Many genres of film seek to bring viewers to heightened emotional states, perhaps this is most true of horror films. Although often displaying extreme violence, such films paradoxically provide openings for critically empathetic viewings which allow viewers with diverse backgrounds and experiences to identify with victims and survivors and transcend elements of subjective identity. This project analyzes the capacity of horror films, including those of William Friedkin, David Cronenberg, Brian DePalma and others, to offer viewers space in which to be critically empathetic. Regarding gender issues in the genre as outlined by such scholars as Carol J. Clover, and the emerging scholarship on critical empathy, such as that of Todd DeStigter, this project offers new ways of thinking about horror both on screen and off.
John Mulrooney (Thesis Advisor)
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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Hooker, David S.. (2018). Vengeance is Ours: Safe Spaces and Critical Empathy in Horror Films. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 282. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/282
Copyright © 2018 David S. Hooker