They Look Like People: Film Analysis

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Media has an inclusive way of representing mental illness through the characters and plot. In They Look Like People, written and directed by Perry Blackshear, the main character, Wyatt, has an intense case of newly-manifested paranoid schizophrenia (Blackshear, They Look Like People, 2015). This film is an effective and unsettling neuro-psychological thriller that shows how deeply mental illness can take a toll on both the individual and their relationship with others. Wyatt and Christian are old friends who have been through some rough times in their lives and just so happen to bump into one another on the street. Christian brings Wyatt into his home and the two re-create their long-lost friendship. The two are both suffering from their own mental health issues, yet still have the patience and support for the …show more content…

The examples of Wyatt’s actions were straightforward and easy to depict. It also contributed a very realistic portrayal of how difficult and terrifying it could be to live with a mental illness and the toll it takes in your life and relationships. In fact, Blackshear mentions in an interview that, “I wanted to make it as right as I could and really respect where people were coming from and how frightening it actually is for the person going through it,” (Blackshear, They Look Like People: Interview with Perry Blackshear, 2015). This shows that the Blackshear had the appropriate mindset when going into this movie. Nietzsche wrote, “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” During the moments where Wyatt battles the uncanny, struggling with his inability to tell human from demon as his fiancée’s face literally becomes an abyss, They Look Like People brings this quote to life (Langberg,

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