Post-9/11 Horror in American Cinema

Un libro in lingua di Wetmore Kevin J. Jr. edito da Bloomsbury USA Academic, 2012

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Kevin J. Wetmore has developed a book about recent US horror films based on a simple premise: the September 11th terrorist attacks were the greatest source of trauma any American has experienced in recent times; therefore, it is impossible to understand any horror film after 9/11 without considering 9/11. This is fundamentally a book of personal reflections on seeing recent American terror films as tropes on terrorism. Wetmore's analysis defines terrorism here, in filmic terms, as terror, helplessness, and bodily harm inflicted by foreigners, monsters, or random outsiders on normative Americans. For films like the Hostel series, this analysis is useful; the author explores at length how the trope evolves to justify Americans inflicting such harm, and to cover Americans inflicting it on other Americans. Where fear images depend instead on terror being domestic (domestic violence, US right-wing cults), as in the work of Stephen King, Wetmore's reflections become more difficult to follow. Wetmore argues from subgenres such as "torture porn" and the nihilistic "everybody dies" film. These, he argues, should be seen as attempts by American audiences to come to terms with meaningless violence and torture, and with the experience of seeing actual violent death on live television. The links he creates can be compelling. But as the author occasionally recognizes, these subgenres date back not to 9/11 but the 1970s. Older readers may wonder what Wetmore would say, were he to look past the Twin Towers to Vietnam. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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