I have more than comfortable putting loads of meat in my mouth. I was excited! He’s more of a hovering than soaring gracefully, but it’ll do. Yay, I love finding severed body parts…! 😀 *panting* I DO NOT SUPPORT ANIMAL CRUELTY! *not sponsered by PETA* – You’ve been the best friend I could ask for.
– I love you. – Love you too, Ro. A theory about a show I’m in, where I play myself, but also a detective from the 1970s? That would be meta enough, but get this: The show, Escape the Night, actually sponsored this video and approved me talking about how the show’s host is actually evil and can’t be trusted. The level of meta in this episode has just hit a brand new extreme! Hello, Internet! Welcome to Film Theory! A true YouTube original. Not like an official show produced by YouTube “YouTube original” I just mean an original series only found here on YouTube. You know what IS a show produced by YouTube however? Escape the Night. the longest-running YouTube original series of all time. Which, ironically enough, also has the longest tagline for a show of all time. According to the show’s trailer, Escape the Night is a… Thing’s like a Mad Libs on steroids. Yes, YouTube, I too can throw adjectives into a blender and make them appear on screen in fancy graphics. Film Theory is YouTube’s Slap that on a t-shirt and sell it! But, for as much as I joke, Escape the Night is, at its core, something all us theorists love: a mystery. A super-sized horror themed escape room where, every step along the way, a popular YouTuber dies. Being on the show is almost like a YouTuber rite of passage at this point. For some of the biggest creators on the platform showing up to prove their puzzle-solving prowess. Season one had the likes of GloZell, Lele Pons and Shane Dawson, Season two featured Tana Mongeau, Liza Koshy and Gabbie Hanna, and season three… the best season cuz it’s my season… had a ton of my favorite people both on and off YouTube, Like Colleen Ballinger, Safiya Nygaard and my sister from another mister Rosanna Pansino. And now season four, the newest season which launches today, promises to feature the best of the best, as it’s an all-star season. I mean, how you doing an all-star season when canonically everyone is dead is beyond me, but then again, I was dead too at one point
and I got revived so… look at me setting the trends! #DeadAndLovingIt But here’s the thing, even though Escape the Night is like the bizarre love child of Survivor and
American Horror Story, where people get voted out, and instead of torches getting snuffed out by a smarmy host, it’s your life getting snuffed out by a bloodthirsty harpy. There is a deeper lore present throughout this entire thing. This isn’t just a competition reality show, there is a massive story that spans all three seasons of this thing. A story that most viewers, heck even us contestants, aren’t aware of, because it’s so well hidden. Don’t believe me? Here’s a great example: See this arm from season one? Seems like just any old creepy clue right? WRONG! Notice the patterns on the arm, which matches up to our mentor Calliope’s arm tattoos from season three. The two are connected. At the end of our season, Calliope dies, and, somehow, her arm ends up back at the haunted house the YouTubers explore in season one. There are tons of little details just like this sprinkled throughout the show, all pointing to the larger series narrative. And, as I’ve gone back through to rebinge the series in time for the show’s return, and the return of some of my dearly departed friends, something is now isn’t clear to me. Something that I suspected during my season, that I now see beyond a reasonable doubt. The host and show’s creator, popular Youtube vlogger Joey Graceffa is actually the villain of his own series. Even though he acts just like any other contestant, fighting whatever murderous clowns or bloodthirsty robots the show throws your way that week, he’s one of them, working against us. He’s a plant, a villain, someone out to sabotage his friends. And the craziest part of all, is that he might not even recognize it. Beware, my friends. Going forward, the tea gets hot, and plot lines start getting a little bit spoiler-y so consider yourself warned To understand the plot of the series and the role Joey plays in bringing about the deaths of dozens of popular online personalities We need to know where things began. Season one opens with Joey explaining that he’s having weird dreams when he suddenly inherits a large estate. He accepts it on blind faith and as if he hasn’t seen the plot of any horror movie in existence ever, promptly decides to move in. He claims: “it won’t let me sleep until I invite others” And instead of being like “huh, that’s a red flag, maybe I should consider posting up at the Comfort Inn instead” He thinks that his insomnia will be cured if he throws a party. All of this is very logical decision making from Joey Moving into the meet of episode 1 it’s revealed that the king of conspiracy theories himself Shane Dawson has been poisoned at dinner and dies Whoopsy there goes Shane’s next docu-series darn it and I had already pre-ordered my conspiracy theory makeup palette They come to learn that Shane was actually a member of a secret society creatively named the Society Against Evil. which is, get this, a society that fights against evil. Truth in advertising for the win. The house that Joey’s inherited is possessed by an evil spirit and the gang has to find a bunch of hidden artifacts, bring them all