Awakening from the Nightmare (Part 2): Organic Horror, Cinematic Reflexivity, and the Unclaimed Psyche
The horror film as a tool for transcendence
Welcome to The Living Dark. I’m Matt Cardin, and this is my blog/newsletter on waking up at the intersection of creativity, writing, religion, horror, nonduality, apocalypse, dystopia, consciousness, and culture. You can subscribe by clicking this button:
NOTE: This is the second of two parts that I published simultaneously. Click here to return to Part 1.
Self-awareness and visceral horror
Having established that an experience of transcendence can be had through the intensification of self-awareness, it remains to be shown that horror films are able to perform this function. The key, as specified in the introduction, is found in the twin factors of explicit gore and self-reflexivity that figure so prominently in the genre as it has developed since the 1990s.
The prevalence of gore in the modern horror film is a patent fact. Beginning approximately with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974, or perhaps with Night of the Living Dead in 1968, horror filmmakers set themselves on a course of attempting ever more realistic and outrageous depictions of human carnage. “It would be hard to discuss the modern horror film,” writes Cynthia Freeland,
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