On Friday 13th august, I'll be delivering a keynote talk (alongside Prof Vera Dika) at the Slasher Studies Summer Camp conference
Here is my abstract:
It is commonly proposed that since the mid-00s, the slasher has predominantly followed a trend for remaking and rebooting established properties. While there certainly have been many remakes of classic slasher properties, a significant body of original slasher films have also been made in the era. This talk will focus on one of the most distinctive trends in the subgenre since the mid-00s: the metamodern slasher film.
A comparison with the Scream-era postmodern slasher will help to explain what distinguishes the metamodern slasher from its immediate predecessors. Postmodern slasher films tend to be cynical, flippant or even nihilistic in tone. Postmodern slasher films are usually ludic, goading viewers into guessing the killer’s identity but then wrongfooting the audience with restricted or unreliable epistemic access to the narrative events. These films also commonly suggest that subgenre conventions are immutable, and that originality is no longer possible.
The metamodern slasher is distinguished from the postmodern slasher in several ways. First, the metamodern sensibility is characterised by its sincere tone. Second, although these films are playful, they react against the postmodern slasher’s duplicity. Instead of foregrounding epistemic restrictions, the value of individual characters’ idiosyncratic, subjective experiences is emphasised. Third, the metamodern slasher is characterised by a desire to innovate within the subgenre, underpinned by the assumption that originality is still possible. This talk will draw on a variety of contemporary examples to demonstrate how the metamodern slasher film operates, and why it constitutes a significant development within the subgenre.
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