This week's selection from the horror movie lexicon remains one of the most controversial "vocabulary words" in the cinematic language. In the P.O.V. "stalk" shot or subjective shot, the camera adopts the first person perspective.
The P.O.V. shot is so controversial because many film critics suggest it is, in some fashion, an immoral composition. They argue that we -- the audience -- are knowingly being transformed by filmmakers into killers ourselves.
Behind the eyes of a murderer, we experience the vicarious thrill of committing murder. We occupy the space and body of the killer, and his hands are our hands, this argument goes.
The argument that the P.O.V. angle somehow encourages sympathy with the killer or encourages the act of killing seems suspect to me, anyway.
Film grammar consists of a wide variety of compositions and angles, and every one makes people "feel" a certain way. Instead of receiving some kind of vicarious thrill from observing up-close a murder, it's just as likely that a percipient in this scenario would be repulsed and horrified by the proximity to such violence.
In other films, such as Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead (1983), the P.O.V. shot appears untethered from gravity itself, and seem to race about madly, at high velocity, on that famous "shaky cam."
In other horror films, the P.O.V. is useful in noting how different creatures actually "see" the world. In this case, consider Wolfen (1981), the infra-red vision of the extra-terrestrial in Predator (1987), or the finale of Alien 3 (1992). In each case, a new perspective is offered to audiences.