What other TV shows or movies can you think of which have sinister doubles in them and which of the above category do you think they belong to?
There are a large number of films and shows that covers the aspect of doppelgangers, shapeshifters, clones. Many of which showcases that the dopplegangers are sinister and are usually the villains that tortures their ‘good’ counterparts. These doubles are shown to be exactly like us, the appearance, features and anything that physically connects us to the doubles. However, when it comes to the subject of personality it is hard to copy. This is where the film Usand the tv show Vampire Diaries indicates this problem with doubles.
Vampire Diaries is an excellent example of this topic as the main character Elena Gilbert has a doppleganger – Kathrine Pierce. In this show the dopplegangers exist only to balance out the world of the supernatural, these doppelgangers are connected because they are related but born in different eras. The main character Elena Gilbert is your typical high school teenager, popular and beautiful. However, is really kind and caring towards her family and friends. Her doppelganger: Kathrine Pierce although similar to Elena with the appearance, lacks the soul that Elena possesses. Kathrine is introduced in the tv show as manipulative and vindictive, she is jealous of Elena and is willing to do anything to destroy Elena’s happy life.
Kathrine is five-hundred years older than Elena, therefore the two are born in different centuries. However, Kathrine is desperate to live a normal happy life as Elena’s and undoubtedly tries to steal Elena’s place. This I believe is similar to Mountfort’s (2018) “Quantum Double”, since both doubles exist in parallel universe (different centuries), depending on fringe science. Kathrine is considered as the sinister double of Elena, this is because throughout the series she has replaced or pretended to be Elena to fool everyone around her and in result it is difficult for the audience to watch.
The film Us is another example that involves the whole idea of doubles, doppelgangers. The film created clones of each person and the clones live underground, the purpose of their creation is so that the government are able to control the people on the surface. Despite their ability to recreate the souls. As a result, the government abandoned the clones and one of the clones “Red” took control. Throughout the film, a family is being hunted by each of their clones to seek revenge.
This showcases that the clones represent the sinister side of the doubles. They (clones) attempts to take the lives of their doubles and their place in the world. The film also portrays a message to the viewers, that we are our own enemies. Staring into the mirror, we see ourselves but we are afraid to confront our fears. This is why the doubles or doppelgangers are different from the originals, they are similar in appearance but entirely different within the soul. The doubles represent he evil that lurks within us, that we choose to hide.
The two chosen texts both show an excellent use of doppelgangers, the doubles are each introduced in different ways yet results in similar messages that the viewers receive.
Joho, J., & Han, A. (2019). 4 Ways of Understanding Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’. Retrieved from: https://mashable.com/article/us-jordan-peele-explainer-themes/
Mountfort, P. (2018). Science Fictional doubles: Technologization of the doppelganger and sinister science in serial science fiction TV. Journal of Science and Popular Culture.1(1), 59–75. doi: 10.1386/jspc.1.1.59_1