Global Horror: Local Perspectives
An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
Saturday 27th February 2021
Evil Corporations in Criminal Law, Horror and Science Fiction
University of Technology Sydney – Australia
Evil corporations, corporate liability, horror, science fiction, monster, wickedness
Despite horror at the prevalence of harms caused by large organisations, there is a relative absence of criminal culpability attributed to the organisations that caused these harms. It is as though it is difficult to even imagine imposing liability. We need imagination and creativity to develop and structure notions of collective liability that adequately reflect and reinforce the fault and responsibility of organisations for harms. To this end, this paper turns to the portrayal of evil corporations in the genres of horror and science fiction. The horror genre, like criminal law, proffers meditations on what it means to be bad (or wicked) and the implications of breaches of order. Unlike criminal law, evil organisations are a staple of horror and science fiction, e.g. Aliens, Stranger Things, Poltergeist, The Ghost in the Shell, Mr Robot, 28 Days Later, and iZombie. Horror and science fiction provide an opportunity to meditate on the mechanics of how and why organisations cause harm, and whether or not these organisations can then be constructed as wicked and/or criminally blameworthy. These films also proffer an opportunity to consider the possibilities of resolving (or destroying) evil organisations – is it enough to kill off the representative of the organisation or will it return, worse than ever?
Sabra Horror: Ari Folman’s Diptych and Israeli Torment
University of Luxembourg
Israeli director Ari Folman is famous for two films in particular. In Waltz with Bashir, the narrator reminisces about the psychological traumas he suffered during the 1982 Lebanon War, fought by Israeli Soldiers against an enemy with many faces, after he discovering that he had actually suppressed his wartime memories. In The Congress, actress Robin Wright-Penn, playing her own role, accepts to have her likeness computerised and sold to a corporation. Sometime after, she discovered that humans have gained to mutate into an animated representation of their whims and many have left the “real world” as they had become unable to cope with its hardships. I propose that, in spite of their apparent differences, the two films function as an ensemble, reflecting quintessentially Israeli anxieties about authenticity, identity, and individuality in the face of an outside world perceived as simultaneously absurd and malevolent. Furthermore, I will explain how those works offer a very innovative view of horror, assigning the potential of terror not to the Other but to the Self itself, in accordance with the Jewish conception of evil.
The First Frontier: A Study of Nature in 19th and early 20th Century Gothic and Horror Fiction
West University of Timișoara – Romania
The topic of the proposed research paper is, as the title implies, a study on nature as seen through the lens of Gothic and Horror fiction. To be more specific, the aim is to observe and scrutinize how nature was perceived by early British and American authors, particularly from the Gothic and Dark Romantic movements. What I mean to include by perception is not only how nature had been seen at a superficial level, but rather the use of the concept of nature as a setting/background for the narrative, what part it plays within the narrative itself and how it has been attributed antagonistic roles and values, basically replacing the traditional supernatural monster of the time. Another aspect I mean to explore in this paper is the influence of nature, within the narratives, upon the human psyche and to what degree wilderness and isolation can play a role in transforming the self and one’s mind into the enemy or ‘monster’. Among the works of fiction that will be discussed in this paper I have selected: A Descent into the Maelström(1841) by Edgar Allan Poe; The Willows (1907) by Algernon Blackwood and The Color Out of Space (1927) by H.P. Lovecraft. The addition of the short story by Lovecraft is subject to change, and additional works may be added should they match the topic. Furthermore I will briefly include in the discussion both Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket(1838) and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851), though these two novels are not traditionally considered horror stories. The research I will include in this paper will be part of my doctoral graduate thesis, the subject of which is the concept of nature in horror fiction, though to a larger extent and from more perspectives.
Elif Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World: Horror of Social Malaise
Boğaziçi University – Turkey
gender, horror, social malaise, sex worker, dehumanization, oppression, patriarchy, silence, voice, friendship
British-Turkish novelist ElifShafak’s last novel “10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World” (2019) tells the story of Tequila Leila, the main character of the novel. On the very first page of Chapter 1, entitled ‘The End’, Shafak writes: “… even though she now realized with a sinking feeling that her heart had just stopped beating, and her breathing had abruptly ceased, and whichever way she looked at her situation, there was no denying that she was dead.” Brutally killed and dumped in a garbage bin, Leila’s brain continues to work for ten minutes and thirty eight seconds. Yet, what constitutes the horror in the novel does not stem from the working brain in the bin – in the manner of Poe’s tell-tale heart – but from the essence of the stories it reminisces.
