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Book part
Publication date: 13 March 2019

Despina Chronaki and Liza Tsaliki

Testing boundaries in the context of encountering horror representations have long been of interest to cultural studies scholars. There have been rich cultural accounts of…

Abstract

Testing boundaries in the context of encountering horror representations have long been of interest to cultural studies scholars. There have been rich cultural accounts of how audiences negotiate with what is frightening or disgusting on screen (Hill, 2005) not just in general but also in what concerns specific social groups as well (e.g. children, Buckingham, 2000). Horror, disgust and the emotion of fear have not been examined in the Greek context so far and it is our aim to attempt a first investigation of how certain groups of viewers engage with the horror genre. We draw upon the argument that fear from encountering horror is a socially based emotion through which people do not just test their own boundaries but also their boundaries within a group of peers (Hill, 2005). Given that women are stereotypically thought to be more afraid than men, we are particularly interested to see how women aged between 20 and 35 in Greece engage with fear or disgust in the mainstreamed context of the horror offered by American Horror Story. We are particularly interested in the ways they perceive horror but also deadly women or female villains. Our interest in this particular series lies not only in its popularity across the world but also because of its nature as a representative series of the horror genre and because all different narratives it offers are mostly based on female characters primarily as villains. Also, as a text available across different cultures, it could probably allow us to engage with cross-cultural research in the future. Therefore we wish to conduct an online survey with women aged 20–35 in Greece, followed by focus groups with women of the same age group in an attempt to provide both a mapping and a further investigation of the topic.

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Gender and Contemporary Horror in Television
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-103-2

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Book part
Publication date: 13 March 2019

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Gender and Contemporary Horror in Television
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-103-2

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Book part
Publication date: 13 March 2019

Steven Gerrard

Since the turn of the Millennium, horror has had a resurgence both in cinema and in television. With programmes like The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer paving the…

Abstract

Since the turn of the Millennium, horror has had a resurgence both in cinema and in television. With programmes like The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer paving the way for other horror shows such as The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and Penny Dreadful, this introduction discusses the way that TV has become a bedrock of new, exciting, vibrant and bold horror productions.

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Gender and Contemporary Horror in Television
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-103-2

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Book part
Publication date: 13 March 2019

Natasha Parcei

American Horror Story, with its strong narrative arcs, interesting characters and high production values, is one of the most important horror TV series in the…

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American Horror Story, with its strong narrative arcs, interesting characters and high production values, is one of the most important horror TV series in the post-millennial years. This chapter will focus on the four roles played by Oscar-winning actress, Jessica Lange in the first four series.

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Gender and Contemporary Horror in Television
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-103-2

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Book part
Publication date: 13 March 2019

Chloe Benson

This chapter seeks to compare and contrast two compelling portrayals of the bisexual or ‘gender-blind’ vampire: The Hunger (1983) and American Horror Story: Hotel (2015)…

Abstract

This chapter seeks to compare and contrast two compelling portrayals of the bisexual or ‘gender-blind’ vampire: The Hunger (1983) and American Horror Story: Hotel (2015). These texts present a number of notable differences. They were released over 30 years apart and they also diverge markedly in form: Hotel is a 12-episode television serial, whilst The Hunger is a tight 97-minute-feature film. Whilst these differences highlight shifts in the format of horror more broadly, they also facilitate the reflection on whether the portrayal of the bisexual vampire has dramatically shifted alongside these changes. Such a reflection is ripe with potential given that in addition to their differences, both texts also share significant aesthetic and narrative similarities. Both Hotel and The Hunger foreground performativity and feature female protagonists who defy heteronormative understandings of gender and sexuality. Undoubtedly, Hotel can be read as an aesthetic homage to The Hunger. However, whether Hotel also echoes some of the more conservative aspects of the earlier film’s politics is a more complex question. Focusing on the ways that these female vampire protagonists, as well as a selection of their lovers and victims, are gendered, this chapter will illuminate a number of developments and lingering issues in the ways that horror depicts (or circumvents) complex facets of the relationship between bisexuality and gender.

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Gender and Contemporary Horror in Television
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-103-2

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American Life Writing and the Medical Humanities: Writing Contagion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-673-0

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Book part
Publication date: 13 March 2019

Maddi McGillvray

The horror genre is and always has been populated by women, who can be seen to be at once both objectified and empowered. Building off the preexisting gender hierarchies…

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The horror genre is and always has been populated by women, who can be seen to be at once both objectified and empowered. Building off the preexisting gender hierarchies and dynamics embedded in the history of horror cinema, this chapter looks at a number of New French Extremity films that assault audiences with unrelenting scenes of violence, torture and self-mutilation, which are performed almost exclusively upon or by women. Although the films of the New French Extremity have been dismissed as exploitative in their representations of wounded and suffering female bodies, their narratives also offer internal criticisms of the misogynistic portals of victimhood that are prevalent in the genre. Through a close analysis of the films Inside (Bustillo & Maury, 2007) (French title: À L’intérieur) and Martyrs (Laugier, 2008), this chapter will examine how both films deviate from the male monster/female victim dichotomy. Although the women of these films may start off vulnerable, they take charge of their situations, while also compacting the nature of feminine identity.

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Gender and Contemporary Horror in Film
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-898-7

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Book part
Publication date: 13 March 2019

Steven Gerrard

Since the Millennium, the world of TV horror has radically altered. Aided by newer production methods including streaming, downloading and narrowcasting, programmes like…

Abstract

Since the Millennium, the world of TV horror has radically altered. Aided by newer production methods including streaming, downloading and narrowcasting, programmes like The Waking Dead, American Horror Story, Penny Dreadful and the reinvention of Doctor Who have shown how resilient the horror genre is to both television formats and platforms.

This conclusion ties together the chapters, whilst offering the idea that much more work is needed to fully comprehend the importance of gender studies linked to horror television.

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Gender and Contemporary Horror in Television
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-103-2

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Book part
Publication date: 20 August 2020

Bethan Michael-Fox

This chapter offers a critical reading of a range of television narratives centred on diverse populations of the articulate dead, including grim reapers (Dead Like Me)…

Abstract

This chapter offers a critical reading of a range of television narratives centred on diverse populations of the articulate dead, including grim reapers (Dead Like Me), sort-of-ghosts (American Horror Story), zombies (iZombie), what appear to be ‘just regular dead people’ (The Good Place, Les Revenants) and some other creepy and unusual manifestations of the undead (Intruders, The Fades). It suggests that the preponderance of the articulate dead on television is symptomatic of a broader cultural desire to talk both about death and with the dead. It also suggests that there are numerous opportunities to learn from fictional engagement with death and the dead, foregrounding the ways in which televisual narratives can operate to reiterate, critique and engage with social and cultural messages. The chapter takes a playful approach and seeks to distil some key ‘self-help’ aphorisms that the dead in these series might offer the living about how to approach life, death and everything inbetween, as they tell their audiences to ‘look within’ to identify the greatest threats to their selfhood, to persevere because ‘it’s never too late to change’, and to ‘never forget’ the dead and what they might have scarified for the living.

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Death, Culture & Leisure: Playing Dead
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-037-0

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Gender and Contemporary Horror in Comics, Games and Transmedia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-108-7

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