1st Edition

Make America Hate Again Trump-Era Horror and the Politics of Fear

Edited By Victoria McCollum Copyright 2019
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Horror films have traditionally sunk their teeth into straitened times, reflecting, expressing and validating the spirit of the epoch, and capitalising on the political and cultural climate in which they are made. This book shows how the horror genre has adapted itself to the transformation of contemporary American politics and the mutating role of traditional and new media in the era of Donald Trump’s Presidency of the United States. Exploring horror’s renewed potential for political engagement in a socio-political climate characterised by the angst of civil conflict, the deception of ‘alternative facts’ and the threat of nuclear or biological conflict and global warming, Make America Hate Again examines the intersection of film, politics, and American culture and society through a bold critical analysis of popular horror (films, television shows, podcasts and online parodies), such as 10 Cloverfield Lane, American Horror Story, Don’t Breathe, Get Out, Hotel Transylvania 2, Hush, It, It Comes at Night, South Park, The Babadook, The Walking Dead, The Woman, The Witch and Twin Peaks: The Return. The first major exploration of the horror genre through the lens of the Trump era, it investigates the correlations between recent, culturally meaningful horror texts, and the broader culture within which they have become gravely significant. Offering a rejuvenating, optimistic, and positive perspective on popular culture as a site of cultural politics, Make America Hate Again will appeal to scholars and students of American studies, film and media studies, and cultural studies.

    Introduction   Part 1: ‘Drain the Swamp [...] We All Float Down Here!’ The Evil Clown Archetype, Trump’s Circus of Cruelty and the Freak Show of US Politics in American Horror  1. ÒLet’s Put a Smile on that Face:Ó Trump, the Psychotic Clown and the History of American Violence   2. Shilling Pennywise: Chump Change in Trump’s (Trans)America   Part 2: ‘A (Nasty) Woman’s Place is in the Resistance!’ Trump’s War on Women, ‘Pussy’ Grabs Back and Queer Horror Steps Out of the Shadows  3. Breaking Out and Fighting Back: Female Resistance in the Trump-Era Horror Film  4. An End to Monstrosity: Horror, Queer Representation, and the Trump Kakistocracy   5. Trauma, Repression and The Babadook: Sexual Identity in the Trump Era   Part 3: ‘We All Bleed Red!’ Of God and Monsters, Targeted Bodies and Metaphorical Walls in Trump-Era Horror  6. Lock Her Up! Angry Men and the Captive Woman in Post-Recession Horror   7. ÒI Told You Not To Go Into That HouseÓ: Get Out and Horror’s Racial Politics  8. Securing the Borders: Isolation and Anxiety in The Witch, It Comes at Night, and Trump’s America   Part 4: ‘You’ve Been Trump’d [...] Get Out (of the White House)!Ó Animated Alternatives and Horror-Centric Parodies and Podcasts, Reimagined ˆ la Trump  9. Trump’s Great American Family: Racism, Sexism and Homophobia in Hotel Transylvania 2   10. South Park: Trump, Technology and the Uncanny   11. Get Out (of the White House): The Trump Administration and YouTube Horror Parody as Social Commentary   12. Beware the Untruths: Podcast Audio Horror in Post-Truth America   Part 5: Now You’re in the Sunken Place... With a Damn Fine Cup of ‘Covfefe’. The Dangers of Nostalgia and the Darkness of Future Past in the Age of Trump  13. ‘There is No Return’: Twin Peaks and The Horror of Pleasure   14. ÒIt Is HappeningÉ Again:Ó Trumpism, Uncanny Repetition and Twin Peaks: The Return


    Victoria McCollum is Lecturer in Cinematic Arts at the Ulster University, UK. She is the author of Post-9/11 Heartland Horror: Rural Horror Films in an Era of Urban Terrorism and the co-editor of HBO’s Original Voices: Race, Gender, Sexuality and Power and Alternative Media in Contemporary Turkey: Sustainability, Activism and Resistance.

    ‘McCollum’s standout edited collection is the first full-length study of the horror genre through the lens of the Trump era, offering a positive, progressive and pioneering perspective on popular culture as a site of cultural politics within a period that many would otherwise deem depressed, angered, paranoid and hopeless … McCollum’s study is an exceptionally brave and important piece of timely scholarship; one that will remain at the forefront of our imaginations as we move into a newly cast segment of the same American horror story.’ - Harriet Stilley, European Journal of American Culture

    'Including detailed and thought-provoking analysis, this collection is a worthwhile read.' - S. Pepper, Northeastern Illinois University, CHOICE