If there’s one thing the world could use more of, it’s PPE and testing for this damn pandemic on which the United States government completely dropped the ball. But if there’s a second thing, it’s the combination of ASMR and horror, two great tastes (well, tastes anyway, your mileage may vary on their greatness, especially if you’re not a fan of barely audible glottal stops) that pair well together. And in Tingle Monsters, the new short film from New York filmmaker Alexandra Serio, both elements are on full display, though it takes awhile for the horror to develop.
The film centers on Dee (Serio), an ASMR vlogger who returns to her show after an extended absence, much to the delight of her fans. However, the livestream soon takes an unexpected turn, with a dark reminder that the internet isn’t always the most welcoming place for a woman. The whole thing takes place under the strictures of an ASMR session, which turns out to be a fertile tactic for the horror aspect, taking the minimalist sound design and using it to maximum effect. Serio specifically designed the film to comment on the ways that violence against women can begin with words; missions accomplished.