By Barry Curtis
Horror movies experience taking audience into shadowy areas the place the evil is living, if it is a home, a graveyard or a dismal wooded area. those mysterious areas foment the phobia on the center of horror videos, empowering the ghastly creatures that emerge to kill and torment. With Dark Places, Barry Curtis leads us deep inside of those haunted areas to discover them – and the large antagonists who stay there.
In this wide-ranging and compelling examine, Curtis demonstrates how the claustrophobic interiors of haunted areas in movies hook up with the ‘dark places’ of the human psyche. He examines varied subject matters resembling the lighting tricks – starting from crude to cutting-edge – utilized in video clips to awaken supernatural creatures; the constructions, projections and structure of horror motion picture units; and ghosts as symbols of loss, amnesia, injustice and vengeance. Dark Places additionally examines the reconfiguration of the haunted residence in movie as a hotel, an condominium, a street or a spaceship, and the way those re-imagined areas thematically connect with Gothic fictions.
Curtis attracts his examples from quite a few iconic motion pictures – together with Nosferatu, Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Shining – in addition to lesser-known foreign works, which enable him to think about assorted cultural principles of ‘haunting’. eastern horror movies and their Hollywood remakes – similar to Ringu and The Ring, or Juon and The Grudge – come below specific scrutiny, as he explores jap cinema’s preoccupation with malevolent forces from the past.
Whether you like the splatter of blood or like to conceal below the sofa, Dark Places cuts to the center of why we're interested in carnage.
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Additional resources for Dark Places: The Haunted House in Film (Reaktion Books - Locations)
10 But in haunted houses doors refuse to open or close and register a fundamental spatial anxiety that portends the sequestration or return of something hitherto feared and partially forgotten. 37 Bogeyman: opening the door. Bogeyman: inside the closet. Hide and Seek: point of view from inside the closet. The closet or cupboard is a particular instance of interstitial domestic space that figures prominently in the scenarios of haunting. The closet was, from the late fourteenth to the nineteenth century, a place to withdraw to and to display precious 38 House: the facade.
Haunting implies a temporal disruption that has a de-structuring effect on perceptions and alters the significance and often the 35 shape of familiar spaces. The haunted house must be explored in order to trace and locate the source of the disturbance – but the exploration is an entry into other than purely spatial dimensions. In films this process of exploration is undertaken by way of the camera, the edit and the design of the often discontinuous set. The journey through the house too is characterized by visual incoherence and emotional disorientation.
The rootedness in the past of the dark house is a persistent theme. Change reminds us of generational antagonisms, but also of the inherited nature of property that renders it a repository of events and memories brought into play by some crisis in the present. Benjamin describes this relationship between past and a present in which memory acts as a detonator that ‘flashes up at a moment of danger’. His writing is particularly sensitive to the emanations of obsolescent objects and locales – ‘the revolutionary energies that appear in the outmoded’.