As a reluctant member of Gen Z, I am a child of the internet. Throughout my adolescence, I’ve seen all kinds of videos from every corner of the world wide web. But there’s one series of Youtube videos that stuck with me from the first time I saw it many years ago: the “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” series.
Created by British filmmakers, this six-episode series combines muppetry, catchy songs, and gore in an unforgettable way. Think Sesame Street but with raw, bloody chicken, intestines, and other disturbing images. Each episode revolves around a different overarching theme that the song reflects upon. The themes range from childlike creativity to fearing death. Yep, it’s got range.
Although it’s described as a comedy series, I’d consider it a horror series. A beautiful, musical, gory work of horror. Deep, unnerving themes linger behind the peppy rhyme schemes that are featured. The first episode, for example, follows the journey of the three main characters (Red Guy, Yellow Guy, and Duck Guy) as a living sketchbook teaches them about unlocking their creative abilities. It begins innocently enough, but as the episode progresses, it becomes more and more disturbing. While the main characters started their creative journey by looking at clouds and oranges, it ends with them agreeing “to never be creative again.” Yeah, it’s just that distressing. Watch it and you’ll understand.
While “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” isn’t a classic work of horror, it has many characteristics of horror. The use of suspense, plot twists, intense music (in between the catchy songs, of course), gore, and disturbing imagery lead me, and many others, to view this as “horror.” Where it lacks demons, haunted houses, and serial killers, it contains many unique elements that will leave you staring into your reflection in the computer screen wondering what is the meaning of life. Trust me, I’ve been there.
I recently rewatched all six episodes and no matter how many times I’ve seen them, I’ll never get tired of them. And every time you rewatch them, you’ll notice something new that really makes the experience great, no matter how traumatized you may feel after.
You may be thinking, “Mel, it can’t be that bad, can it?” I’ll drop the link below. You be the judge!