The Monstrous Mundane: The Digital Gaze and the Contemporary Horror Film

Monday, November 5, 2012 - 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Event Location: 
L1060

The Monstrous Mundane: The Digital Gaze and the Contemporary Horror Film

A public lecture by Dr. Barry Keith Grant (Brock University)

Dr. Grant – an award-winning expert on horror and genre filmmaking – discusses “horror vérité:” a new convention in horror film, in which the camera exists within the narrative film world recording actual not fictional events. This style, rather than distancing us from the events depicted, increases spectator involvement by mobilizing observational documentary's sense of ‘being there.’

Grant traces the roots and evolution of this style, and argues that it is not only shaped by the possibilities of digital cinematography, but also by the style and interactivity of videogames and the global ubiquity of the internet. Through a discussion films including The Blair Witch Project, [REC], Cloverfield, and the Paranormal Activity series, Grant demonstrates how horror vérité alternates between our simultaneous faith in and fear of the truth claims of documentary images today, in the era of CGI.

DR. BARRY KEITH GRANT is Professor of Film Studies at Brock University in the Department of Communications, Popular Culture and Film. He has authored and edited more than two dozen books on cinema, and his scholarly achievements have earned him a Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada.