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A part of a book
Chapter: chapter ou part
"The Politics and Poetics of Night Vision in the Contemporary Horror Film"
Title of the book
Digital Horror: Haunted Technologies, Network Panic and the Found Footage Phenomenon
Address of publication
Aldana Reyes X., Blake L.
Horror films often play with shadows, darkness and nightscapes. One need only to think of Nosferatu's silhouette creeping along the wall in F.W. Murnau's classic film from 1922 or just the title of the 2007 vampire film Thirty Days of Night (David Slade, 2007) to appreciate the central place of light and especially its absence in this genre. Night vision brings a whole new visual rhetoric to the horror film, however, where the play is no longer with shadows but with eerie surfaces, unnatural colours and uncanny reflections. One of the most immediately striking things about night vision is the eerie green glow that turns people into uncanny figures with opaque and shiny eyes. In a medium like film, where the gaze has often been regarded as a central site of human agency, subjectivity and desire, this transformation is all the more disturbing. In this chapter, I will argue that the night vision aesthetic - both in the recent spate of found footage and mockumentary films and in more conventional narrative fiction films - represents a new visual language for anxiety about the status of human agents in the current global economy and more specifically registers an unease with the treatment of civilians in the recent wars defending and expanding that system.
found footage, horror, night vision, Iraq war, 28 Weeks Later, Entity, World War Z, historical horror
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