SFX blogger Alasdair Stuart praises a distinctly homegrown digital horror series
Normality as horror and horror as normality. It’s an idea that’s fascinated me ever since a friend of mine pointed something out about Signs . It’s actually a film about how rubbish it is not being the hero in a science fiction movie. You bite and kick and scream and try your best to survive until the guy with a squarer jaw and less likely name than you saves the day. Chances are you’ll fail too. But you’ll try. The same could be said about Cloverfield , a movie which, right up until the shooting draft was designed to sit just to the left of the traditional monster movie, complete with a fleeting cameo from the “stars” of that movie. The world ends for the bit players as well as the stars and that fascinates me. After all, someone has to think of the henchmen.
This is the genius of web series I Am Tim . The last Van Helsing’s name is Tim, he likes Garfield and the dark is coming for him. The dark that lives under every motorway, around every corner, the dark that stands behind you in the line for chips, that likes a certain chair in the pub. Monsters are real, they hate Mondays too, and they live in the same, normal, resolutely unsexy places we live in. The only one that stands between us and them is Tim. And Anna. And Poncho. And the film crew. But not Reign. Reign never leaves his office; what the hell do you take him for?
I Am Tim balances this idea of normal horror with a jet black sense of humour and a very, very welcome sense of the ridiculous. There are no big operatics here, no epic grand guignol, just a normal man and his friends holding back the dark, almost dying and doing it anyway. There’s heroism here, as well as horror, but it’s never overblown and that’s what really gets me about this odd little sub genre and I Am Tim in particular. Tim’s a normal (well, normalish, he is on his second face), man in an extremely abnormal world. He doesn’t particularly want to be there but he is and, like the Winchesters, like Buffy, like his great great great grandfather, Tim stands on the line between night and day. Admittedly he has a documentary crew making sure they shoot him from a good angle but the principle’s the same. He’s a hero, and the very fact he doesn’t particularly want to be is what makes him both a real hero and impossibly endearing. Go catch up on his adventures at http://www.hisnameistim.com/cycle_path.html