‘They fuck you up’ – revaluations of the family in contemporary British horror film
Steven Sheil’s Mum & Dad
in Gothic kinship
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Chapter 12 examines evaluations of the nuclear family in a contextual analysis of the recent Gothic film Mum & Dad (2008, dir. Steven Sheil). This film, as medium of a discursive transformation of familial semantics, reflects and negotiates a paradoxical notion of order and cultural discontent in a way that can no longer be described adequately with the Gothic topoi of transgression and the monstrous. According to Schlegel, Steven Sheil’s film aims at a radical revaluation of familial values, which results in a notion of the family as an entity that is intrinsically perverted, yet the ineluctable condition of being and of subjectivity. Mum & Dad circumvents the inherent dialectics of transgression, by shifting towards something rather ‘ceremonial’, reflecting and negotiating a paradoxical notion of order and uneasiness in contemporary culture.

Editors: Agnes Andeweg and Sue Zlosnik

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