Who doesn’t find the smooth, dulcet tones of Chris Hemsworth relaxing? His voice is about as mellifluous as they come and somehow, event those who profane the Aussie accent, find that their ears perk up and their mouth twitches into something of a wide smile when Hemsworth’s voice can be heard. Sure, when the complete visual hits you and you have both the voice and the chiselled jawline and blue eyes, it can be an overwhelming package of Hollywood leading man looks and charismatic buoyancy, but even divorced from the visuals, this is a voice we wouldn’t mind listening to in an effort to destress and unwind after a hard day of work.
If you’re one of the countless people who watched the speculative thrilled Spiderhead on Netflix, chances are you’re aware of the rather sinister plot. For those who are yet to watch the film, it’s based on a short story by George Saunders in which inmates are free to roam in the titular futuristic prison, but it all comes with a cost. Though their cells are comfortable looking dorm rooms and there’s an open door policy, each inmate has a “MobiPak” installed on their lower back, loaded with experimental drugs that can flood their bloodstream as scientist Steve Abnesti – played by Hemsworth – administers every dose.
The film is certainly a creepy one but as Hemsworth currently promotes the Netflix movie, a genius stroke of marketing from the streaming giant has seen him reprise his sinister scientist role by lending his voice to a guided meditation video. But before you get too excited and start incorporating the video into your evening routine in a bid to wind down before bed, just know that this isn’t your average guided meditation. Rather, shit gets weird – really weird. And fast.
“Relax your shoulders, exhale intention with every breath,” says Hemsworth. “Allow your thoughts to drift. Listen to my voice.”
Ok, so far, so good.
“Imagine roots growing from where your feet touch the ground.”
“Trapping you. You can’t move. Unable to run. Get lost in the forest of your thoughts and the stuttering of your heartbeat. You are surrounded by trees and they’re watching you through a prison of mirrors. Feel their eyes on you, searching, crawling up your body slowly, examining you, questioning you.”
Suddenly, we’re not so keen on this meditation which is beginning to sound more like hypnosis than it is a guided meditation designed to help you relax.
As Hemsworth continues: “Their gaze creeps over you like a spider, starting from your toes, all the way to the top of your head. Crawling, crawling, it bores a hole through you, seeing right through to your fears, your uncertainties. You want to turn from their gaze but the shackle on your ankle, your roots, plant you firmly in place. When you feel your fear has overtaken you, and you’re certain there is no escape, open your eyes.”
Safe to say, this meditation might have you feeling more anxious than you originally felt to begin with. But it certainly stands as good advertising for the film. Well played, Netflix.