Nasty visions: violent spectacle in contemporary British horror cinema

Walker, Johnny (2011) Nasty visions: violent spectacle in contemporary British horror cinema. Horror Studies, 2 (1). pp. 115-130. ISSN 2040-3275

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/host.2.1.115_1

Abstract

This article examines the ways in which violent international horror films of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s – the kinds of films once banned as ‘video nasties’ in Britain – have impacted on the creative directions of British film-makers today. Using three case studies, Creep (2004), The Last Horror Movie (2003) and The Devil’s Chair (2007), I draw upon the significance that new British horror’s violent spectacle may hold for the British cultural past and present, and consider how its graphic aesthetic correlates/conflicts with broader issues surrounding international horror cinema’s production and reception. Acknowledging the recent American phenomenon of torture porn, I display how certain British film-makers, themselves fans of the genre, utilize their fan appreciation to recall significant international texts that have a historical weight that resonates with the social unease that followed the introduction of VHS into Thatcherite Britain. In doing so, I offer a counter-argument to those who suggest that contemporary British horror cinema’s taste for violence is simply mimetic of torture porn and, and as a result, less British in its presentation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Contemporary British horror, cultural memory, realism, torture porn, video nasties, violent spectacle
Subjects: P300 Media studies
W600 Cinematics and Photography
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Media & Communication Design
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2013 09:19
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:10
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/13882

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