Why “Alan the Monster” is so Unsettling

Daisy Brown Alan the Monster
Daisy Brown – Q&A with Alan

Among all the YouTube Channels that exist to send chills down our spines, one of them is right now building momentum in the public eye. The channel “Daisy Brown” has been gaining a huge number of subscribers recently. In this post, I want to explain how Daisy Brown succeeds to gain the attention of so many viewers and why we are so creeped out by her “Alan the Monster”.

Spoiler Alert: This post contains massive spoilers for the story told on the YouTube Channel, “Daisy Brown”. I highly recommend you check out her videos and Twitter for yourself and come back afterward.

Daisy Brown and her Little Monster

Let’s start by watching her very first upload. Throughout the whole video, we are forced to look at a grey, slimy, deaf and blind little creature called Alan. Daisy explains that Alan is a creation of her father, a scientist experimenting with new life forms. We can conclude that Alan is, basically, Daisy`s brother (well, in a symbolic sense of course).

Then, Daisy uploads videos showing how she takes care of Alan, how she cooks dinner, takes care of her beloved plants and some short, uncommented and seemingly unrelated scenes of monkeys in a zoo. As the story progresses, things get weirder, as Alan goes through apparently painful and obviously unnerving growth spurts. In fact, he sprouts like a potato. The once helpless creature learns new skills and Daisy shows us that Alan learns to see, hear and even walk.

However, this is not a harmless story of a girl taking care of her fuzzy little pet. Alan is unpredictable. And, most importantly, he is dangerous.

Constant Paranoia

As Daisy tells us, Alan bites her, makes her stumble and fall, and in a fit of rage, even pulls out pretty much all of her hair. Even her most trivial videos have an atmosphere of paranoia, and Daisy is showing signs of hyperarousal, e.g. when she is making pizza and jumps as she unpacks the dough from one of those packages that always pop when you open them.

However, to really understand why this YouTube channel is so well done, we have to look deeper into the story and how it is told.

Isolation and Abuse

We never see anyone else in Daisy Brown`s videos. She does talk about her father, but he does not seem to be present. We assume that he has died, but Daisy is not able to grasp that. She has to deal with Alan by herself. She never speaks about friends or let alone the whereabouts of her mother, who has also disappeared mysteriously. Daisy, we can conclude, is isolated.

Also, she is constantly struggling to take appropriate care of Alan, which is understandable, since there is no one to tell her how to raise this creature properly. We see Alan become nervous, throw fits, and suffer pain, without Daisy really knowing what to do. This reminds me of a psychological term, parentification.

Parentification: A child is parentified when he or she is given responsibilities a child cannot take, e.g. to be fully responsible for the physical wellbeing of a younger sibling, as well as being responsible for the emotional stability of a parent (having to comfort or take care of an emotionally unstable parent). Parentification can have negative effects on a child’s psychological health and contribute to the development of mental illness.

Daisy is parentified. Taking proper care of Alan is impossible for her. Alan would be better off in the scientific facility he was created in, where staff could work to find out what he needs. If her father is still alive, it seems like a very cruel act to give this creature to her. Her being isolated is further increasing her suffering. Daisy is being abused, emotionally and physically.

A Well-crafted Story

Let us not forget that Alan the monster shows many qualities of a well-crafted story.

First of all, Daisy Brown is a well-presented protagonist. She is, in many aspects, a normal young woman. We see this when Daisy shows us how she cooks food and how she cares for her plants, all of this by recording videos of mediocre quality. In my opinion, those seemingly trivial scenes, including the short clips of the monkeys, are there to make Daisy likable and to give the viewer a chance to identify with her. I mean, wouldn`t you make a video of two monkeys sitting in a tree doing something cute or weird?

But after watching ReginBots video on the series, yours truly turned the captions on. Oh boy.

So, we identify with the protagonist, Daisy. What about the antagonist? A good antagonist is supposed to be strong, dangerous, challenge the protagonist, and have a credible motivation that drives him. Alan starts off as a defenseless little creature and unpredictably grows into an ill-tempered and at times violent monster. However, we can see that he is but a victim to his creators playing God. Alan suffers. He is in pain, his body is constantly changing while being dependent on his big sister, who does not know how to meet his needs. His anger is understandable.

Daisy is living alone with him, in the same house, sleeping under the same roof. Their lives are entwined. The brave but vulnerable girl is chained to the monster whose power keeps growing.

There is more than one

Recently, Alan has grown out of his ungrateful teenage phase to become a full-blown adult A-hole. Daisy, however, has finally ventured into the basement, and what she found was unbelievable. It seems like Daisy has found a new friend, and her name is Lithop. She is part plant, and part “real human DNA!”