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Supernatural and Horror Cinema

ENGL 291.401
instructor(s):
TR 1:30-3, Screenings W 4-7:00

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the history and main themes of the supernatural/horror film from a comparative perspective. Films considered will include: the German expressionist masterworks of the silent era, the Universal classics of the 30's and the low budget horror films produced by Val Lewton in the 40's for the RKO in the US, the 1950s color films of sex and violence by Hammer studios in England, Italian Gothic horror or giallo (Mario Bava) and French lyrical macabre (Georges Franju) in the 60s, and on to contemporary gore. In an effort to better understand how the horror film makes us confront our worst fears and our most secret desires alike, we will look at the genre's main iconic figures (Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, etc.) as well as issues of ethics, gender, sexuality, violence, spectatorship through a variety of critical lenses (psychoanalysis, sociohistorical and cultural context, aesthetics,...).