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Gothic kinship$
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Agnes Andeweg and Sue Zlosnik

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088605

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088605.001.0001

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‘Children misbehaving in the walls!’ or, Wes Craven's suburban family values1

‘Children misbehaving in the walls!’ or, Wes Craven's suburban family values1

Chapter:
(p.81) 5 ‘Children misbehaving in the walls!’ or, Wes Craven's suburban family values1
Source:
Gothic kinship
Author(s):

Bernice M. Murphy

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719088605.003.0006

The cult of the happy home as personified by the American suburban nuclear family is scrutinized in Chapter 5 by Bernice Murphy on Wes Craven’s horror films. The American horror film since 1960 has frequently used suburbia as a setting for narratives in which the concepts which allegedly lie at the very heart of the national psyche – the privacy and safety of the home, the sanctity and inherent moral worth of the nuclear family, and the superiority of the capitalist, consumption-driven way of life – are systematically and, at times, gleefully deconstructed. Fictional suburbanites are seldom menaced by a terrible ‘other’ of alien origin: instead, they tend to be violently despatched by one of their own, usually a murderous family member. Murphy analyses how, from the very beginning of his career, Craven’s horror films have depicted brutality and horror at the heart of the modern suburban family.

Keywords:   Horror film, Wes Craven, USA, Suburb, Nuclear family

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