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Horror-(fic) Turn: Understanding Contemporary Horror Films (Issue 65)

Horror-(fic) Turn: Understanding Contemporary Horror Films (Issue 65)

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Contributors

Contributors

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Issue Editor’s Note: Contemporary Horror Films: Notes on Radical Acceptance

By Animesh Bag
Unlike any other genre, horror which generally thrives on its un-genericness captures this radicality of acceptance more poignantly. Rarely do modern horror films depict the struggle between good and evil or the triumph of goodness over evil. It is like breathing, as Levinas puts it, in which one let oneself to the other, good or evil.

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Anatomy of Horror Films

By Siddhartha Biswas
Although horror typically signifies the body and its degeneration and the human response to regeneration of a degenerated body or response to display of such degeneration through human or superhuman agency, quite often the terror element also creeps in. The degenerate state is a matter of disgust, and disgust is a part of horror, but the threat to the normative human body (often imagined in its prime) introduces terror in the mind of the people who may or may not become victims.

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The Zombies of Postcolony: Beyond the Spectral Principal of Nationhood in ‘Betaal’

By Samrat Sengupta
The essay would show through a reading of Betaal how the assumed universality of the reason of the Nation-state which attempts to do away with the inglorious colonial past and claims to have a united consciousness fails to maintain its logical divide in two ways.

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Spectral Economy and the Non-Human: Reading ‘The Nest’, a Ghostless Ghost Film

By Arka Chattopadhyay
The Nest (2020) written, directed and produced by Sean Durkin, conjures the ghost through its conspicuous absence. It spectralizes the ghost as an empty frame of symbolic meaning (read capital) and though the film resists codifying this frame in any all too particular allegorical sense, there is a gesture toward political economy, especially globalization’s de-regulation of financial economy.

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Vengeance of Pastoral Zombies in ‘Kingdom: Ashin of the North’ (2021)

By Rajarshi Mitra
The evil monstrosity of freakish Covid-19 conspiracy theories infects the cultural contexts of the South Korean zombie series Kingdom (2019-2020) and its prequel Kingdom: Ashin of the North (2021, henceforth Ashin). This phenomenally popular Netflix series was made by Filmmaker Kim Seong-hun, known for his survival thriller Tunnel (2016).

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The Politics of Horror in a Totalitarian Regime

By Sohini Saha
The Netflix series Ghoul, directed by Patrick Graham and released on 24th August 2018, I would argue, offers us a new window to rethink the representation of horror in Indian films. Ghoul sets the stage for a new way of imagining horror- firstly, in its depiction of horror outside of the women’s body, and secondly, by giving it a political turn.

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Birds in the Cage: A Study of Capitalism and Schizophrenia in the film, ‘Bird Box’

By Rituparna Sengupta
This paper intends to explore the schizophrenic self in the wake of the capitalist society and its inescapable chain of the consumerist machine through the 2018 post-apocalyptic horror film, Bird Box directed by Susanne Bier.

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Negotiating the Divine and the Demonic: A Woman’s Plight in ‘Bulbbul’

By Angshuman Mukhopadhyay
Even though not a staunch lover of melting or hacked bodies, and gore-fest, I have a penchant for a slow-burn horror tale that is often too strong to ignore, as a result of which the rather non-generic Bulbbul by Anvita Dutta seems riveting despite a few flaws in her craft pointed out by some film critics.

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Interrogating the Human-Monster Agency in the Film ‘Roohi’

By Saikat Chakraborty
My interest in the film, 'Roohi', however, lies primarily in two places: the manifestation of gender discrimination and the representation of the monster which could negate the patriarchal domination.

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“Hastar’s Curse is a Boon for Us”: Greed, Materiality and Horror in ‘Tumbbad’

By Aryama Bej
Rahi Anil Barve’s 2018 film Tumbbad, in this cliché generic tradition, stands unique and succeeds in carving out a new aesthetic of horror in Bollywood movies.

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A Medico-Experimental Horror: Reading Tom Six’s ‘The Human Centipede’

By Sumantra Baral
The Dutch film series, The Human Centipede (2009), directed by Tom Six, produces both horror and disgust. This article would deal with the first sequence of the film series, which takes the viewers to multiple perspectives – from psychological realm to body gothic, from horror to terror, and the artistic and corporeal experiment to new dimension of torture as well.

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The Unexpected Lightness of Mutilation: The Horrors of Evolution in David Cronenberg’s ‘Crimes of The Future’

By Sumit Ray
A recent film by Canadian master of horror, David Cronenberg, has taken a novel approach whereby there is no external threat, and no psychological disturbance – it is the horror of the human body itself as an agent of mutilation acting upon itself.

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Hear, Hear, Hear: Possibilities, Scopes and the Spectrum of Audible Horror in Select Stories of Sunday Suspense

By Aritra Basu
In this paper, I wish to enquire how these audible elements would work to produce horror effects in an exclusively audio platform, like the one provided by Sunday Suspense, a decade-long audio story programme made in Bengali by Radio Mirchi (Bangla) 98.3 FM.

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The Psycho-Ecology of Everyday Horror: Watching ‘Dahan: Raakan ka Rahasya’

By Subhajeet Singha
These tales are the brilliant creation of the director Vikranth Pawar, who efficiently synthesizes the ancient tales of sorcerer and ogre with the idea of nature being destroyed by the advent of unscrupulous and thoughtless industrialization and mining.

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Cannibalism in the Lens of the Whites: Reading Select Italian Horror Films

By Purabi Nandi
The cannibals and their rituals seem eerie to the audience for the lack of context and perspectives in the movies. Thus, they become the 'other,' who can be exploited, misrepresented, or can be reduced to merely savages to add sensationalism to the films.

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Survival Instinct: Race, Community, and Catharsis in Jordan Peele’s Select Horror Films

By Shakya Bose
Horror Noire, released for public consumption on streaming platforms in 2019, recognizes the paradigm shift that had been achieved through the film, bringing conversations about racial discrimination to the mainstream through an entertaining, genre fiction lens.

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