• Course Description:

    The horror genre has found its determined creators, passionate followers and scornful detractors across the globe. Often derided by critics for relying on questionable aesthetics and tasteless sensationalism, horror continues to inspire animated debates. The horror genre is local as well as global: deeply rooted in specific regional myths, folklore, rituals and traditions, it simultaneously regurgitates stock images, predictable narratives and pat conclusions across cinematic traditions. In this sense, the horror genre taps into what Carl Jung famously called the “collective unconscious”—a nightmarish substratum that all of humanity is wired into. In this course we will interrogate precisely this conundrum—how does the horror genre work in each national/cultural context and still resonate with audiences in other parts of the globe? Is fear a culturally determined response, or is there something universal about our deeply emotional response to frightening images/stories? Do audiences respond to horror in the same way everywhere, or is our response mitigated by socio-cultural and political contexts? Our ghosts, spooks, vampires, zombies, headless horsemen and serial killers will come from far-flung regions—USA, Japan, Germany, India, South Korea, Italy, Mexico, among others. We will engage with globally celebrated filmmakers such as Mizoguchi Kenji and Dario Argento to lesser-known horror producers such as the Ramsay brothers from India. The faint of heart and the squeamish be forewarned!

  • Instructor(s): MEHELI SEN (Program Director)