UNCANNY NORTH AMERICA IN CONTEMPORARY HORROR FILMS: AMERICAN MARY, MANIAC, AND THE INVITATION
REDISCO – Revista Eletrônica de Estudos do Discurso e do Corpo
This article examines contemporary examples of the uncanny in horror films from North America. Three films are analyzed: American Mary (2012), Maniac (2012), and The Invitation (2015). These three films use the uncanny to examine contemporary issues, such as body-modification surgery and murder/suicide cults. Thus, the films utilize a familiar method to invoke the feeling of the uncanny in the viewer while dealing with tropes not common to the horror genre. These three independent films invoke
... eelings of unease without the use of common tropes of the genre, such as vampires and zombies. The methodology employed is a Freudian critical theory base to look at the manner in which contemporary horror films employ the idea of the uncanny to address contemporary issues. While Freud himself developed the idea of the uncanny utilizing works contemporary to his time, most especially E.T.A. Hoffman's "The Sandman," his theory applies to works of horror decades later. For example, the trope of dolls, which is key to Freud's argument in "The Uncanny" (1919), still produces the same feeling in the audience nearly one hundred years later. The conclusion is that Freudian theory remains a viable method to examine horror films.