Happy Halloween! We’ve reached the end of our countdown to Halloween, a series of posts about Fewdio’s “Nightmare House,” our horror anthology web series / laboratory for on-line and social media experiments.
The final film that we will highlight is “The Tap,” a nasty little tale of destructive seduction, as well as the culmination of a number of clues and connections seeded throughout the series. If you have not already seen - or haven’t seen it lately, go ahead, take a few minutes and actually watch the video below, we’ll wait for you.
Both of the previously referenced films, “Door 17" and "The Tale of Haunted Mike" include prominent shots of posters advertising a go-go dancer named Fey performing at a club called "The City of Dis.”
But Fey makes her first appearance, very much in the flesh, in “The Tap.”
We mentioned the phrase “destructive seduction,” right? Fey is the embodiment of the honey trap, sweet but poisonous, a gorgeous little sociopath that will have you thinking that you actually want her to watch you die a painful death.
For storytellers, the real fun of Fey is that she works the same way both inside and outside the story. Inside, she lures the protagonist. Outside, she lures the audience. Hence, the choice of full-frontal nudity in the first minute of the film. The surprised audience, like the stammering hero, has no idea what to expect from that point on. And from that point on the gratuitous sex and violence becomes increasingly unpleasant. Our hero keeps on delving deeper down the rabbit hole, though, doesn’t he? He does so as long as you keep watching.
“The Tap" as a whole, and Fey specifically, was created as an experiment in that kind of audience engagement. The short begins with pretty, warm, golden-hued images of a bohemian pad in Topanga Canyon, and ends in naked awfulness in a cold, harshly lit basement in the valley. The illicit promise of Fey leads the audience deeper and deeper, out of simple curiosity or simple prurience, until at last they regret having wanted to see what they saw.
One of the questions we are most often asked is why we chose to blur the nudity. Often fans have assumed that the blur was an attempt to avoid the YouTube ban that was slapped on the film in its first hour posted. In fact, the nudity was blurred from the beginning. A single unblurred version was created for the film’s debut at Fantastic Fest with the intention of causing a stir. Fantastic Fest's main venue, the Alamo Drafthouse, is a temple of ultimate geek-cred and we knew that we could count on the cool kids and tastemakers to spread the word about Fewdio, if we could get their attention. (It did.) As for YouTube, we had always assumed that “The Tap" would be banned anyway. We wanted the ban. What good horror series goes unbanned? And the direct benefit of the YouTube ban was a sudden uptick in traffic to Fewdio.com when the lucky few fans who saw the film before the ban sent their friends in search of the “too hot for YouTube” short. The real reason for the blur? It makes you wonder what you are not seeing and why. If you are like us - you don’t have to admit it - the blurs make you want to see what is being kept from you even more. It actually makes the nudity seem dirtier, more forbidden. And one thing you can say about forbidden fruit: it gets eaten.
In a fun gear-shift of expectation, after all of the sexy tease “The Tap" throws a change up - the handsome young protagonist isn’t interested in Fey at all. It’s the drug he wants. It’s the Tap that he wants. Fey just makes sure that he gets it. "The old-fashioned way."
We hope that you enjoyed this trip down the rabbit hole known as Fewdio’s “Nightmare House.” Have a safe and Happy Halloween, and thanks for reading SharpCrye.