together and free themselves with a ritual The Society Against Evil has marked clues around the house to help them and season one progresses as contestants get bumped off and Joey gets closer and closer to his fully ghost busted dream home The problem is Joey doesn’t exactly show himself to be on the good guys side. As the season goes on we see Joey playing along as though he’s helping to rid the house of demons But if you actually stop and look at his behavior things just don’t add up. Take for instance this scene where Joey and Lele Pons uncover a Death Note which gives them the opportunity to kill off one of their friends by writing down their name Lily suggests that they give the decision up to fate by playing spin the bottle Joey however insists that they write down GloZell. Not only one of the most popular players in the house but also one of the most vocal in her suspicions of Joey’s role in all the murder that’s happening around them “We buried Justine, but you were acting like you were just so sad and I just don’t believe that you’re really so sad” – Why
– I don’t buy the act at all, Joey. “GloZell was going in at Joey… and now Joey’s killed GloZell. Why?” Joey’s rationale for making such a cruel choice? “It was either her or me” Lele pretty much has to go along with the decision “well, it is your house, so…” but if that wasn’t suspicious enough, Joey then proceeds to cover up his role in GloZell’s murder “I don’t want them to know that we put her name in the book” Making up a lie, and repeatedly pressuring Lele about keeping the secret And is Joey sorry about his decision? Does he regret killing off not only a friend but also one of the most beloved members of his party? I’ll let him speak for himself “It’s my party and I can kill whoever I want to” The two other people who are suspicious of him but keep it under wraps also happened to be the final survivors of the season So Joey invites his friends to a party and then shows zero remorse as he kills them off one at a time No big deal, right? I mean it is, but the goal is to escape this house possessed by an evil spirit so I guess it kinda makes sense Except again, there’s one huge problem with Joey’s behavior Joey keeps the house at the end of the season. Let me make that clear: he pockets the deed to a murder house possessed by evil spirits. An act that he clearly knows is wrong because he secretly does it outside of the sight of the other surviving YouTubers I mean, Joey, I know LA real estate is cutthroat, man, I live here too, but there’s no excuse for holding onto a property that’s literally killed eight of your BFFs “I don’t think anyone will understand what happened tonight at this house.” That’s right, Joey, they won’t. They think that you heroically escaped with your life. But what really happened is that you racked up a death toll of eight in exchange for some real estate straight out of the Shining. Even the other survivors aren’t fooled When he asks them back for his next dinner party in season two their response says it all *agressively* “I am not going to another party by Joey” “Not today, Satan” By season two, we see that the evil that’s possessed the house is now creeping into Joey himself. You can even see it start to show up on his face. At no point does he, you know, asked for help or told anyone like “Hey, guys! Joey here. I think I might have the touch of the curse going on” That would be a kick-by YouTube video Joey, but did you do it? Nope. Over the course of the season the next crop of dead men and women walking worked their way through a Victorian masquerade where they fend off everything from the king of vampires to an evil gingerbread woman. Along the way we yet again see Joey betraying the very people who are there trying to help him out. When DeStorm calls Joey’s team weak. “I think Joey’s team is weak” “Slow, can’t keep up with us” Joey immediately responds by cutting his throat And Joey’s wrath isn’t just limited to people who question him. He even sacrifices people from his own alliances. In episode 1 Joey and Liza Koshi are chained to sacrificial crosses destined to be food for vampires. They escape and from that moment on they are practically inseparable. As you can imagine almost becoming an undead buffet is a way of uniting people Until of course Joey decides to turn on Liza. “I feel like Liza could handle it” “What is this about? Joey and I had a great time being a great team and now he wants to send me to my death?” Unfortunately, the remaining players are just so happy to be alive that they don’t call him out on it so Joey slips by until the next episode. Here finally Joey has to actually fight for his own life after being unanimously nominated by his team “The only two that haven’t proven themselves yet are Joey and Andrea” After completing the challenge for the second time in this series Joey has to choose someone outside of the challenge to die And after about ten seconds of being distraught about it, he chooses Tana Mongeau, and then he’s mad that he didn’t get himself a power gem in return. “It makes me so angry that Tana just died and we didn’t get what we were promised.” Geez, she hasn’t even put on TanaCon yet. Joey Graceffa literally cancels Tana before the internet does. Girl’s been canceled more times than Futurama. By the end of the season Joey has the blood of yet another seven YouTubers on his hands, but in an interesting twist, he himself dies in the final moments Unfortunately what is dead may never die because Joey is back at it