The horror film is simultaneously one of the most popular and disreputable genres of cinema and as such harbors some considerable fascination. In this seminar we will chart the genre’s development in America, exploring its adaptability throughout the 20th and 21st centuries as a social barometer for the nation’s anxieties. Encompassing the Gothic adaptations of the 1930s, the noir features of Val Lewton in the 1940s, the science fiction paranoia fantasies of the 1950s, the revolutionary bloodbaths of the 1960s and 70s, the slasher cycle of the 1980s, the postmodern exercises of the 1990s, up to the ”torture porn” of the 2000s, we will discuss the films’ construction of the monstrous, their gender and body politics, their psychoanalytical underpinnings, and their relationships of aesthetics and ideology.

The films to be discussed will be shown on Wednesday evenings (starting 18:00) in R 8.