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"Oh no! They're being attacked by a point-of-view shot!"

 "Of course! The monster in Evil Dead is really Sam Raimi's cameraman!"

Raimi Vision is using the camera to represent the POV of some fast moving object or creature, usually Ultimate Evil. Also occasionally used to show the point of view of the arrow, bullet, or knife. It is usually shot in a Jittercam or handheld style, and with a fisheye lens or distortion effect.

Named for Evil Dead director Sam Raimi, who had almost no money at all for effects, and put a camera on a board strung on ropes between two people, running it through the forest, to represent the unspeakable horror terrorizing his cast. In Evil Dead 2, we finally get to see the monster, and it is appropriately horrific. Though the trope itself is played for laughs, as Ash runs away from the camera and we see scenes where the camera looks towards Ash as he runs, and reveals that he's literally running away from nothing.

Raimi's name for this contraption was Shaky Cam (after Steadicam), which is why Shaky Cam redirects to this page. Not to be confused with non-Raimi-style uses of Jittercam, which is often also called "Shaky Cam" in non-TV Tropes contexts for similar reasons.

Examples of Shaky POV Cam include:


Anime and Manga

  • Monster had this briefly in the opening credits.

Film

  • Bram Stoker's Dracula uses it for the title character.
  • 28 Weeks Later did this with the infected.
  • The final shot of Alone in The Dark is pretty much a duplication of the final scene of The Evil Dead, only this is Uwe Boll we're talking about here, so not nearly as good as the original.
  • Used in Spider-Man 2 (also directed by Raimi) to simulate the POV of Doc Ock's tentacles in one scene. Appropriate, given that the tentacles really did have cameras in them.
  • The first The Neverending Story movie contained a wolf-like creature called the Gmork. It hunted Atreyu through most of the movie in Raimi-Vision, only shown fully later on, as Fantasia falls apart.
  • Done in Alien 3, when the xenomorph chases the inmates through the prison complex.
  • Pitch Black combined this trope with a weird ghost-images-in-static effect, to simulate how its blind alien creatures perceive their surroundings via echolocation.
  • The Coen Brothers first movie, Blood Simple, uses it. The fact that they were assistant editor to Sam Raimi on Evil Dead might go a long way to explain why.
  • Used in the earlier shark attack scenes in Jaws until it's finally revealed in the estuary attack.
  • Used in the Stephen King movie Cat's Eye when the troll travels.
  • In the original Halloween when the young Michael Myers lurks through the house and murders his older sister.

Live-Action TV

  • Too many Doctor Who episodes to count. Examples include "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances", "Tooth and Claw", and "The Lazarus Experiment".
    • Oh, and also the first shot of a Dalek ever shown. Look up "The Daleks" if you don't believe me.
      • "Dalek", their first new series appearance, does this too.
    • Torchwood likes to do it too.
  • Used for the smoke monster on Lost as it approaches Eko in "The 23rd Psalm." (Starts at about the 2-minute mark.) It appears again for a POV of the Monster crossing the Island in "The Substitute".
  • The Fox series Werewolf opened with a surreal monster's-point-of-view stalk through a nightclub parking lot, with "Silent Running" playing in the background. Very 80s.
  • It shows up in the first season finale of True Blood, when Lafayette is kidnapped.
  • Supernatural uses this kind of shot and a special lens to represent the @#!*% hounds, who are always invisible. Mostly used in "No Rest for the Wicked" (the Season 3 finale) and "Abandon All Hope" (Season 5).

Video Games

  • This is the key to finding an invisible boss monster in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass; the top screen shows the boss's point of view.
    • Also, Ocarina of Time did this with Morpha, the boss of The Water Temple.
    • Gyorg, the fishy boss of the Great Bay Temple in Majora's Mask also used this during its intro.
  • Likewise in Metal Gear Solid, in the boss fight against Psycho Mantis entering First-Person View mode would show you his POV rather than yours, helpful for finding him after he'd turned invisible. That is, of course, unless you're on the PSX or PC version and are not using the joystick (or first controller port).
  • Resident Evil features that in a Crowning Moment Of Awesome. Enter the corridor that leads to the garden and you have the POV of a hunter that comes for you.
  • The Siren games actually use this as a mechanic: Most of the playable cast have the capacity to 'Sightjack' the Shibito around them, allowing them to see where they are and what they're doing from the Shibito's perspective. In the second game this is expanded by granting different characters unique secondary powers linked to Sightjacking, from being able to Sightjack people from the past in important places, down to fully possessing the Shibito in question.
  • Used in the intro for Discworld Noir, complete with Scare Chord and all. Noticeable due to the fact that the main character is actually caught and killed.
  • In Dark Corners of the Earth, this is employed repeatedly, for several enemies. This is justified. The main character is gradually achieving Total Synchronization with the Eldritch Abomination that controls the monsters.
  • In the Beginning of Left 4 Dead there's a scene shot from the POV of a hunter pouncing on poor Louis.
  • The turn-based strategy game Incubation features this during the alien monsters' turns.
  • God of War has a fun twist on Raimi vision, as you get to watch Kratos massacre Poseidon in first person. The twist? You get to watch from Poseidon's Point of view. The sequence ends when Kratos gouges out his eyes. And yes, you get to see that from first person.
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep uses this for the secret boss of the Final Mix. It happens during the cutscene and at regular intervals in the actual battle.
  • Psychonauts has the Clairvoyance power do this for you. Useful for telling how other people perceive you, as well as dodging an invisible boss's attacks.
    • An earlier stage has the player running an obstacle course while the boss (providing the camera for this stage of the encounter) pushes a "safe zone" (or, at least, a "don't die instantly zone") along the course.

Web Original

  • Loading Ready Run likes playing with this trope in their "X Ways to Y" segments - all of them include "The Sam Raimi," which involves (increasingly ridiculous as the videos go on) a point of view... thing... chasing one of the characters - sometimes to do... something... to them, other times to do things such as hand them a soda.

Western Animation

  • Halo: Legends - The Babysitter uses this trope.
  • The Bill Plympton animated short, High Noon which shows a showdown from the point of view of a bullet.
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of Phineas and Ferb where the boys are shooting a movie starring Candace. Phineas explains that they need a Raimi Vision shot so he had taped a camera to a starving monkey, he then hands Candace a banana and the monkey chases her as the audience watches in Raimi Vision. In the next scene Candace looks beat-up and Phineas says that in order to shoot the scene again safely, he taped the camera to a starving Ferb instead, then hands Candace a sandwich. Cue the exact same Raimi Vision scene as a shrieking Ferb chases Candace.
  • In the South Park episode "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow", the town panics and flees from global warming, which is depicted attacking townspeople through first person perspective. It's Played for Laughs when the camera switches back to third person perspective.
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