The Pure Moment of Murder: The Symbolic Function of Bodily Interactions in Horror Film

Projections 6 (2):96-114 (2011)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Both the slasher movie and its more recent counterpart the "torture porn" film centralize graphic depictions of violence. This article inspects the nature of these portrayals by examining a motif commonly found in the cinema of homicide, dubbed here the "pure moment of murder": that is, the moment in which two characters’ bodies adjoin onscreen in an instance of graphic violence. By exploring a number of these incidents (and their various modes of representation) in American horror films ranging from Psycho (1960) to Saw VI (2009), the article aims to expound how these images of slaughter demonstrate (albeit in an augmented, hyperbolic manner) a number of long-standing problems surrounding selfhood that continue to fuel philosophical discussion. The article argues that the visual adjoining of victim and killer onscreen echoes the conundrum that in order to attain identity, the individual requires and yet simultaneously repudiates the Other that constitutes unique subjectivity.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
JONTPM
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-10-31
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
‘The Self’.Strawson, Galen
Body and Mind.Locke, Don & Campbell, Keith
On Film.Mulhall, Stephen

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2012-05-24

Total views
88 ( #26,178 of 40,618 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
28 ( #20,129 of 40,618 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.