Digital Nightmares: Wired Ghosts, CCTV Horror and the Found Footage Phenomenon, ed. by Linnie Blake and Xavier Aldana Reyes
The Blair Witch Project (1999) is responsible for sparking a host of handheld horrors that have led to the commercial success of big blockbusters such as [REC] (2007), Paranormal Activity (2007) or Cloverfield (2008) and to the institutionalisation of the ‘found footage’ phenomenon or pseudo-documentary. There has also been a systematic application of new digital media to the recording methods and narrative structures of the horror genre, with films such as My Little Eye (2002) shot exclusively from the point of view of closed circuit television. After the success of the televisual nightmare of Ringu (1998), post-millennial films have also registered an important influx of literal ghosts in the machine. In fact, as White Noise (2005), Pulse (2006) or One Missed Call (2008) evince, spectres now haunt every form of information technologies, from phones to computers and radios. The overwhelming virtual world opened up by widespread access to the Internet and the free broadcasting of sites like Youtube or Twitter has seamlessly combined with post-millennial fears centred on the detrimental effects of technology, the easy availability of extreme material and the dangers of surveillance culture. These particular anxieties have been foundational to more mainstream horror films such as Saw (2004) or Hostel: Part II (2007), and there is now a vast and ever-growing number of low-budget films keen on exploring the dark side of the digital zeitgeist. This edited collection seeks to appraise and track the changes experienced by the horror genre in its most recent and technological incarnations. It is particularly interested in exploring the implications of the specific fears these films present, as well as in the articulation of a post- 9/11 neo-liberal subjectivity that lies at the heart of the most notorious examples.
We welcome papers on all aspects of horror in the digital age for a volume to be presented to a major UK or international publisher. We are particularly interested in papers that cover the following topics and/or films:
- CCTV horror: My Little Eye (2002), Look (2007), I.C.U. (2009).
- Techno-Ghosts: The Ringu series (1998-2000) and remakes (2002-2005), Kairo (2001) and Pulse series (2006-2008), In Memorium (2005), White Noise (2005), One Missed Call (2008), Lake Mungo (2008).
- On-line/live snuff: Snuff-Movie (2005), Vacancy (2007), Untraceable (2008), Terror Trap (2010).
- ‘Found footage’ horror: The Last Broadcast (1998), The Blair Witch Project (1999), Grave Encounters (2011), V/H/S (2012), Reel Evil (2012), The Chernobyl Diaries (2012).
- Monster ‘found footage’: Cloverfield (2008), Troll Hunter (2010).
- Handheld Survival Horror: the [Rec] series (2007-2014) and American remakes (2008-2011), Diary of the Dead (2007), The Zombie Diaries series (2006-2011).
- New Extreme Cinema: Benny’s Video (1992), Hidden (2005), The Life and Death of a Porno Gang (2009).
- Viral and Webcam Horror: Vlog (2008), Megan is Missing (2011).
- Mediated Exorcisms: The Last Exorcism series (2010-2013), Chronicles of an Exorcism (2008), The Devil Inside (2012).
- Torture porn and reflectionist horror: Saw series (2004-2010), the Hostel series (2005-2011), A Serbian Film (2010), The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence (2011).
- Video diary horror and mockumentaries: Zero Day (2003), The Last Horror Movie (2003), The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007), Re-Cut (2010), Apollo 18 (2011), The Tunnel (2011), The Bay (2012), Occult (2014).