The Horror Sensorium

Media and the Senses

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About the Book

Horror films, books and video games engage their audiences through combinations of storytelling practices, emotional experiences, cognitive responses and physicality that ignite the sensorium—the sensory mechanics of the body and the intellectual and cognitive functions connected to them. Through analyses of various mediums, this volume explores how the horror genre affects the mind and body of the spectator. Works explored include the films 28 Days Later and Death Proof, the video games Resident Evil 4 and Doom 3, the theme park ride The Revenge of the Mummy, transmedia experiences associated with The Dark Knight and True Blood, and paranormal romance novels featuring Anita Blake and Sookie Stackhouse. By examining how these diverse media generate medium-specific corporeal and sensory responses, it reveals how the sensorium interweaves sensory and intellectual encounters to produce powerful systems of perception.

About the Author(s)

Angela Ndalianis is associate professor in screen and cultural studies at the University of Melbourne, in Australia. The author of several books and numerous articles, she is associate editor of Animation: an Interdisciplinary Journal and editor of Refractory: a Journal of Entertainment Media.

Bibliographic Details

Angela Ndalianis
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: 37 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6127-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9043-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 3

1. Horror Aesthetics and the Sensorium 15

2. Dancing with the Living Dead: Video Games, Avatars

and Arms on the Brain 40

3. Dark Rides, Hybrid Machines and the Multisensory Experience 56

4. Paranormal Romance: Anita Blake, Sookie Stackhouse and the Monsters Who Love Them 73

5. Payback’s a Bitch! Death Proof, Planet Terror and the Carnivalization of Grindhouse Cinema 107

6. Hail to the King! Techno-Intertexts, Video Game Horror and Doom 3 143

7. Transmedia and the Sensorium: From Blair Witch to True Blood 163

Chapter Notes 195

Bibliography 207

Index 217

Book Reviews & Awards

“a most welcome contribution…. In fact it may be one of the most persuasive and useful approaches yet…erudite and eloquent…an excellent introduction…highly recommended”—Screening the Past; “an incredibly fun read…a must read…fascinating…insightful…a perfect text with which to engage a wide range of students in the new media field”—Senses of Cinema; “a helpful resource for those pursuing scholarly interest in horror, sensory theory, or transmedia…Ndalianis presents a distinct way of looking at horror texts that transcends some of the hidebound assumptions common to much modern theory”—Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.