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  • Arya Kastwar

Idea #73 - The Eerie Unfamiliarity of Familiar Places

We are all aware of the creepy unfamiliarity of familiar places at an odd time, when no one is around - entering an empty lift past midnight does not feel as comfortable as it does in the light of day with the neighbours around, does it?

Today we watched Strangely Familiar Places in Movies and explored various familiar, yet deeply unsettling places in film. These places, known as “liminal spaces,” gained popularity back in 2019 as “the Backrooms” when an anonymous user asked people to post pictures of empty spaces, which are otherwise crawling with people - like empty indoor pools, empty malls, empty parking lots, and empty playgrounds.

The video essay also explores the three types of liminal spaces used in films to build tension and confront conflict -

  1. Physical liminal spaces

  2. Emotional liminal spaces

  3. Temporal liminal spaces

Many famous movies and TV shows - like The Shining, Mulholland Drive, Interstellar, Squid Game, Donnie Darko, and even Spongebob use these aspects of liminal spaces to symbolise a state of limbo.

Analysing these liminal spaces in films helped us understand and grasp the deeper significance and nuances of the plots and the characters!

Written by: Arya Kastwar

Curated by: Shweta Singh

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