After her heart has stopped, her brain recalls a specific sensuous memory at each minute, which nurtures a story. The haunting stories pertain to the dark side along Leila’s life journey and develop an atmosphere of horror, creating feelings of dread, repulsion, and terror in the reader. These are stories of voiceless and silenced people, outcasts repressed and dehumanized by the patriarchal society. The ways in which women are disempowered and mistreated in a society of deep-ingrained taboos horrify the readers.
Issues of polygamy, child abuse, incest, and oppression of prostitutes and trans-gender constitute the horror of social malaise in the settings of Van (an Eastern Anatolian Turkish town) where Leila grows up and Istanbul, where she works as a prostitute. Hence the horror that dominates Leila’s liferelate to the social, sexual, and cultural practices of the country. Through her horrifying life that is entangled with that of her five close friends – her so-called ‘water family’ -, the novel gives voice and individuality to silenced and rejected citizens who end up in the ‘companionless cemetery’ in the outskirts of Istanbul.
Hannibal: Art and Horror
University of Porto – Portugal
Cláudia Costa Pires
History of Art, Heritage and Visual Culture Master’s Student (FLUP)
Hannibal; Television Series; Art; Horror; Death; Cannibalism; Wendigo Man; Divine.
In this paper I analyse the television series Hannibal, created by Bryan Fuller, based on Red Dragon by Thomas Harris, from the perspective of Art and Horror, which contitutes a new approach on the analysis of the series. Through our analysis we found that artistic references are used in the progress of the narrative, and in the presentation of visual translations of fundamental ideas like the divine through references to Bosch, or Caravaggio, the idea of becoming through references to Botticelli, as well as the image of Wendigo Man, the idea of lost time through the reference to Dali, the idea of deconstruction through references to Picasso, and the idea of the demonic through William Blake.
Therefore we concluded that references to art also legitimize the elevation of horror to art, as in Hannibal’s citation of Piero della Francesca in the Eye of God. Horror is elevated to art by Hannibal not only on his table auxvivants-like compositions such as the corpse of Beverly Katz that cites Damien Hirst, but also on the kitchen, by turning his victims in to an edible performance-like spectacle for his guests. Hannibal also focuses his attention on Will Graham leading to the human broken heart (S3:02) in the Palatine Chapel in Pallermo, that was designed with Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and the body of Antony Dimmond. This work correlates to the metaphor of Hannibal, Willand Zephyr, Chloris and her transformation in Flora, from Botticelli’s The Primavera, as love develops the transformation and creates violence and horror. Since the idea of death is fundamental to perceive art in horror, that concept is present in all aspects of the show such as in Hannibal’s cannibalism, that Hannibal perceives as divine interventions, that result in his art creations with the bodys of the rude.
Gothic Spaces, Hidden Histories: The Haunted Houses of the Spanish and Uruguayan Post-Dictatorships
University of Chicago – USA
Spain, Uruguay, dictatorship, Gothic, haunted houses, motherhood, memory, trauma
A mansion at the Spanish seaside. An abandoned cottage in rural Uruguay. Two women who find themselves in confrontation with a mysterious and yet familiar terror emanating from the center of a haunted house. These elements make up two recent Spanish-language horror films, whose international box office success has garnered both popular and critical attention: El orfanato[The Orphanage] (Spain, 2007), directed by J.A. Bayona, and La casa muda [The Silent House] (Uruguay, 2010), directed by Gustavo Hernández. Although the two differ in country of origin, plot, and, most of all, production scale, there are several points of contact that go beyond the common horror tropes of the haunted house, ghostly children, and the woman in peril. Both posit the return of a forgotten, traumatic past—both individual and national—and emphasize plot lines that arise from a denied, atypical maternity. Further, both feature ambiguous double endings. This narrative uncertainty, which rests upon conflicts between reality and fantasy, the ordinary and the supernatural, reason and emotion, and sanity and madness, resists all attempts to pin the plot down into an “official” story that contains the entire truth of these mysterious occurrences. Rather, it points to a need for contemporary Spaniards and Uruguayans to confront their traumatic collective histories during a particular historical and cultural moment.
This presentation analyzes the haunted house as Gothic space in both films, and the ways in which this setting represents the terrors of the past in the contemporary post-dictatorial moment in Spain and Uruguay.The contradictory space of the haunted house—simultaneously old and new, familiar and threatening, private and public—combines with the plethora of conflicting roles ascribed to women in horror—mother, monster, madwoman, and victim—to present a vision of feminine perseverance in confronting the truth and terrors of the past as essential to the post-dictatorial nation’s future.
