be like some dark horror from a Lovecraftian tale. Though they don’t live as such, we do try to animate these grotesques, giving them their own voices and personalities. From the ventriloquist’s arm to the puppeteer’s strings, these ugly halfway humans are made to bob and dance for us – taking good money from talented but unemployed actors, I’m sure. Even in this digital age we use these exaggerated cartoonish reflections of ourselves to take our place and walk across online worlds. There might be something dredged up from the depths of the human soul here, something about the ugliness of the masks we choose to hide behind. Then again, just like a cigar is sometimes just a cigar, maybe a massive bulbous head is just a massive bulbous head.
Scary Monsters (And Super Freaks)