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The Wounds of NationsHorror Cinema, Historical Trauma and National Identity$
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Linnie Blake

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719075933

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719075933.001.0001

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Conclusion: horror cinema and traumatic events

Conclusion: horror cinema and traumatic events

(p.187) Conclusion: horror cinema and traumatic events
The Wounds of Nations

Linnie Blake

Manchester University Press

This chapter reveals that this study is engaged with a number of debates drawn from horror film scholarship, trauma theory, post-colonial studies and cultural studies. This chapter also discusses that horror cinema's specific sub-genres, such as the onryou, the necrophiliac romance, the hillbilly horror adventure and others have been shown not only to allow for a mediated engagement with acts so disgusting or violent that their real-life realisation would be socially and psychologically unacceptable, but for a re-creation, re-visitation or re-conceptualisation of traumatic memories that lie buried deep within the national psyche; memories themselves so outrageous that their very actuality as past events appears a logical impossibility. Within a traumatised culture in which hegemonic conceptions of national identity are loudly contested by dissenting groups whose challenges are nonetheless marginalised or suppressed by their economic and political masters, horror cinema can be seen to fulfill an additional function. This chapter highlights how horror cinema's socially engaged deployment of humorous pastiche and affectionate parody might bring forth a new form of subjectivity from the trauma of the past, unbinding the wounds of the nation and in so doing offering them the opportunity to heal.

Keywords:   horror film, traumatised culture, wounds of the nation, hegemonic conceptions national identity, humorous pastiche

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