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Dark Forces at Work examines the role of race, class, gender, religion, and the economy as they are portrayed in, and help construct, horror narratives across a range of films and eras. These larger social forces not only create the context for our cinematic horrors, but serve as connective tissue between fantasy and lived reality, as well.

While several of the essays focus on "name" horror films such as IT, Get Out, Hellraiser, and Don't Breathe, the collection also features essays focused on horror films produced in Asia, Europe, and Latin America, and on American classic thrillers such as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Key social issues addressed include the war on terror, poverty, the housing crisis, and the Time's Up movement. The volume grounds its analysis in the films, rather than theory, in order to explore the ways in which institutions, identities, and ideologies work within the horror genre.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498588553
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 11/06/2019
Series: Lexington Books Horror Studies Series
Pages: 348
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Cynthia Miller is the Film Review Editor of Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies and serves as President of the Literature/Film Association, as well as on the editorial advisory board for The Encyclopedia of Women and Popular Culture.

Table of Contents


Part I. National Identity: Haunting the Homeland

Chapter One: Ringing Home, Missed Calls, and Unbroken Land-lines: Domestication of, and Miscommunication in, K- and J- Horror
Rea Amit

Chapter Two: Redefining the Heimat: Austrian Horror Cinema and the "Home" in a Global Age
Michael Fuchs

Chapter Three: Korean National Trauma and the Myth of Hypermasculinity in The Wailing (2016)
Luisa Koo

Chapter Four: The Witch, the Wolf, and the Monster: Monstrous Bodies and Empire in Penny Dreadful
Allyson Marino

Part II. Market Forces and Their Monsters

Chapter Five: Recession Horror: The Haunted Housing Crisis in Contemporary Fiction
Lindsey Michael Banco

Chapter Six: Classism and Horror in the Seventies: The Rural Dweller as a Monster
Erika Tiburcio Moreno

Chapter Seven: All Against All: Dystopia, Dark Forces, and Hobbesian Anarchy in the Purge Films
A. Bowdoin Van Riper

Chapter Eight: Motor City Gothic: White Youth and Economic Anxiety in It Follows and Don't Breathe
Russell Meeuf and Benjamin James

Part III. Ideology: You Just Have to Believe

Chapter Nine: Gothic Neoliberalism in 1980s British Horror Cinema
Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns, Juan Juvé, and Emiliano Aguilar

Chapter Ten: Infringing on Cycles of Oppression: Artisanal Bricolage and Synthesis in Mumblegore
Brandon Niezgoda

Chapter Eleven: Faith as Confinement: Alejandro Amenábar's The Others (2004)
Maria Gil Poisa

Part IV. History Never Dies

Chapter Twelve: The Pursuit of Certainty: Legends and Local Knowledge in Candyman
Cynthia J. Miller

Chapter Thirteen: "Nothing Is What It Seems": Montage and Misread Histories in Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now (1973)
Thomas Prasch

Chapter Fourteen: "Tens of Thousands of Men Died Here": Desire, Revenge, and Memories of War in Edgar G. Ulmer's The Black Cat
James J. Ward

Chapter Fifteen: Peril, Imprisonment, and the Power of Place in Jordan Peele's Get Out
Michael C. Reiff

Part V. The Horrors of Place

Chapter Sixteen: The Hovel Condemned: The Environmental Psychology of Place in Horror
Jacqueline Morrill

Chapter Seventeen: Coming Home to Horror: Stephen King's Derry and Castle Rock
Alissa Burger

Chapter Eighteen: It Follows and the Uncertainties of the Middle Class
Katherine Lizza

Chapter Nineteen: "We're all in our private traps": Reconfiguring Suburbia's Protective Borders in Psycho (1960)
Kevin Thomas McKenna

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