A Gothic apocalypse
Encountering the monstrous in American cinema
in Ecogothic
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This chapter investigates how traditional Gothic tropes have been transformed to explore ecological fears in recent apocalyptic films. It also investigates what can we learn about our relationship with the natural world by exploring these modern apocalyptic narratives. The recent crop of apocalyptic films reflects a growing trend in 'eco-horror' cinema: the transformation of our natural home into a destructive monster. In her 2007 study of millennial horror films in America, Apocalyptic Dread, Kirsten Moana Thompson explores 'social anxieties, fears, and ambivalence about global catastrophe' appearing in American films beginning in the 1990s. In The Gothic, David Punter and Glennis Byron identify the Latin roots of 'monster' as 'monstrare: to demonstrate' and 'monere: to warn'. The troubled characters in The Last Winter are haunted by a common nightmare, the destructive monsters unleashed by global warming.

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