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COM-325-20, Film Themes: Horror (SU14)

 INSTRUCTOR: Alicia Crosby, Phone: 443-802-2984, Email: aliciajcrosby@gmail.com

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: T1/Saturdays/8:30 AM – 11:15 am, 05/31/2014-06/28/2014


This course examines the controversial film genre of horror, a genre that is largely dismissed by critics but has consistently offered an outlet for cultural problem solving. The films screened appear incompatible with the morality of civilized life. In the horror film, violence and terror are explored for the way these provide visual narrative pleasure. In addition, fears about threatening forces in the world involve the thrill of being assaulted, while simultaneously these forces destabilize masculine/feminine gender through some form of metamorphosis.


1. To critically examine the definition of genre – specifically horror – and critical analysis of film.

2. To consider how the genre’s cultural significance is expressed through narrative cinema by evaluating particular images representing the wishes, hopes, fears, and inner stresses of a particular decade.


Film screenings in class and outside of class, assigned readings and class discussion


Your contribution to the discussion of the assigned readings and films screened. 

A 1-2 page synopsis-review paper is due for all reading assignments.

There will also be one paper and one exam.

Attendance will be taken at all sessions – consistent class attendance is required to complete the course with a passing grade. There are only five class sessions, so you will not receive a passing grade if you miss a class.

Class attendance & participation 20%; Synopsis-review papers 20%; Exam 30%; Paper 30%.


Reading packet will be provided by instructor.

In class film screenings:

Films will be shown in class to illustrate concepts learned in the assigned readings and stimulate class discussion. All assigned readings should be completed prior to screening so all students are prepared for class discussion.

Reading assignments:

Readings will be provided by instructor. Students must read assigned essays for each class and be prepared to discuss concepts learned.  Students are required to write a 1-2 page synopsis-review paper for EACH assigned reading.


Readings will be sent to students prior to class; synopsis-review paper for each reading due on May 31.