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Impending Doom P.O.V.

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Probably the most common use of P.O.V. Cam. These are camera shots of the heroes from an angle that obviously is someone's point of view, presumably a stealthy attacker. To ensure that the audience realizes this, the shot is often taken at a strange angle, through shrubbery or shelving or some other form of cover. Also, we can frequently hear the attacker breathing. But the hero remains oblivious. The common subversions are that either the point of view comes from something harmless (it was a friend, or a harmless animal, or something); or that the character being stalked is completely aware of the threat and ready to respond with something like an Offhand Backhand, or just announcing "I know you're there."

See also "Jaws" First-Person Perspective. Can be associated with Stalker Shot.

Compare the related tropes Murderer P.O.V., Robo Cam, Shaky P.O.V. Cam. Sometimes overlapped with Bizarre Alien Senses using thermographic or other non-standard imaging techniques. May lead up to a Death by Recognition.


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    Fan Fiction 
  • The first part of the April 30th chapter of Nine Lives One Love by The Mighty Oz is told in Dartz's perspective as he stalks Kurloz and Meulin as they attend her parent's funeral.

    Film — Animated 
  • Subverted and spoofed in Monsters vs. Aliens. The opening scene shows what appears to be a gurgling monster walking into Susan's bedroom as white flashes of light appear. Turns out it's actually Susan's bridesmaids coming to wake her up for her upcoming wedding; the scary noises that were heard were just an inhaler used by one of the bridesmaids, the gurgling was just a bridesmaid drinking coffee, and the flashes of light was just a bridesmaid taking flash photos.

    Film — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Better Call Saul: While Mike is spying on Hector Salamanca's operations, there are multiple times where the camera is subtly implying that there's another party watching him, foreshadowing Gus's introduction in season 3.
  • A favourite of Doctor Who, particularly the old series (there's one in the very first story), as a way of delaying the expensive and possibly slightly naff creature shots until later in the story.
  • Diagnosis: Murder uses this on occasion in episodes where the murderer's identity is kept secret until The Reveal because it allows viewers to see what the murderers' up to without showing their face.
  • Island of the Sea Wolves: As the cougar stealthily approaches Buck Bean, there are some shots of Buck Bean from a distance through trees and shrubbery, representing the cougar's point of view.
  • Before we saw Lost's smoke monster, we saw its POV looking at Locke and Eko.
  • Back in the 80's, USA Network had a weekend movie host named Commander USA. During an airing of the film Monster in the Closet, he starts to discuss this technique, and the camera shot cuts to the POV of someone sneaking up behind him with a large knife. But then the Commander makes some comment to the effect "but often, it's all just a big fake-out and nothing actually happens", and the knife-wielder promptly vanishes.
  • Done in the Joan Hickson TV adaptation of A Murder Is Announced. As Misses Hinchcliff and Murgatroyd are heatedly discussing the murder, the camera angle suddenly switches to a view from outside the window looking in at them, accompanied by the ominous sound of a sustained high-pitched tone-cluster. Sure enough, Miss Murgatroyd is soon killed by Miss Blacklock, who overheard her having a realisation about who could have committed the first murder.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "The Heist", the POV of the alien organism is seen just before it attacks someone.
  • The Punisher (2017): During the gunfight that Frank and Gunner have with the PMCs sent by William Rawlins to kill them, we see the action through the perspective of the PMCs' helmet-mounted camera feeds which Rawlins is watching live on a computer from the comfort of his office.
  • If you're watching Stargate SG-1 and you see one of these shots through the cover of bushes and leaves, chances are there's a lurking Unas.
  • Star Trek: Voyager.
    • In "Macrocosm", Captain Janeway tries to access the bridge controls while something stalks her from behind. Subverted as when it strikes, it's not some huge slavering monster, but an alien infection too small to see.
    • Also used in "Basics, Part II". Mauve Shirt Hogan is killed by a rampaging camera dolly that moves a lot faster than the cave-lizard that's later shown to be the culprit.
  • Used in season three of The Walking Dead (2010) as someone watches Carol practicing her C-Section technique on a zombie. The next episode, that character is revealed as Andrew, the convict Rick had left to die.

  • The "Battlescope" in Stellar Wars flashes during the game to indicate critical hits on enemy spaceships.

