All stripped down: the spectacle of 'torture porn'

Lockwood, Dean (2009) All stripped down: the spectacle of 'torture porn'. Popular Communication, 7 (1). pp. 40-48. ISSN 1540-5702

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15405700802587232

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

'Torture porn,' a new extreme subgenre of horror cinema that centres on the attempts of abducted characters to survive torture procedures at the hands of their captors, has fallen prey to criticisms by politicians, pressure groups, and media pundits for what is held to be its potentially damaging sadism and moral vacuity. Seen thus from the limiting perspective of the logic of media effects, this trend in recent horror film looks like moral pollution, but as I argue, seen in terms of Deleuzian
affect theory and a model of spectatorship focusing on masochism rather than sadism, it may actually have a transformative and liberating potential.

Additional Information:'Torture porn,' a new extreme subgenre of horror cinema that centres on the attempts of abducted characters to survive torture procedures at the hands of their captors, has fallen prey to criticisms by politicians, pressure groups, and media pundits for what is held to be its potentially damaging sadism and moral vacuity. Seen thus from the limiting perspective of the logic of media effects, this trend in recent horror film looks like moral pollution, but as I argue, seen in terms of Deleuzian affect theory and a model of spectatorship focusing on masochism rather than sadism, it may actually have a transformative and liberating potential.
Keywords:torture porn, horror film, media effects, affect, becoming, control, Deleuze
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:7833
Deposited On:07 Mar 2013 15:02

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