Chapter

Introduction: New Directions in Horror Film Studies

Anna Powell

in Deleuze and Horror Film

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780748617470
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651061 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617470.003.0001
Introduction: New Directions in Horror Film Studies

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Horror film fandom revels in the genre's special effects, but a corresponding theoretical exploration of horror aesthetics is scarce. The genre has showcased a strongly affective style from its outset. Excessive forms of cinematography, mise-en-scène, editing and sound are the pivotal tools of horror, used to arouse visceral sensations and to ‘horrify’ the viewer. The psychophysiology of cinematic experience and the ways in which vision and sound directly stimulate the nervous system are still under-researched. We can, however, usefully deploy Gilles Deleuze's philosophical speculations on the affective phenomena of mise-en-scène and movement. Deleuze's work does not focus on the genre of horror per se, but on some popular or sensationalist horror films. This book deals with the relationship of horror film and Deleuzian theory, focusing on the themes of madness and monstrous transformations, discussed via schizoanalysis and becoming, and horror film aesthetics, and also explores the value of Deleuzian work for horror film studies and suggests its future potential.

Keywords: Gilles Deleuze; horror films; aesthetics; horror film studies; madness; monstrous transformations; schizoanalysis; mise-en-scène; psychophysiology; movement

Chapter.  5342 words. 

Subjects: Film

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