in season 3 after making a quick pact with none other than The Society Against Evil. Which, the more I research the more it seems like their name might be compensating for something, at this point it’s unclear what side they’re actually on but what is clear is that they offered Joey a choice: he can get his life back but to do so he’ll have to sacrifice the lives of yet another batch of content creators Joey Graceffa, ladies and gentlemen taking down YouTubers faster than a Mr Beast paintball tournament “I’m out” This deal in which he has to trade the lives of others for his own life is of course a deal that Joey accepts without question “if they find out my secret, I’m ruined” And this time I’m caught in the crossfire. And we were off to the carnival. A carnival from the 1970s to be exact. This time Joey does actually bother to warn everyone that they’re headed into a dangerous mission but you know dangerous is a far cry from certain death Here I am thinking that I’m finally cool enough to be invited to a YouT uber party, but instead of collabs I get kill-abs They kill me I die. In fact Colleen and I both died directly at Joey’s hands in a pretty suspicious way after we both call him out for you know sacrificing all his friends so that he and he alone can come back to life. “You need me” “Liar” “How am I… How is that a…” “You are a liar, I don’t believe anything that you say” Seems to be a trend across these three seasons, huh? You see, for the first time in the series we all started to figure out that something was going on and we decided to call Joey out on it. “Is Joey on our side or is he just trying to kill us?” And for the first time in the entire series Joey comes clean about the fact that his life depends on surviving the season “I didn’t know what was going on and I’m… I signed a contract that I would save this town and they would bring me back to life if I don’t save this town… … I die with it” And yeah, he brings out his little crocodile tears but the fact of the matter is Joey if you sentenced everyone around you to die to make your little behind-the-scenes deal “I didn’t know how you guys would take it” “Pretty poorly actually…
(whooah MatPat with the salt) cuz what you just said is that you’re willing to trade nine lives for yours, Joey? Great. There’s no justice here.” Yeeah, you go dorky sheriff MatPat!
(whoot whoot) and then like clockwork anytime anyone tries to disagree with Joey, I end up in the unfortunate position of dying. I fail in a nail-biting tiebreaker against Manny MUA. By the way, can we just take a second to look at what a trihard I am here? *everyone cheering for MatPat* Take note reality TV contestants. This is how you get way too invested it into your character Anyway my ego and my life set aside in the next episode there’s an even more blatant betrayal after Colleen also calls into question the mighty wisdom of Joey. “Nice acting, Joey. I don’t believe any of it. He even had a single tear, I swear to god that was a spit tear” “One of the biggest things I feel I’ve done so far was have a gut feeling about Joey” And then finds herself on the wrong end of his death hammer “I’m gonna vote for you” “Joey I’m sorry I came for you earlier but you were lying to us” And then just to make sure that none of his other secrets get out Joey makes sure that Colleen ends up in an iron maiden literally screaming and crying “Please, you guys, please stop, please” So at this point in the series it’s pretty clear that Joey leaves a path of heartless deaths in his wake and that he’s also been part of a larger evil scheme to save himself at the expense of basically every creator he follows on Twitter. Or… is it? While all this time It looks like Joey is the big series bad guy of his own show episode after episode, season after season What if I told you there’s actually something else going on here? That Joey isn’t an evil mastermind? That maybe Joey isn’t even acting on his own accord? That Joey Graceffa is evil but he’s an evil pawn under the control of someone else in his own show Sure in season one he invites a bunch of friends to a deadly dinner party but we already know he was compelled to do that by a deep-seated evil that was working inside the house And although he may have defeated the curse that was holding everyone inside the house the bigger Evil existed in the deed that he held on to. There was something else there the whole time Something much bigger and much more dangerous than Joey In the next go-around the show sets it up that Joey and the gang are facing off against the evil sorceress, the big bad guy of the season, but if you actually pay attention in episode three we get a glimpse at the sorceress’s backstory. And it tells us that we actually have much bigger things to be afraid of than just her. She was once just a regular person But then she made a deal with a cursed God who looks a little like a Cthulhu Squidward for power So when Joey says in episode one “I did not invite you here” “This time I had no part in inviting my friends, someone set me up.” He’s being manipulated by the evil forces of the cursed God. Joey, while, yeah, some of his decisions have been a little questionable, is just a player in a much larger evil game. We get confirmation of this in episode two, where we learned that the baddie of this season needs the evil that Joey carries in order to serve this higher cursed God “The spell requires the evil Joey” “It does not say that, he is lying” – The spell requires the evil Joey carried.
