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Hong Kong Horror Cinema$
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Gary Bettinson and Daniel Martin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474424592

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424592.001.0001

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Ghostly Returns: the Politics of Horror in Hong Kong Cinema

Ghostly Returns: the Politics of Horror in Hong Kong Cinema

Chapter:
(p.204) Chapter 12 Ghostly Returns: the Politics of Horror in Hong Kong Cinema
Source:
Hong Kong Horror Cinema
Author(s):

Vivian Lee

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424592.003.0013

This chapter examines the trend towards Hong Kong-China co-productions, during which Hong Kong horror films have been in decline due to censorship restrictions in Mainland China. While this mega-market direction is likely to continue in the foreseeable future, Hong Kong filmmakers have made fresh attempts to revitalize this popular genre and inject it with new meanings in the changed and changing context of cultural production and cultural politics in the city. Between 2012-2014, several low to medium budget horror films were released. Local audiences responded enthusiastically and many saw these as a sign of the resilience of the local popular culture to counter or at least deflate the hegemony of the Mainland market. This chapter traces the trajectory of Hong Kong horror through the pre- and post-handover decades, situating horror within the evolving discourse of identity and the issues of local histories and collective memory. It also elaborates on the politics of horror as seem from horror films produced and released in the midst of escalating social and political tensions attributable to a popular/populist “anti-China localism”. The chapter further reflects on the cultural politics of delocalization and relocalization in the context of “re-occupying Hong Kong screens.”

Keywords:   Hong Kong-China co-production, Fruit Chan, Herman Yau, Art horror, Post-CEPA Hong Kong cinema

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