Reaching Beyond the Screen: A Study of Affective Horror

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Britt Berg Sørensen
  • Michael Godsk Pedersen
6. semester (Bachelor), Kulturforståelse (Sidefag) (Tilvalgsfag eller Sidefag)
Sound design and cinematography contribute to how we react to a horror film, creating a mood and an atmosphere designed to affect us as viewers. These elements can be utilized separately to engage certain senses and emotions of distress, as well as together, in order to cause a more intense affective response in the viewer. Some things can touch us in a physical way as if it is happening to our own bodies, which is especially true in horror film, where violence, jump scares and destruction of the body are prevalent elements.
In an effort to separate gender from horror, we discuss the differences between various films and video games in relation to affect theory. Gender and horror seem to go hand in hand for the most part, especially due to the American slasher film featuring teenagers engaging in morally questionable behaviour, and subsequently being punished with terror and death.
We discuss the three Thing films spawned on John Campbell’s short story “Who Goes There” in relation to the zeitgeist and the anxiety of the times, looking at how these aspects are conveyed in each film, and how they develop over time, as both society and technological advancements changes. One film even seeks to explain what happens before the original, as a prequel, attempting to give the viewer a better understanding of the creature and the characters, which is common in American cinema.
The two Ring films, namely the original Japanese version and the American remake one, are vastly different in almost every aspect, everything from visual and aural expression, cultural themes and implications and even colour schemes of the films. They signify the beginning of the J-horror trend in the early 2000s, which refer to a wave of American remakes of popular Japanese horror films, mainly based on folklore and ghost stories. The ambiguity of Japanese horror stands in stark contrast to the preference for clearness and rational explanations in American horror, which these two films bear resemblance of, respectively. In terms of this comparison, we find it important to discuss the gendered mechanisms employed in the films.
Changing the medium, we look into video games, specifically survival horror games, but the kinds that stick out from the norm. We discuss cinematic video games, which play out as a horror movie, in which the player can influence the direction of the narrative in crucial ways, and finally, a horror simulation, in which the player is reliant on being stealth and patient in order to survive. How does agency and the lack thereof affect the player’s experience? Some think virtual reality is the future of horror games, but that may not be the case at the current state technology.
Udgivelsesdato31 okt. 2018
Antal sider1.217
ID: 289191067