Body genres, night vision and the female monster
REC and the contemporary horror film
in Monstrous media/spectral subjects
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Hand-held cameras and night vision technology have become increasingly common in the contemporary horror film. Taking Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza’s phenomenally successful REC films (2007, 2009, 2012) as exemplary of this and other recent trends (e.g. intertextual cannibalism and girl monsters), this chapter will examine how these innovations relate to the certain generic constants of the horror film (such as obstructed visibility and mounting dramatic structure). The driving motor of both REC and REC2 is their use of video recording technology. While the threat seems to shift from zombie-like contagion in the first film to demonic possession in the second, the technological gambit of the two films remains the same: both films are entirely mediated by recording equipment. A single professional TV camera occupies center stage in the first case while in the second, there is a proliferation of devices and locations (including cameras embedded into firefighters’ helmets). Both films give the night vision function a key role in the final (climactic) segment during which the dialectic between visibility and invisibility itself becomes the main drama and the camera the central protagonist.

Monstrous media/spectral subjects

Imaging gothic from the nineteenth century to the present

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