Self, Family, Gender: Explorations of Identity in Horror Cinema by Allison Frankenfield, Gabrielle Jolin, Jassmine Reil, and Katie Shupp
From Stephen Grandchamp on March 28th, 2021
The engine of horror cinema is frequently its negotiation of culturally-explosive categories of identity. From Norman Bates’ violent inhabitation of his mother’s personality in Psycho (1960) to the protagonist’s struggle with dissociative identity disorder in Split (2016), horror films tend to invoke fear in their audience by exploring fractures in individual personalities and family units. This panel will provide a sustained analysis through the lens of gender, class, and psychology of the variety of ways in which directors have mobilized this process. These papers call into question horror cinema’s methods of inciting fear and reflecting our culture’s definitions of self.