“Her Face Was an Open Wound” : Female Bodies as Sites of Pleasure and Destruction in Postmodern Horror Cinema
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The author writes, “Being attracted to the stark intensity of its themes, I decided to explore horror. This genre is one of rampant polarization: the male and the female, the innocent and the evil, the violent and the erotic, the dark and the light. I feel like this genre as a whole is discredited to the point of reductiveness, being considered one of the least dynamic forms of cinema that panders to an audience of “horror junkies” in which I myself am included.” The author uses feminist critiques from Linda Williams and Laura Mulvey. In Film Bodies: Gender, Genre and Excess, critic Linda Williams suggests an innate bodily connection to the pleasure we take in viewing, one which is fueled by excesses of certain emotions portrayed through images of bodies on screen. Williams classifies three genres that manipulate these excesses to the presumed pleasure of the viewer: pornography (considered the lowest of these genres), melodramas (the highest), and horror, which falls in between.In her 1975 publication, Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema, Mulvey introduces the male gaze as a voyeuristic, psychology-driven phenomenon that both produces and consumes itself. The author also presents three original poems that explore her themes.