THE METAMODERN SLASHER FILM
June 10 / 14:00 CEST
Presentation by Dr Steve Jones
The slasher – also known as the ‘stalk and slash’ or ‘slice and dice’ movie – is a staple horror subgenre. The slasher film has developed through different phases since the late 1970s, including the period of supernatural slashers and sequels in the 1980s, and the Scream-inspired postmodern slasher era of the mid-1990s. This talk will focus on a more recent trend: the metamodern slasher phase, which began in the mid-00s. A comparison with the postmodern slasher will help to explain what distinguishes the metamodern slasher from its predecessors. The postmodern slasher tends to be cynical, flippant or even nihilistic in tone, playing games with the viewer. It also snarkily points out the subgenre’s “rules”, suggesting that conventions are permanent, and that originality is no longer possible. In contrast, the metamodern slasher attempts to innovate within the subgenre. Metamodern slasher films also use ironic humour to make sincere points about the subgenre. These filmmakers take the same approach used by meme creators who respond to political crises: employing ironic humour to make serious points about events that genuinely matter. This talk will examine films such as Triangle (2009), Axe Murdering with Hackley (2016), and Getting Schooled (2017) to demonstrate how the metamodern slasher film works, and why it is significant.
Dr Steve Jones is Head of Media in the Department of Social Sciences at Northumbria University, UK, and Adjunct Research Professor in Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa. His research principally focuses on sex, violence, ethics and selfhood within horror and pornography. He is the author of Torture Porn: Popular Horror After Saw (2013). His work has been published in Feminist Media Studies, Sexuality & Culture, Sexualities, Porn Studies and Film-Philosophy. He is also on the editorial board of Porn Studies. His published articles can be accessed for free at http://www.drstevejones.co.uk/publications.html.