The Dead Speak Volumes: The Nightshifter and the New Rise of Brazilian Horror Cinema
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil
Brazil, horror cinema, Gothic tropes, The Nightshifter
Horror fiction has always been intrinsically connected to its multiple contexts of production. The exploitation of local anxieties,the presentation of typical landscapes and the addressing of national or continental issues usually leads to the consolidation of artistic forms of expression that retain universal qualities peculiar to horror (its capacity to freeze our faculties, as Ann Radcliffe suggests, its sublime connection to fear, as proposed by Edmund Burke in his seminal essay, andits “negative aesthetics”, as Fred Botting puts it) while exploiting local geographies and societies. This balance of universal and local feature explains the existence of subgenres as varied as the Late Victorian Gothic, the Southern Gothic from the USA, J-Horror, ilgialloand the Tropical Gothic, for instance.
Among its American siblings, Brazil stands out due to its continental dimensions and its linguistic insularity as the single Portuguese-speaking country in the continent. However, there is more bringing Brazil closer to its neighbors than setting it apart from them, such as a colonial past, the objectifying ghost of slavery, unequal income distribution, high levels of violence in metropoles, and military dictatorship. The combination of such factors engenders social relations, self-awareness, national identities, family heritages, and the establishment of various forms of prejudice. In that sense, Brazilian horror cinema works as a testament to the fluidity of these scenarios: from the pioneering oeuvre of Coffin Joe (Zé do Caixão)to pornochanchadas and Boca do Lixomovies in the 1970s, from the movies directed by Walter Hugo Khouri to the massive participation of popular TV stars in horror movies today, horror cinema in Brazil depicts realities, anxieties and quandaries, while serving as a mirror to its audience.
We seem to be witnessing a new rise for Brazilian horror cinema.Data from the Brazilian Cinema and Audiovisual Observatory indicates that between 2009 and 2017, fourteen horror movies were produced in the country, amounting to merely 1.42% of the releases in that period, whereas in October 2019 alone, five Brazilian horror movies have had their theatrical releases and are available to the audience.
In view of such complexity, in this paper Ianalyze Dennison Ramalho’s 2019 film The Nightshifter(MortoNãoFala) as an ideal combination of universal tropes from classic Gothic fiction and horror in a typically Brazilian fashion. The Nightshiftercombines the haunting return of the past, the connection between death and the supernatural with urban violence and a raw depiction of the working class. I argue that this rise of horror on Brazilian screens is the result of a combination of factorsthat include a) both audiences and producers appreciating horror as a viable possibility of art and entertainment rather than a second-rate, niched genre; b) a new generation of directors and producers with international experience; c) apolitical scenario characterized by fear, disenchantment, moral ambiguity, and hopelessness; and d) human relations based on violence, polarization and prejudice.
Contextualising “Social Horror” in Contemporary Brazilian Film
Nuno Barradas Jorge
The University of Nottingham – UK
From the 2010s onwards, there has been a significant increase of Brazilian film productions which appropriatefrom horror film iconographic and narrative conventions to negotiate forms of genre hybridity. The original approach to horror observed in disparatefilms such as Hard Labourand Good Manners(both directed by Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas, in 2011 and 2017 respectively), Necropolis Symphony (Juliana Rojas, 2014), Friendly Beastand Father’s Shadow(both GabrielaAmaral Almeida, 2017 and 2018 respectively)and The Cannibal Club (Guto Parente, 2018), among others, convey a filmic style far-removed from what Pinedo terms as “recreational terror” (1996).Moreover, these films carry characteristics often pointed out when discussingcurrent genrepermutations, and particularly a recent horror “renaissance”in contemporary world cinema(Bledstein, 2015; Berman, 2018; Wilson, 2020). Similarly, the subdued and allusive approach to the genre observed in some of these films can be understood as reflecting what film critic Steve Rose sees as a “post-horror” tendency in global cinema (2017).
Both terms are problematic, yet these also enlighten us on the complexities of a genre in transition, as well as taste formations permeating it. Without completely disregarding these terms this essay, however, proposes to look further at genre hybridity by considering cultural and political specificities transmitted by the above-mentioned films. It offers context to the dialogue between broad transnational genre conventions and the specificities of Brazilian culture. More specifically, it discusses the emergence in this national cinema of what can be called “social horror” (Souto, 2012; Soares and Rossini, 2019).This essay examines the possible contours of such tendency, which groups films with aesthetic and narrative attachments to horror, while also approximating them to wide-ranging filmic expression that deals with issues of class, race and gender – topics which permeate contemporary Brazilian national cinema in broader terms.
“La habitación del desahogo”: La Llorona and the Horrors of Gender Inequality
University of Stirling – England
La Llorona, gender inequality, Feminicinio.net, multimedia horror, Spain, Latin America.
On November 25th, 2012, the nonprofit organization Feminicidio.net presented the online exposition “La Llorona: habitación del desahogo/La Llorona: A Room of Relief.” Feminicidio.net defines itself as a multidisciplinary observatory of civil society which attempts to build a bridge between society, academic and public institutions, to visibilize feminicide at a global scale, and to be a portal of information and journalism created from a gender perspective.
“La habitación del desahogo”is a hybrid exposition that combines photography, journalism and creative writing. In the images, ghostly, semitransparent images of a woman in white robes with long dark hair that covers her face are positioned over different scenes representing instances of gender inequality and abuse: feminicides, sexual violence and exploitation, child abuse, human trafficking, and state legislation over female bodies. The text under the spectral images offers data on the violations of human rights represented by the images in several countries of Latin America and Spain. These are accompanied by short extracts of prose poetry.
The woman in the photographs is La Llorona: a mythical figure who, despite generally being described as having a Mexican origin, also appears in the folklore of other Latin American countries. According to the legend, La Llorona (whose name translates as “the wailer”),was a mother abandoned by her partner who, in a fit of rage, drowns the couple’s children in a river and then kills herself. Since these terrible events, she is thought to wander waterways and lakescrying and looking for her lost children. In the online exposition, however, the horror of filicide that originally defined La Llorona stops being a crucial feature of the legendary figure: in turn, she becomes a witness, a warning sign of societal and structural violence, and a companion to the women experiencing it. In this sense, La Llorona is no longer definedfrom a patriarchal perspectivewhich picture her as dangerous: she becomes a figure of transgression and a defender or women worldwide.
Basing my analysis on academic criticism of the horror genre and its manifestation in multi-media creative artefacts such as “La habitación del desahogo”, my proposal will explore the different ways in which this transgression takes place and the extent to which La Llorona can be considered both a global figure and a facilitator of intercultural dialogue.
The Folkloric Monsters of the Environmental Necrocene: Derrick Jensen’s Ecocritical Re-Writings of Global Folktales
Red Deer College – Canada
Jensen, Derrick; folklore; folktale; ecocriticism; climate change; monsters; necrocene
Environmental writer Derrick Jensen’s 2017 book Monsters is a collection of re-writings and re-imaginings of classic and contemporary folktales and popular stories. Drawing fromconventional monsters like ghosts, skeletons, and werewolves to more recentcontexts of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree or demonic children attending grade school, Jensen offers both revised and original tales that focus on the inherent violence and destruction of the death-drives within a range of figures and traditions. Specifically, this paper will argue that Jensen’s tales not only reverse the human/monster category of conventional didactic tales but also give the primary narrative voice to the so-called monster itself. By lending ethical force to the monstrous voice, Jensen highlights the human tendency towards perpetuating what Justin McBrien has termed the Necrocene, a condition where our stories and actions all tend towards death, where capital “feasts on the dead [and] devours all life.” Jensen’s collection of tales draws together a global ensemble of violent tales, yet he recontextualizes that violence within his specifically local perspective of environmental degradation. In other words, Jensen conscripts an army of otherwise disparate monsters to service his brand of environmental activism as outlined in his other critical rather than fictional works. In Jensen’s hands, monstrous violence becomes the positive environmental force that reveals the evil and horror of human ecological devastation.
Netflix’s Deal With the Devil: How Paul Urkijo Alijo’s Errementari (2017) Facilitates the Resurgence of Suppressed Basque Cultural History to Unleash a Truly Transnational Identity
Manchester Metropolitan University – England
Transnational, Identity politics, Globalgothic, Regionalism, Basque, Film studies, Folk history, Cultural inclusivity, Heritage, Spain
This paper presents Errementari (Paul Urkijo Alijo, 2017) as a significant contemporary Basque Gothic film, a local production which finds its audience on a global platform. Errementari follows the ancient Basque folktale of a rural blacksmith who makes a deal with the Devil but evades his debt by holding a demon captive. As, the first Basque-language Netflix film, it offers insight into the reconstruction of Basque identity after decades of Francoist suppression. Franco’s policies of persecution have resurfaced in global headlines as the dictator’s body was controversially exhumed from the Valley of the Fallen, a memorial site for Spanish Civil War victims, in October 2019.
