Tag Archives: comps

Gender, Sympathy, and the “Monstrous Hero”

By Andreas

Forever ago (i.e., last October), I wrote about my horror-centric comps project. I planned to analyze Cat People, The Haunting, Carrie, and May to glean what each film had to say about female sexuality, and how these ideas manifested themselves stylistically. Well, over the past few months, I wrote that 30-page paper, revised it twice, gave a public presentation on it, and now the process is done! So, just in case you’re really eager to read a mammoth research paper about these movies, I give you my comps paper: “Gender, Sympathy, and the ‘Monstrous Hero’ in the American Horror Film.”

After the jump, read over 8,000 words of theory and textual analysis on horror and sexuality…

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Filed under Cinema, Personal, Sexuality

The Key to Carrie

I’m in the midst of compsing, part of which entails writing copious amounts about gender/sexuality in Carrie (1976). And while rewatching the film’s opening shower scene for the umpteenth time, I noticed something strange: Carrie has a key on a string around her neck. So I’m wondering: why? Having just written all about Cat People and The Haunting, two films where keys play huge roles, I’m tempted to ascribe some symbolic significance to it, but I can’t think of anything. And why would Carrie even have a key at all? Her mother supervises every single aspect of her life, and seems unlikely to trust her with the ability to lock or unlock anything; furthermore, I don’t remember anything about a key in Stephen King’s novel.

Given how meticulously selected the props, costuming, and set design in Carrie are, I feel like there must be a reason for this, but it’s not coming to me. Thus, I go to you, the reader: have any ideas? Why is this key so important that Carrie must wear it in the shower? Any suggestions would be appreciated. In other news, analyzing this scene reminds me of just how scrawny and anguished Sissy Spacek looks. Carrie may have its faults, but her she’s damn near perfect. Those little, fast-moving eyes just get to me every time; they’re more powerful than any single line of dialogue in the movie.

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Filed under Cinema

Let’s study some horror movies!

Time for a little personal information that’s very relevant to horror cinema! So: as you may know (if you’ve read our About page), I am a Cinema & Media Studies major at a small liberal arts college who’s only months away from graduation. In order to graduate, every student here has to do a comprehensive senior project – colloquially known as “comps.” Well, I submitted my proposal a few weeks ago, it was accepted, I met with the faculty committee today, and it’s decided: I’m compsing on horror movies!

Tentatively entitled “The Sexual Dynamics of American Horror Films, 1942-2002,” my comps project goes into a lot of the same subject matter that I regularly tackle here at Pussy Goes Grrr. Here’s my abstract, summing up what I plan to research:

Basing my arguments theoretically in the work of Barbara Creed, Carol J. Clover, and other horror film scholars, I will perform a close analysis of four horror films, each of which links violence with female sexuality. By comparing the natures of these links, I will reach conclusions about the representations of femininity within the horror genre.

Those four films are the ones you see above: Cat People, The Haunting, Carrie, and May! The finished paper will be 25-30 pages long, and so the next five months will be filled with hard work (and possibly diminished blogging), but hey, those are the costs of success in academia. (OK: that, and about $50,000 a year.) I’m super-excited to get working on it! I love studying the things I love!

In conclusion, thanks for being a reader. This blog has certainly played a big role in getting me to this point, and your interest and support have been crucial. Hearts and kisses for everyone!

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Filed under Cinema, Media, Personal