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Post-9/11 Horror in American Cinema

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The horror film is meant to end in hope: Regan McNeil can be exorcized. A hydrophobic Roy Scheider can blow up a shark. Buffy can and will slay vampires. Heroic human qualities like love, bravery, resourcefulness, and intelligence will eventually defeat the monster. But, after the 9/11, American horror became much more bleak, with many films ending with the deaths of the e The horror film is meant to end in hope: Regan McNeil can be exorcized. A hydrophobic Roy Scheider can blow up a shark. Buffy can and will slay vampires. Heroic human qualities like love, bravery, resourcefulness, and intelligence will eventually defeat the monster. But, after the 9/11, American horror became much more bleak, with many films ending with the deaths of the entire main cast. Post-9/11 Horror in American Cinema illustrates how contemporary horror films explore visceral and emotional reactions to the attacks and how they underpin audiences' ongoing fears about their safety. It examines how scary movies have changed as a result of 9/11 and, conversely, how horror films construct and give meaning to the event in a way that other genres do not. Considering films such as Quarantine, Cloverfield, Hostel and the Saw series, Wetmore examines the transformations in horror cinema since 9/11 and considers not merely how the tropes have changed, but how our understanding of horror itself has changed.


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The horror film is meant to end in hope: Regan McNeil can be exorcized. A hydrophobic Roy Scheider can blow up a shark. Buffy can and will slay vampires. Heroic human qualities like love, bravery, resourcefulness, and intelligence will eventually defeat the monster. But, after the 9/11, American horror became much more bleak, with many films ending with the deaths of the e The horror film is meant to end in hope: Regan McNeil can be exorcized. A hydrophobic Roy Scheider can blow up a shark. Buffy can and will slay vampires. Heroic human qualities like love, bravery, resourcefulness, and intelligence will eventually defeat the monster. But, after the 9/11, American horror became much more bleak, with many films ending with the deaths of the entire main cast. Post-9/11 Horror in American Cinema illustrates how contemporary horror films explore visceral and emotional reactions to the attacks and how they underpin audiences' ongoing fears about their safety. It examines how scary movies have changed as a result of 9/11 and, conversely, how horror films construct and give meaning to the event in a way that other genres do not. Considering films such as Quarantine, Cloverfield, Hostel and the Saw series, Wetmore examines the transformations in horror cinema since 9/11 and considers not merely how the tropes have changed, but how our understanding of horror itself has changed.

30 review for Post-9/11 Horror in American Cinema

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Comparing 9/11 imagery with horror movie scenes. Plenty of astute observations, sometimes surprising, sometimes not. Contains pictures. Good discussion about fear and how it connects to 9/11. Films that are explored include War of The Worlds (2005), The Happening (2008), Cloverfield (2008), The Strangers (2008), etc. The danger with this book is losing sight of the multifacetedness of storytelling. Sure, there are 9/11 references in horror films from the 2000s and beyond, but these films are also Comparing 9/11 imagery with horror movie scenes. Plenty of astute observations, sometimes surprising, sometimes not. Contains pictures. Good discussion about fear and how it connects to 9/11. Films that are explored include War of The Worlds (2005), The Happening (2008), Cloverfield (2008), The Strangers (2008), etc. The danger with this book is losing sight of the multifacetedness of storytelling. Sure, there are 9/11 references in horror films from the 2000s and beyond, but these films are also about many other things besides terrorism. Wetmore acknowledges there are other interpretations.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Probably a bit simplistic in some parts, nonetheless provides and interesting overview of how some of the shift in horror cinema trends in recent years can be seen as a response to 9/11, particularly with regard to the increased nihilism of current film. It might have been interesting to see the net cast a bit wider--there probably aren't more than a few dozen films cited--and it would have been useful to examine a few counterexamples, since, for example, nihilism in horror films is hardly an in Probably a bit simplistic in some parts, nonetheless provides and interesting overview of how some of the shift in horror cinema trends in recent years can be seen as a response to 9/11, particularly with regard to the increased nihilism of current film. It might have been interesting to see the net cast a bit wider--there probably aren't more than a few dozen films cited--and it would have been useful to examine a few counterexamples, since, for example, nihilism in horror films is hardly an invention of the 2000s. Interesting enough, though, and recommends a few films I haven't heard of previously.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Not all of it works (Wetmore is occasionally too willing to attribute motifs and reception to zeitgeist and dismiss other factors), but what does is outstanding. He's managed to define and explain numerous post-9/11 horror trends which I had been able to sense intuitively but had never considered in depth. Not all of it works (Wetmore is occasionally too willing to attribute motifs and reception to zeitgeist and dismiss other factors), but what does is outstanding. He's managed to define and explain numerous post-9/11 horror trends which I had been able to sense intuitively but had never considered in depth.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    Some of the conclusions the author draws are tenuous but overall an interesting read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John

    I dig the argument, but it's often overshadowed by way too much summary. I dig the argument, but it's often overshadowed by way too much summary.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Han 🧩🦇

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Deckard

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sabine

  9. 4 out of 5

    Zack Long

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jami

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Loudermilk

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brooker

  13. 4 out of 5

    Micah Spiece

  14. 5 out of 5

    Connor

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bella Swann

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tim Lockwood

  19. 5 out of 5

    NightmareMaven

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan Morton

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Belling

  23. 4 out of 5

    Neimath Madrupte

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leo

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brooke Bennett

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dave Bradley

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tineke Dijkstra

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Shaw

  29. 5 out of 5

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  30. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Rushefsky

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