The video essay “Fear Freezes the Soul” by Filmscalpel is a peculiar, yet perfect representation of what a video essay is, in that it relies entirely on the medium of film in order to achieve its goal. Despite the use of caption at the beginning of the video, which simply shows the title, there is no other form of media used throughout the video besides music and shots and sound from the film being analyzed. The choice of music, which changed over the course of the video, was particularly telling because it often conflicted with the action occurring in the shot. A good number of the shots used, carried with them a motif of stillness and conformity while the music, often a style of dance music, emphasized the exact opposite. This conflict expresses the idea of fear, as it is stated in the title, as a conflict of emotions, which physically freezes the characters shown in most of the shots. This immobility being juxtaposed by fluid music also invokes a sense of insecurity in discomfort within the audience that perpetuates this idea further. Another aspect of this video, which is fascinating is the way the editing builds suspense and discomfort. By utilizing cuts instead of fading or wiping, the strangeness of each shot affects the overall tone of the video. In some cases the author times the change in tempo of the music with a cut, which accentuates the anxiety in the audience.

Fear Freezes the Soul