FILM 330: Studies in a Genre or Director: Monsters & Madmen
Description: There’s no denying the enduring popularity of the Horror film; from James Whale’s iconic monster movie Frankenstein (1931) to Tomas Alfredson’s touching coming-of-age vampire narrative, Let the Right One In (2008), horror films have long dominated cinematic production. In this course, students will explore the history of the horror genre in the United States, Europe, and Asia in order to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the genre, its history, and its conventions. We will use theoretical and historical models to examine how the horror film approaches deviance and normalcy and how race, gender, and other notions of “difference” are represented in the horror genre. In addition to expanding their skills in formal film analysis, students will also seek answers to the following questions: How do these films construct deviance and normalcy? What do these films tell us about a society’s anxieties and fears? How do cinematic renderings of violence and horror impact spectators? Why do spectators seek out films that produce sensations of horror, fear, and dread? By completing both a short scene analysis and a longer research paper, students will improve their skills in film-based research and writing. Students will also learn to grapple with a variety of theoretical concepts that are considered essential to the study of film in general and the horror film in particular.
For more information about this course, contact April Miller