Study Guide

The (Power of) Horror Movies Film Club

The group gets together on a weekly basis to screen horror films—the grislier, the better. Some of the most popular screenings have included the Saw series, Hostel, Cabin Fever (that dangling eye!), the Got Milk? advertising campaign, and scenes from a nail salon—you never know.

After the screenings, the group goes around, and each member indentifies what was most horrifying—it's crazy how wide-ranging that can be. One person's horror is another person's "whatever."

Most people can agree that boogers are gross, but some people eat their cuticles and have no problem chewing on their own hair. Some people see the film scenes of dismemberment as the most profoundly disturbing, others find the moment when the soon-to-be-victim pours a glass of milk to be terrifyingly repugnant. This is an open group, and drop-ins are allowed.

Sigmund Freud
Keeper of the Flame, Mascot

It really all started with Siggy, so the group couldn't happen without him. He gets a little squeamish in scenes involving parents and their children under duress, but for the most part, he enjoys interpreting the film characters' neuroses (the victims) and psychoses (the murderers) and tracing the horror back to moments of infantile developmental trauma. He has a thing for movies about castration—no judging.

Rosalind Krauss
Art Critic-in-Residence

This prolific art historian always has something to bring to the group. She tends to appreciate the aesthetic aspect of things—me, too (see my book The Severed Head: Capital Visions). Anyway, Ros always shines a different light on moments of abjection.

Steven Jay Schneider
Resident Film Critic

The group always likes to have one layman in the group. It's no good just to have fast-talking theorists—and this guy knows his horror films. He always helps the group remember that the films are, in fact, films, and not just "texts" to be interpreted and construed as way more significant than we think. Plus, he has all sorts of great "top 100" horror film books.