My good friend, lets call him Andy, introduced me to the work of one youtuber, Dead Sound, and thus his amazing story; Autodale. One of the best pieces of horror media I’ve seen in a while, and I fully believe it has a lot to do with it not being on the big screen. It’s short, simple style is exactly what makes it so good. Mind you, there is absolutely nothing simple about the art in this series. Each shot is masterfully thought out and rendered by the creator, Dead Sound, aka David. Every piece of the art is something important to the story, or at the very least, some kind of easter egg. From the intimidating robotic handy men, to the off-putting ‘freaks’ to the absolute design marvel that is the Matriarch, I cannot overstate how interesting the art of these films are to look at.
But I digress, I can’t talk about the art without mentioning the plot it furthers so well.
The plot centers around this town, Autodale, in which everyone is encouraged, and required to be, pretty. Now not just pretty in a physical sense, but pretty comes to mean a ‘Model Citizen’ the ideals of Autodale. Someone straight, who marries and stays married, has children, fulfils their role, then dies as they tell them to. This goes beyond a 1984 type story, where people live in fear of the government, and even Brave New World, which kept its people subjugated by keeping them in such a sense of bliss they had no idea what was happening, they didn’t care, they simply wanted their comfort.
The people of Autodale have no bliss to keep them going, they do have fear, but its more of being a failure to their society than it is the society itself. They need to be ‘pretty’ the so called uglies, after all, are undesirable, they get taken away by the protectors of the city, the ‘handymen’ because they don’t fit in this perfect society. And it’s horrifyingly easy to be considered an ‘ugly’ all you have to do is gain a bit too much weight, get depressed, grow old. There is far too vast of a list.
Throughout this film series there is a great amount of metaphors, of scenes that could mean many things, and thus have made fans spend a lot of time coming up with theories. Whether its about society itself, or what exists outside Autodale, such as the “freaks” monsters that exist outside Autodale, but are they truly monsters?
There are many theories about these creatures. Are they truly monsters? Are they just new life created after the downfall of the world around? Or are they also humans? Humans that are now considered so ‘other’ that no one can even see them as human because of their conditioning? These questions are exactly what thrill me about this series. There is no objective right answer, not yet at least, the series is still going. And I love a good story that raises questions about the world in a thought provoking way. Not in a ‘what the hell just happened that makes literally no sense’ kind of way.
The Matriarch character was recently introduced, and though not much is known yet, and I do not wish to give spoilers just yet, this was a fantastic and interesting add. The world is truly starting to come together, and the secrets of Autodale are beginning to come to light.
This series is an incredible look at society, the effects of looking at people as ‘other’ he dangers of propaganda, and whether life at all costs is really worth it. Everyone is a cog in a machine, but it keeps the town alive. Is life worth it, if you’re only living half of one? Is it not better to break free and live what life you can while you can, even if it will spell certain doom later? Is preserving life, worth preserving an endless cycle of murder? Just to feed this immortal machine they’ve created?
Well, that is up to you and your morals, citizens.
Remember, stay pretty Autodale. Signing off.