"I never wanted to be your mother!": Ambivalent Motherhood in 21st Century Horror Films

Preston-Roberts, Abra Amata (2023). "I never wanted to be your mother!": Ambivalent Motherhood in 21st Century Horror Films. University of Birmingham. M.A.

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This thesis examines depictions of ambivalent motherhood, and societal ambivalences towards mothers in horror films released after We Need to Talk about Kevin in 2011. Using ‘horror vérité’ as a critical framework, this thesis aims to illustrate that recent representations of ambivalent mothers and their bodies either resist, or comply, to postfeminist standards of ‘new momism’: a term outlined by Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels in their book The Mommy Myth (2004). ‘Horror vérité’ refers to a genre of “truthful horror”, that through “artificial means”, such as “outrageous, unrealistic plots” reveals societal truths that “might otherwise remain elusive” (Landsberg, 2018, p.632). Through an analysis of films such as The Babadook, Bird Box, Hereditary and mother!, this research aims to demonstrate that their use of ‘horror vérité’ filmic techniques reveal wider social anxieties pertaining to maternal ambivalence and maternal corporeality.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of Film and Creative Writing
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13468


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