It's All in Your Head

Greenhough, Amy (2021) It's All in Your Head. In: Dark Economies - Anxious Futures, Fearful Pasts. Falmouth University, 21st – 23rd July 2021, 21-23 July 2021, Falmouth University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract / Summary

Gothic literature has long been preoccupied with the borders that divide the real from the imagined, centralising the darkness that a breach in those borders can elicit. From ’The Raven’ (1845) to Crimson Peak (2015), the genre has relied on psychological disorientations and/or unexplained supernatural occurrences to confuse both protagonists and audiences; techniques which have then reverberated through horror cinema. Disruption to those lines between the real and the unreal is a key feature too of a form of manipulation commonly known as ‘gaslighting’, a method of psychological control that relies on techniques of disorientation to question a victim’s rationality. In recent years there has been a boom in horror films that centralise gaslighting, such as Get Out (2017), The Lodge (2019), Run (2020) and The Invisible Man (2020), but these films also specifically draw from the Gothic tradition as they do so, by situating their instances of psychological disorientation in domestic settings. In this paper I will examine the depictions of gaslighting in contemporary horror films and their relationship to the Gothic as a reflection of contemporary socio-political attempts to give voice to those historically silenced. I will also consider the ways in which such films can force us to examine our own unconscious bias as they ask: would you believe it?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Film & TV > Film > Hollywood Film
Writing & Journalism > Literature
Courses by Department: The School of Writing & Journalism > English & Writing
Depositing User: Amy Greenhough
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2021 09:42
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:20


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