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American Cinema in the Shadow of 9/11$
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Terence McSweeney

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474413817

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474413817.001.0001

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‘Daddy, I’m scared. Can we go home?’ Fear and Allegory in Frank Darabont’s The Mist (2007)

‘Daddy, I’m scared. Can we go home?’ Fear and Allegory in Frank Darabont’s The Mist (2007)

Chapter:
(p.227) Chapter 11 ‘Daddy, I’m scared. Can we go home?’ Fear and Allegory in Frank Darabont’s The Mist (2007)
Source:
American Cinema in the Shadow of 9/11
Author(s):

Terence McSweeney

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474413817.003.0012

Chapter Eleven, ""Daddy, I'm scared. Can we go home?": Fear and Allegory in Frank Darabont’s The Mist (2007), Terence McSweeney addresses the potency of the horror genre to function as a cultural barometer by engaging with some of the defining anxieties of the era in a metaphorical fashion. Discussing Frank Darabont's The Mist, an adaptation of the Stephen King novella, McSweeney reads the film's narrative concerning a disparate group of small-towners stranded inside a local supermarket plagued by what might be supernatural beasts outside and, perhaps even more dangerously, religious extremism inside as an articulate treatise on prevailing new millennial fears. The Mist was one of many American genre films which seemed to dramatise Susan Faludi's assertion that, 'The intrusions of September 11 broke the dead bolt on our protective myth, the illusion that we are masters of our own security, that our might makes our homeland impregnable, that our families are safe in the bower of our communities and our women and children are safe in the arms of their men' (2007, 12). The Mist uses familiar genre tropes but localises them to the very specific coordinates of post-9/11 America in a comparable way to how the most resonant horror and science fiction films have done to their own cultures and eras throughout the decades. McSweeney argues that there is a transgressive potency in the horror genre to confront some of the myths which have been at the centre of American popular film since its inception and in particular the 'master narrative' of the 'War on Terror' which emerged after 9/11.

Keywords:   Horror film, Stephen King, 9/11, allegory

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