– Okay “Joey’s name is randomly in the book so we don’t really know if he’s hiding something or what’s happening with the journal” Again, Joey is just the low man on the evil totem pole and this cursed God business isn’t just a one-off thing for the season It’s clearly part of the established overarching lore for the entire series Fast forward to season three and the cursed God comes up yet again This time as the boss to the big baddie of that season: the carnival master In episode one, Colleen discovers a diary which contains our first and clearest mention of the Carnival Master’s intention Everything he’s doing to the town of Everlock is all in service to some greater being the same cursed God that possessed the sorceress back in season 2 Oh and… I of course missed all this deep lore going down during season 3 because at the same time this was going on I was busy digging straight into a toilet full of turds. “The clues have been inside things maybe I need to start like squeezing the turds” *chuckles* “Oh, God” “Ughh, I got it, I got it” I feel like that’s some kind of really apt metaphor for my life in general But we won’t dwell on that The end of season three features one of the team’s mentors Mortimer suddenly turning on us in service of the carnival master He, just like Joey throughout the series, has been manipulated by the overarching evil forces at work in this universe And serves as yet another example of an otherwise decent person who’s been used as a pawn by the cursed God Nothing sums this up better than the carnival master himself at the end of season three where he explicitly says to Joey: “They caught you into a war that’s not yours” Meaning that at their best the Society Against Evil is not super helpful yet their worst they’re maybe kind of the bad guys too And all of us are caught in the middle So yeah, Joey might be acting out of his own best interests and at the expense of others But he never wanted to be a part of this in the first place There’s a much bigger picture here from the looks of things Joey’s on a rocket to redemption in all-star season four trying to redeem himself from what he’s gotten caught up into in the last three seasons “I never knew I had such good friends” “What I want more than anything at this point is a way to make all the wrongs I did right” And who knows maybe the big bad of this season will be the cursed God himself. Time to put a stop to the evil where it all began So TL;DW Joey definitely not the good guy of Escape the Night, but he’s just a pawn in a much bigger game Will he become a hero this season? Will he be able to save all the other YouTubers and their future adsense revenue? I guess the only way to find out is to see where this next season goes. But hey! That’s just a theory! Aaaa Film Theory! More accurately a YouTube Original Theory Aaaaand… Cut. And hey, I had a blast being a part of Escape the Night season three I made some of my best on and off YouTube friends through the connections that I made on that show when I said that this show is like the biggest YouTuber collab I wasn’t kidding So if you want to check out the new season a lot of my friends are returning for the all-star season coming up. I may even make an appearance or two in there You never know keep an eye out. You can binge through all the other seasons on YouTube Premium right now. Go out there, check out my appearances, see me die, see me come back to life and see me ultimately win it all And then that way you’re caught up for the new season that’s going on this summer So go for it. You know that I’m gonna be watching every new episode to cheer my friends on and heck make sure that I was proven right Cuz I’m pretty sure about this one. Joey, man, can’t trust him as far as I can throw him. Based on that strong man competition in season three it’s obvious that I cannot throw things very far