Netflix offers a global platform for regional expression which retains specificity through its foregrounded Basque crew, cast, music, and language. The latter is significant as Basque films have largely been made through Castellano Spanish rather than in the native Basque-language Euskara. The transnational distribution offered by Netflix’ normalised subtitled viewing culture provides an unprecedented scope for resurgent Basque identity construction and projection.
Considering Errementari’s Basque, Spanish and American funding,it is an ideal example of transnational filmmaking. Cultural flows and transfers across borders have characterised the film industry from its inception and, are further visible in the ongoing debates over Basque territory, history, language and identity. The Basque Country occupies an uncanny “in-between” position, both within and without Spain and France (Naficy, 2001). Basque interstitiality, “between the local and the global”, positions this autonomous community as a direct challenge to the “national” (Ezra and Rowden, 2006). The Basque Country exists in a state of transgression, defying suppression – most recently under Franco – and exceeding geo-political boundaries. The historically transgressive Gothic mode is well suited to articulate the Basque narratives of repressed heritage and unstable identity dynamics.
Errementari is an exemplary case-study of transnational film cultures, co-production initiatives and distribution networks as they transcend rigid nation-state structures and offer a more nuanced sense of the global as only a regional perspective can.
Sympathizing with the Aquatic Nonhuman: Sánchez Piñol’s Cold Skin [La piel fría]
Antonio Alcala Gonzalez
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico City
Theappropriation of the Earth by means of artificially transforming it to the benefit of humanity has started to leave a mark in the schemes of interaction among different organisms and the weather on the planet since the middle of the previous century. As a result, the conversation around the period called by some Anthropocene or Capitalocene by others has become relevant in that it leads to discuss whether humanity is to remain passively witnessing the effects of its actions on the planet or it can do something to change practices and prevent further damage. In such context, a Nautical Horrorperspective becomes relevant in order to study the interrogation of an anthropocentric perspective in Albert Sánchez Piñol’s novel, Cold Skin (2002, originally written in Catalan). The author relies on the uncanny relationship between humans and the oceanic nature to express his concernsabout human supremacy on the planet by placing the actionon a small island, isolated from maritime routes, and where the only vestiges of civilization are the house of the atmospheric officer and a lighthouse, plus only two human presences:the protagonist-narrator and the lighthouse inhabitant. The attack they suffer from a horde ofunknownaquatic creatures at nights leads the protagonist to realize the value of solidarity not only with another human being, but specially with nonhuman entities. The closer he becomes to them, the more he realizes they are only monstrous if conceived from the restrictions dictated by human perception. The remote location of the place allows him to understand that, once observed from outside the frames of our civilization, in the middle of the ocean, the creatures are justother inhabitants of the planet looking forward to surviving day after day. Thispaperwill rely on Timothy Morton’s theory on the uncanny valley as the place where we exile everything we label as nonhuman in order to impose a condition of otherness from which we can arbitrarily assign characteristics that are valid only from our viewpoint.Considering the island and its surroundings as a maritimeversion of such uncanny valley, thepurpose will be to explore the horror initially experienced by the narrator as the result of his considering the creatures from a position that ignores the fact that they have a view and a voice. The final intention willthen be to prove that Sánchez Piñol’s novel evidences the arbitrariness behind the imposition of classificatory systems on our surroundings which, as the perspective of the aquatic beings proves, are part of a world much wider than our civilized sphere, mainly restricted to inland scenarios, allows us to see.
The Neo-Apocalyptic Horror of New Arab Writers
Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai – UAE
horror, Arabic literature, apocalyptic literature, postapocalyptic, Baghdad, Cairo, Frankenstein
Apocalyptic literature expounds the ending of the world and humankind in religious terms; post-apocalyptic horror, beginning with Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, recasts the genre in naturalistic or scientific terms. The Middle East is one of the ancient homelands of apocalyptic horror, which goes back as far as the Dibarra Epic, and lately some Arab writers have begun with a genre which I call neo-apocalyptic inasmuch asthey no longer find these naturalistic explanations sufficient for the extremes of horror witnessed in their region, and have re-introduced surreal, supernatural and religious elements into their visions.
