By Dominic Lennard
Examines the complexities and contradictions that come up whilst the monsters within the video clips are children.
because the Fifties, young ones have supplied a few of horror’s superior and enduring villains, from dainty psychopath Rhoda Penmark of The undesirable Seed (1956) and spectacularly possessed Regan MacNeil of The Exorcist (1973) to psychic ghost-girl Samara of The Ring (2002) and followed terror Esther of Orphan (2009). utilizing a number of severe ways, together with these of cinema reviews, cultural experiences, gender reports, and psychoanalysis, Bad Seeds and Holy Terrors bargains the 1st full-length learn of those baby monsters. In doing so, the publication highlights horror as a subject matter of research that's in particular pertinent socially and politically, exposing the style as a domain of deep ambivalence toward—and even hatred of—children.
“Deftly prepared, elegantly written, and graced all through with various stills and body blowups, Bad Seeds and Holy Terrors has anything to provide either the lay reader and the scholar.” — CHOICE
“This is impeccably good researched and offered. It holds its personal on the best of movie stories scholarship. Sprightly in its survey throughout key parts of cultural nervousness and ready to draw on a spread of lucid examples, Lennard produces subtle and complicated prolonged analyses the place important. A excitement to read.” — Linda Ruth Williams, collage of Southampton, uk
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Additional resources for Bad Seeds and Holy Terrors: The Child Villains of Horror Film
In my fifth chapter, through in-depth discussion of this film, I discuss the child villain’s relationship to changing discourses of parenting and child autonomy in late modernity as well as note a resurrection of anxieties over children’s familiarity with mass media. My approach to children in horror places unique emphasis on the socially determined structure of paternity (a greatly overlooked theme of modern horror), and in my sixth chapter I analyze The Omen (one of the most renowned of evil-child films), particularly its challenge to the nature of fatherhood, before moving on to explore the child’s role in sustaining and naturalizing dominant ideology.
William Paul loosely attributes later films to the troubling visibility of youth culture in the 1960s and 1970s. For him, a film like The Omen “confirms a sense of the child as being actually alien to its family,” and he notes that “this truth seems to have particular resonance for this period” (326). By this era, anxiety over youth had been funneled into a cinematic form, where it could continue to alarm the social scene with challenges to definitions of childhood while evading reflection on the constructed nature of childhood itself.
The juvenile officer fatalistically identifies a broader social problem that lies outside Jim’s own negativity, thereby sympathetically normalizing his teenage angst. ” Jim asks him. ” Conversely, but with equal error, the father (William Hopper) of Jim’s future companion, Judy, has a very definitive sense of his daughter’s appropriate identity, of how she should present herself and behave. He repels her affections at the dinner table on the basis that she is too old to kiss him, his sense of her proper identity is determined by his knowledge of her emergent sexuality and the social mandate that he repress his attraction to her.