Between 2014 and 2018, a cycle of artistically-ambitious and philosophically-complex scary movies have enlivened U.S. horror filmmaking. Popular with critics if not always with genre fans, these films comprise an alternative cycle to the contemporaneous conservative horror hits that are making record profits in the U.S. and abroad. The films of the current horror renaissance borrow from international genre conventions to assemble thoughtful allegories for contemporary American anger and despair. Featuring families perverted by fear or prejudice, deeply flawed heroines, and abject heroes, Creep (Patrick Brice, 2014), The Gift (Joel Edgerton, 2015), The Witch (Robert Eggers, 2015), It Comes at Night (Trey Edward Shults, 2017), and Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018) focus on the psychological repercussions of supernatural monsters and paranormal events rather than on the extraordinary threats themselves. In this manner, they acknowledge that America's core values are corrupt and its status quo untenable.
On Platforms: They're Coming to Get You… Or: Making America Anxious Again
Caetlin Benson-Allott is Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor of English and Film & Media Studies at Georgetown University and editor of Cinema Journal. She is also the author of Killer Tapes and Shattered Screens: Video Spectatorship from VHS to File Sharing (2013) and Remote Control (2015).
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Caetlin Benson-Allott; On Platforms: They're Coming to Get You… Or: Making America Anxious Again. Film Quarterly 1 December 2018; 72 (2): 71–76. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2018.72.2.71
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