Egyptian author Mohammed Rabie in Otared shows us Egypt’s tumult in the Arab Spring leading to a fanciful invasion in the very near future, which is only a prelude to a complex set of events whereby Hell is revealed in the world. Iraqi Hasan Blasim’s collection of stories The Corpse Exhibition presents a tableau of modern Iraq where most dimensions of human experience – our chronological, aesthetic, and religious senses – have been perverted and remade in the image of a new world governed by terror. Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad alludes to one of the founders of postapocalyptic horror in presenting a symbolic dilemma occasioned by the sectarian bombings in Baghdad, of a soul without a body and a body without a soul. Lebanese-American Michael Rande in The Terror & The Resistance: On War, Terror and Horror describes the experiences of anti-terrorist insurgents in Syria who learn too late that the terrorists had a different goalthan they thought, and have succeeded in making their enemieslose their souls and incur damnation. All the authors share a common impulse to depict realistic horror as a consequence of supernal forces and their impingement on the present world.
The Vampire Sets off for Istanbul
Istanbul Bilgi University – Turkey
localization in literature, regional gothics, vampire in Turkish literature, Dracula in Istanbul, vampirism and nationalism,bad-blood andracist allegory, vampire and politics, the Occidental vampire, Ottoman and Republican collective fears, vampire topoi of otherness
Recent studies in Turkish folklore show that the vampire figure -with various archaic Turkish names- traces back to pre-Islamic times in a wide spread geography from Anatolian lands to Central Asia as well as Ottoman Empire period. The first vampire narrative in Turkish literature was an episode in 17th-century Ottoman traveller Evliyâ Çelebi’s Seyahatnâme (The Book of Travels), as a so called firsthand experience involving Abazin female vampires’ battle in the skies of Caucasia. And even though there are historical documents, newspaper reports, legal reports stating fatwa’s (Muslim orders) concerning various vampire hunt cases, vampires never occurred in Turkish literature until the Western novel’s vampire figure, Dracula became popular in world literature.
Bram Stoker’s Draculawas loosely adapted by Turkish novelist Ali Rıza Seyfi entitled as Kazıklı Voyvoda (Vlad The Impaler)in 1928 and it was the “first vampire novel in Turkish literature.”As Bram Stoker’s and generally vampires have been used as multiple metaphors in literature, Ali Rıza Seyfi’s “Kont Drakola” figure is a complex metaphor of horror caused bya possible threat against the Turkish nation, a threat which has its origins from the Ottoman Empire times. This retelling of Bram Stoker’s Transylvanian vampire story problematizes both the historical conflict between the imperial center and the peripheral Balkan governments and preserving the permanence of the republic, as Kazıklı Voyvoda was written in the very early Republican period of Turkey.
This presentation aimshow Ali Rıza Seyfi localizes this vampire figure of Dracula which was analyzed very often as the post-colonial fearof the Western world.In a reverse ideology, prompted by Turkish nationalist impulses, how Ali Rıza Seyfi takes the ‘un-dead’ fears of nationalism out into daylight through the literary patterns borrowed from the Westand how he transforms them in his workwill be questioned.
Space, Time loops, and Horror in Two South American Films: The House at the End of Times and The Silent House
Minnesota State University – USA
Houses are one of the most common tropes in horror cultural productions. According to Gaston Bachelard’s seminal study on space, houses are “the not-I that protects the I” (35). Houses are also seen as metaphors of protection.From a psychoanalytical lens, houses have been associated with the womb and with the desire for the contained and secure space of a pre-born stage (Parker 3, 6). For Freud, houses are symbols of “that which isfamiliar and that which is intimate, hidden, and secret” (qtd. in Parker 4). In fact, Freud’s well-known notion of the uncanny (unheimlich), that which is unfamiliar, strange, tenebrous, and unquiet (Freud 620), comes from the rootheim, house, home, that develops intoheimlich and from there tounheimlich.
In the Venezuelan movie The House at the End of Times (2013) and Uruguayan movie The Silent House (2010), representations of space and twisted timelines serve as metaphors that help the viewer dismantleand re-builtconceptsthat seem familiar (a house, a loving couple, parental relationships), yet they are often tinted by normalized abusive behaviors. In the case of these movies, women are trapped in circular narratives that reflect the revenant-like recurrence of a patriarchal ethos that is very much alive in the Latin American context, despite advancements in women’s rights. Horror movies serve as an appropriate mode to delve into the recurrent, hidden, and abusive nature of social tendencies that, in the case of these two movies,is connected with the metaphor of the house.