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February 2000, Week 4


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Sun, 27 Feb 2000 14:30:43 -0600
TEXT/PLAIN (36 lines)
Craig Hight suggests:

> I've always assumed that a major difference between thrillers and horror
> films had to do with the nature of the threat itself - horror films deal
> more with the monstrous and/or the unconscious, while thrillers operate
> within a more conventional 'reality'. The horror genre seems to examine and
> play with all of those unconscious, irrational fears about things which
> disrupt our humanity - either mutated forms of humanity, or other life
> forms which physically threaten us, or just expereinces which are unable to
> be controlled through human technology or intelligence. The horror film
> either directly examines these types of fears or displaces them onto some
> kind of monstrous alien figure.

The "thriller" seems to be a pretty amorphous category, subsuming
"action" films along with horror and other categories.  On the one
hand, Hitchcock's films (especially chase films like NORTH BY
NORTHWEST) have been dubbed "thrillers," but the conflation with horror
seems to be validated by that Michael Jackson video.  If "horror" films
arouse fear from various kinds of threats beyond our control (aliens,
monsters, or even sharks), the thriller would seem to be more
wide-ranging--it's something that thrills us, keeps us on the edge of
our seats, which may or may not also be horrific.

Don Larsson

Donald Larsson
Minnesota State U, Mankato
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