“No One Escapes Death:” The Monstrous Killers of Dead by Daylight

Curator's Note

Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical multiplayer horror game where one killer plays against four survivors. Killers try to sacrifice the survivors to the game’s evil entity and the survivors attempt to escape from it. The killer does this through their special powers based on their lores. For example, one of the game’s licensed killers, Michael Myers, has stalking power to gain speed to attack survivors faster. However, we are focusing on two of the game’s original killers and how their lores impact their power and monstrous looks: The Blight and Hag. Before we get into the details, we want to clarify we are presenting our own definitions of what is considered monstrous in terms of physical characteristics: Monstrous characters are grotesque and ugly. 

First, Blight is originally a Scottish chemist who has worked on chemicals aiming to increase human productivity by using specific plants like poisonous foxglove, hence his name. He became a victim of his own drugs that altered his physical look. In the gameplay, he uses the same drugs as his power to rush and injure survivors. Killer players can watch him physically inject himself with the substance. His appearance, as seen in the video above, falls under the monstrous category as his face morphs into an unrecognizable melted shape with a glowing mouth and eyes.

Second, Hag grew up in a village where her elders taught her to draw charms for good fortune and safety. One night, she got lost in the woods. She was swiftly kidnapped and tortured by cannibals. Even though she lost her “human” look over time, she used her charms to free herself and kill her kidnappers. These charms allow her to teleport between points of the map in the game itself, which players see her draw onto the ground. Her appearance is based on her torture; she’s covered in severe wounds with her bones visible and sunken into her body. 

Both killers’ monstrous appearances are driven by the torment and maltreatment they went through when they were still human. The in-game lore not only explains that, but it also adds a level of humanity to these killers and makes their looks all the more horrifying. These killers are scary, but it’s the background and the appearance that truly make them come off monstrous. 

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