Horror doesn’t always come at the pointed ends of a monster’s teeth or by the hand of a nigh unstoppable force.
Black Tar: Hotline Miami 2
I spoke about this one before, mostly about the scene itself in the game. Of course that in and of itself is unsettling but there is a lot more going on. As a brief refresh, should you choose to play the game again after completing it once a bonus scene will play where Richard confronts the cast of the game one by one and each reacts in a suitable way relative to their nature. Richter asks for forgiveness, Tony attempts to act tough, Pardo is paranoid, etc. It goes over the events that we as the player are aware of but these characters are not. I feel that part of the implication is that we are choosing to make this all happen again for our own enjoyment despite how ruinous the ending turns out to be.
That is the short of it. Truth be told there is a lot more even in such a brief moment. One thing that does eat at me though is just the way it ultimately has to be. I’m not a believer in fate, in that very few things in life are ever “destined” to happen. That isn’t the case here though. In that moment of self-awareness where we are separated from the characters we had been playing as, when they have a moment to act on their own without our input we see how truly unaware they really are. It makes you want to scream, you know what the end is going to be like and yet here we are ready to do it all over again. We have no choice because we already made it when we played the first time around. Actions have consequences and no amount of remorse will undo them. It’s the horror of knowing, knowing the suffering the lies ahead, and not being able to do a thing about it.