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

Compare the related tropes Murderer P.O.V., Robocam, 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.


Examples:

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

    Film — Animated 
  • Spoofed in Monsters vs. Aliens: the "attacker" is really Susan's bridesmaids waking her up on her wedding day (The scary breathing we hear? One needs an inhaler).
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    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The final shot of The Stone Tape is the camera zooming in on the screaming face of the research team's leader, as he sees whatever ancient evil killed his colleague.
  • Used in season three of The Walking Dead 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 Outer Limits (1995): In "The Heist", the POV of the alien organism is seen just before it attacks someone.

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

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • Used in the Left 4 Dead intro when we see Louis 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.
  • Mech Warrior 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.
  • 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 (AKA Red Eyes) 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 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.

    Web Original 
  • Stickdeath.com 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.
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    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.
  • We get several P.O.V. shots from the Medusa Bug in the ReBoot episode of the same name.


 
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Approaching from the dark

Debby closing up on Vince under the veil of darkness

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