"Oh no! They're being attacked by a point-of-view shot!"
Shaky P.O.V. Cam
! The monster in The Evil Dead
is really Sam Raimi's cameraman!"
is using the camera to represent the POV of some fast moving object or creature, usually Ultimate Evil
. Also occasionally used to show the point of view of the arrow, bullet
, or knife. It is usually shot in a Jitter Cam
or handheld style, and with a fisheye lens or distortion effect.
The technique was made famous by Evil Dead
director Sam Raimi, who had almost no money at all for effects, and put a camera on a board strung on ropes between two people, running it through the forest, to represent the unspeakable horror terrorizing his cast. In Evil Dead 2
, we finally get to see the monster
, and it is appropriately horrific. Though the trope itself is played for laughs, as Ash runs away from the camera and we see scenes where the camera looks towards Ash as he runs, and reveals that he's literally running away from nothing.
Raimi's name for this contraption was Shaky Cam
), which is why Shaky Cam
redirects to this page. Not to be confused with non-Raimi-style uses of Jitter Cam
, which is often also called "Shaky Cam" in non-TV Tropes
contexts for similar reasons.
Compare the related tropes Impending Doom P.O.V.
, Murderer P.O.V.
Anime and Manga
- Monster had this briefly in the opening credits.
- As mentioned in the description, used extensively in both Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2
- Bram Stoker's Dracula uses it for the title character.
- 28 Weeks Later did this with the infected.
- The final shot of Alone in the Dark (2005) is pretty much a duplication of the final scene of The Evil Dead, only this is Uwe Boll we're talking about here, so not nearly as good as the original.
- Spider-Man Trilogy:
- Used in Spider-Man 2 (also directed by Raimi) to simulate the POV of Doc Ock's tentacles in one scene. Appropriate, given that the tentacles really did have cameras in them.
- Also used in Spider-Man 3, from the point of view of the symbiote.
- The first The Neverending Story movie contained a wolf-like creature called the Gmork. It hunted Atreyu through most of the movie in Raimi-Vision, only shown fully later on, as Fantasia falls apart.
- Done in Alien³, when the xenomorph chases the inmates through the prison complex.
- Pitch Black combined this trope with a weird ghost-images-in-static effect, to simulate how its blind alien creatures perceive their surroundings via echolocation.
- The Coen Brothers first movie, Blood Simple, uses it. The fact that they were assistant editor to Sam Raimi on Evil Dead might go a long way to explain why.
- Used in the earlier shark attack scenes in Jaws until it's finally revealed in the estuary attack.
- Used in the Stephen King movie Cats Eye when the troll travels.
- In the original Halloween (1978) when the young Michael Myers lurks through the house and murders his older sister.
- Too many Doctor Who episodes to count. Examples include "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances", "Tooth and Claw", and "The Lazarus Experiment".
- Oh, and also the first shot of a Dalek ever shown. Look up "The Daleks" if you don't believe me.
- "Dalek", their first new series appearance, does this too.
- "Asylum of the Daleks", within the final parts of the episode, does the scene from their first appearance of the Daleks exactly, having Dalek Oswin attack The Doctor.
- Torchwood likes to do it too.
- Used for the smoke monster on LOST as it approaches Eko in "The 23rd Psalm." (Starts at about the 2-minute mark.) It appears again for a POV of the Monster crossing the Island in "The Substitute".
- The Fox series Werewolf opened with a surreal monster's-point-of-view stalk through a nightclub parking lot, with "Silent Running" playing in the background. Very 80s.
- It shows up in the first season finale of True Blood, when Lafayette is kidnapped.
- Supernatural uses this kind of shot and a special lens to represent the hell hounds, who are always invisible. Mostly used in "No Rest for the Wicked" (the Season 3 finale) and "Abandon All Hope" (Season 5).
- This is the key to finding an invisible boss monster in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass; the top screen shows the boss's point of view.
- Likewise in Metal Gear Solid, in the boss fight against Psycho Mantis entering First-Person View mode would show you his POV rather than yours, helpful for finding him after he'd turned invisible. That is, of course, unless you're on the PSX or PC version and are not using the joystick (or first controller port).
- Resident Evil and it's remake do it twice. The first is the POV of a zombie as it shambles slowly down the stairs toward the room you just entered a moment ago. Later on when you enter the corridor to the garden you experience the POV of a hunter as it tears straight toward you in a Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
- The second time you fall in the water while fighting Del Lago in Resident Evil 4, you get to see what it sees (complete with Jaws-like music) as it swims towards Leon's frantically kicking legs. Later you get to see what Salazar's right hand, Verdugo sees as it moves at a pace significantly faster than he moves in the actual boss battle.
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles both use this to great effect. Most notably when playing as Wesker and he starts jumping around Matrix-Style, and to make the Tyrant T-103 downright terrifying as it relentlessly pursues a panicked Claire and Leon.
- The Siren games actually use this as a mechanic: Most of the playable cast have the capacity to 'Sightjack' the Shibito around them, allowing them to see where they are and what they're doing from the Shibito's perspective. It's also used to scare the bejeezus out of you, since you'll sometimes activate it and catch a glimpse of yourself from the Shibito that you didn't realize was stalking you. In the second game this is expanded by granting different characters unique secondary powers linked to Sightjacking, from being able to Sightjack people from the past in important places, down to fully possessing the Shibito in question.
- Used in the intro for Discworld Noir, complete with Scare Chord and all. Noticeable due to the fact that the main character is actually caught and killed.
- In Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth, this is employed repeatedly, for several enemies. This is justified. The main character is gradually achieving Total Synchronization with the Eldritch Abomination that controls the monsters.
- In the Beginning of Left 4 Dead there's a scene shot from the POV of a hunter pouncing on poor Louis.
- The turn-based strategy game Incubation features this during the alien monsters' turns.
- God of War has a fun twist on Raimi vision, as you get to watch Kratos massacre Poseidon in first person. The twist? You get to watch from Poseidon's Point of view. The sequence ends when Kratos gouges out his eyes. And yes, you get to see that from first person.
- Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep uses this for the secret boss of the Final Mix. It happens during the cutscene and at regular intervals in the actual battle.
- Psychonauts has the Clairvoyance power do this for you. Useful for telling how other people perceive you, as well as dodging an invisible boss's attacks.
- An earlier stage has the player running an obstacle course while the boss (providing the camera for this stage of the encounter) pushes a "safe zone" (or, at least, a "don't die instantly zone") along the course.
- LoadingReadyRun likes playing with this trope in their "X Ways to Y" segments - all of them include "The Sam Raimi," which involves (increasingly ridiculous as the videos go on) a point of view... thing... chasing one of the characters - sometimes to do... something... to them, other times to do things such as hand them a soda.
- Halo: Legends - The Babysitter uses this trope.
- The Bill Plympton animated short, High Noon which shows a showdown from the point of view of a bullet.
- Played for Laughs in an episode of Phineas and Ferb where the boys are shooting a movie starring Candace. Phineas explains that they need a Raimi Vision shot so he had taped a camera to a starving monkey, he then hands Candace a banana and the monkey chases her as the audience watches in Raimi Vision. In the next scene Candace looks beat-up and Phineas says that in order to shoot the scene again safely, he taped the camera to a starving Ferb instead, then hands Candace a sandwich. Cue the exact same Raimi Vision scene as a shrieking Ferb chases Candace.
- In the South Park episode "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow", the town panics and flees from global warming, which is depicted attacking townspeople through first person perspective. It's Played for Laughs when the camera switches back to third person perspective.