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Strategies and Style

Strategies and Style

(Horror and Terror, Part 2)

(p.188) Chapter 7 Strategies and Style
Making and Remaking Horror in the 1970s and 2000s
David Roche
University Press of Mississippi

The aim of this chapter is twofold: highlighting the formal strategies meant to produce dread, terror and horror, and showing how the style of the 2000s remakes confirm the intensification of “intensified continuity” described by David Bordwell. Because they privilege the danger factor, the 2000s remakes deploy slasher strategies that emphasize violence and build up a progression that typically evolves from dread to terror to horror. Conversely, the slowness of the aggressor in the 1970s films leaves time to contemplate both the horrific and the horrified, to struggle with the absence of a framework capable of explaining the horror. These longer moments of contemplation seem to lead, inevitably, to a more ambivalent perception of the “monstrous,” so that a figure of horror is not necessarily limited to a specific category like terror or horror. The style of the 2000s remakes also confirms Bordwell’s argument concerning the narrow spectrum of techniques in contemporary Hollywood cinema, the strategies deployed forming a familiar and fairly homogeneous arsenal.

Keywords:   Style, Strategies, Structure, Horror, Terror

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