Brute Force: Animal Horror Movies

SUNY Press
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Considers how dangerous beasts in horror films illuminate the human-animal relationship.


It’s always been a wild world, with humans telling stories of killer animals as soon as they could tell stories at all. Movies are an especially popular vehicle for our fascination with fierce creatures. In Brute Force, Dominic Lennard takes a close look at a range of cinematic animal attackers, including killer gorillas, sharks, snakes, bears, wolves, spiders, and even a few dinosaurs. Lennard argues that animal horror is not so much a focused genre as it is an impulse, tapping into age-old fears of becoming prey. At the same time, these films expose conflicts and uncertainties in our current relationship with animals. Movies considered include King KongJawsThe GreyThem!ArachnophobiaJurassic ParkSnakes on a PlaneAn American Werewolf in London, and many more. Drawing on insights from film studies, art history, cognitive science, and evolutionary psychology, Brute Force is an engaging critical exploration—and appreciation—of cinema’s many bad beasts.


“The brilliance of Dominic Lennard’s Brute Force is not only that it is long overdue, but one didn’t realize it was due in the first place! Yet upon reflection and, of course, through Lennard’s engaging book, one realizes not only the ubiquity of animals in horror, but their utter centrality to so many classic horror films. In reading this, we can hear the distant rumble of footsteps of a genetically reborn Tyrannosaurus or the hurried pounding of our beloved Rover who has decided that he wants more than kibbles and bits for dinner—and we look mighty appetizing. ‘Groundbreaking’ is often overused, but in this case it truly fits.” — David Desser, coeditor of Tough Ain’t Enough: New Perspectives on the Films of Clint Eastwood

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About the author

Dominic Lennard is Associate Lecturer at the University of Tasmania and the author of Bad Seeds and Holy Terrors: The Child Villains of Horror Film, also published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Nov 1, 2019
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Pages
276
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ISBN
9781438476629
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Popular Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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