    Video Games 
  • XenoGears: During the stay at Nortune, several workers in the sewers are attacked by a carnage creature with the movement shown through its eyes as it evades Fei, Citan, and Rico hunting for it. But it turns out it wasn't the monster who killed the victims, it was Fei's other self, ID.
  • Rayman:
    • Rayman 2: The Great Escape: The battle with Jano has him chasing down Rayman as he slides down with the chase entirely from Jano's perspective.
    • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc has one of the few uses of this in gameplay that is not a "Jaws" First-Person Perspective. Enter the wrong rooms in a particular mansion, and you'll see through the crosshairs of the owner's gun, with only a few seconds to duck behind furniture.
  • In the prologue of Star Fox Adventures, just as Krystal is releasing the first Krazoa Spirit, a mysterious being is watching her close by, moments before attacking and trapping Krystal.
  • Used in the Left 4 Dead intro when Louis is shown through a hunter's eyes. Notably, the game creators changed the cut scene to use this trick to make the attack on Louis seem scary, when it'd previously been comedic. It worked.
  • Throw an enemy onto the subway tracks in Def Jam: Fight for New York, and the last thing before the Gory Discretion Shot is their look of panic as the train comes down.
  • MechWarrior 3: During the intro the view shifts to being in one of the LRM's launched from Lance Leader's Mad Dog as they strike a Summoner Mech's cockpit.
  • Sometimes pops up in Resident Evil, often to introduce a new threat.
    • Depending on the path you take in the 1996 original, the zombified shark "Neptune" might be first introduced through its POV as it swims up behind Chris or Jill.
    • The debut of the Hunter in both the original and the remake uses this to terrifying effect: First you get a POV of something fast-moving approach the lift in the garden. You know beyond doubt you're not dealing with anything you've seen before when you catch a quick glance of a green, clawed hand as it hoists itself up the shaft to quickly run across the garden and through the mansion's back entrance. This time you get a clearer look at the scaly, obviously non-human arm on this thing as it throws open the door, trudges down the open-air corridor, and then reaches for the door you just went through a moment ago. That is to say, the door that's currently right behind you.
    • In Resident Evil 4, this occurs with the Verdugo when it starts hunting Leon in the dungeons.
  • In the obscure adventure game AMBER: Journeys Beyond, one of the paranormal events in the Haunted House centers on a TV in the master bedroom. Turning it on shows a first-person view of someone running through the house and screaming the entire way. Then the player gets knocked out and wakes up on the bedroom floor.
  • In Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, the protagonist's psychic powers occasionally kick in; sometimes, this results in the player seeing through the eyes of an incoming monster.
  • During Madison's dream sequence in Heavy Rain, there are several shots like this, particularly if you have her take a shower.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, the Unknown Heartless stalks Aqua in the realm of darkness in this manner. It even does this during the first phase of the battle, and the player must use the POV to avoid its attacks.
  • The boss Crayk's POV in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is shown on the upper screen of the Nintendo DS.
  • One SD Gundam G Generation game has a Cutscene that Homages Predator, with Deathscythe taking the Predator's place and stalking a team of Hizacks using thermal vision.
  • The protagonist of Double Homework has one of these when he sees the avalanche from outside the ski lodge on his class trip.
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon: The battle with the Totem Lurantis is preceded by a short scene from its POV as it approaches the player. Sophocles' trial features several scenes set from the POV of the Totem Vikavolt as it's making its way up to the trial site.

    Web Original 
  • has two early flash videos using this technique, based on the famous "Missile-Cam" technology; one, titled S.A.M., depicted the missile homing in on someone sitting on the John, while the other, title F.A.D., for Final Act of Defiance, has the unlucky target giving the missile double deuces.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied on The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Guy", which opens on a P.O.V shot of something attacking various students. The attacker turns out to be Anais, who took Gumball's advice to go "hunting for friends" too literally.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Swamp", some shots are from the POV of the swamp monster observing the gang.
  • Bob's Burgers: Invoked in "Mom, Lies And Videotape" when Linda complains that Bob always breathes into the microphone whenever he uses the camcorder, and Gene adds "It's like there's always a monster just off screen."
  • Primal: The Night Feeder is shown attacking its prey all entirely from its viewpoint.
  • We get several P.O.V. shots from the Medusa Bug in the ReBoot episode of the same name.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: When the Chi Creature starts attacking the team, it catches Kimiko first with it being shown from its perspective.


Sewer Monster

At Nortune Sewers, two prisoners are attacked by a monster that emerges from the shadows.

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