Somehow the United States of Horror Films map earmarked Carnival of the Dead for this week’s
destination movie. Unfortunately, efforts at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to find the film were unsuccessful. Alternatively, we arbitrarily chose I Can See You as the film to represent the First State. The 2008 horror film depicts a camping trip of Ben Richards, Doug Quaid, John Kimble, and Sonia Roja; advertising workers who are seeking inspiration for an ad campaign. When a camper mysteriously disappears, reality testing breaks down, and everyone’s safety is put in imminent jeopardy.
THE PSYCHIATRY OF I CAN SEE YOU
On the way to the campsite, Kimble receives a phone call from Ivan, who invites the group to a barbecue. When they arrive, Richards sees Summer Day, a former crush, who Richards refers to as a hippie. As the two rekindle their relationship, the pictures Richards takes of the wilderness come out distorted and parallel his difficulty focusing his vision (accommodation). When he goes swimming in a stream with Summer, Richards removes his glasses, and has as much difficulty with his speech as with his sight. Summer leaves, but with his vision blurred, Richards doesn’t see where she goes. Having been the last one to talk with Summer, Quaid is sought by Richards and Kimble when they uncover his camera (and see pictures he took of Summer). They find him disoriented, and after Quaid runs off, Richards discovers his body at the bottom of a cliff. Richards then hallucinates when he see Hauser who tells him to take a second look at the cliff without his glasses (Richards then throws his glasses over the edge).
Summer’s background, the pervasive theme of having difficulty with accommodation, jumping from a cliff (believing he can fly?), and hallucinations all point to LSD intoxication as the source of the campers’ horror. Additionally, the plot may also incorporate Dimethoxybromoamphetamine (DOB) as an adulterant. Also known as brolamfetamine and bromo-DMA, DOB is a substituted amphetamine that has a different dose response curve than LSD. Specifically, DOB takes up to 6 hours to take full effect. Consequently, unsuspecting users, such as the campers, who believe they are taking LSD may re-dose after 3 hours (and accidentally overdose). Additionally, the amount of time it takes for the DOB effects to begin increases when used in conjunction with alcohol, which the campers drink throughout the movie.
Last week’s movie: Friday the 13th (1980)
Next week’s movie: The Blair Witch Project (1999)