Chapter

Horror Time

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/9780748617470.003.0005
Horror Time

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This chapter explores duration and the time-image of the horror film. The cinematic image moves across time in a complex trajectory. The apparatus of cinema manipulates and melds past, present and future, shaping our awareness of the properties of time and modulating our experience of it. The influence of Henri Bergson on Gilles Deleuze's film philosophy is crucial here. For Deleuze, time is pivotal to cinema's philosophical resonance. The temporal movements of horror films are fractured and nonlinear. The past threatens to dominate the present and also to shape the future in its own replicated image, which brings stasis. Time loops back and refuses to progress as earlier periods insist on their equal, or superior, validity to the present era. This is made overt in neo-Gothic films such as Robert Wise's The Haunting. In Alejandro Amenábar's The Others, ghosts are plausible characters unaware of their own spectral status. Jacob's Ladder presents a version of duration accessed at the point of death.

Keywords: Henri Bergson; horror films; time-image; duration; Gilles Deleuze; stasis; The Haunting; The Others; Jacob's Ladder

Chapter.  20871 words. 

Subjects: Film

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