Date(s) - Tue. Oct. 19, 2010 - Tue. Nov. 2, 2010
6:00 pm GMT - 9:00 pm GMT

Blue Sunshine



Tuesdays, Oct. 19, 26 + Nov. 2 – 6-9pm

This course looks at a popular sub-genre of horror films that blend a documentary aesthetic with traditional horror conventions to produce a hybrid form of horror cinema. Characterized by such films as The Blair Witch Project (1999), George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead (2007), Cloverfield (2008) and Paranormal Activity (2009), ‘reality horror’ films seem particularly suited to expressing millennial and/or post-9/11 anxieties regarding not only individual and social security, but also ambivalent attitudes towards technology, new media and online databases such as YouTube and Google Video. The continued popularity of this trend also constitutes an important aesthetic shift in horror cinema. In this course, we will look at some of the trends, conventions and themes in horror cinema that have informed the ‘reality horror’ film. Some of the questions we will start with are: To what extent do these horror films renegotiate the intersection between horror and documentary? In what ways do these films link the forbidden unknowns typical of horror to fears of being lost in a virtual reality? What is these films’ relationship to other reality styles, such as ‘Mondo’ films, snuff films, gothic documentaries, found-footage films, reality TV and home movies. Required reading for the course will be in the form of articles related to the films we view. Required viewing for the course will include a variety of clips, two films screened in class, and a field-trip screening of Paranormal Activity 2. (admission included in course cost)