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“What if Nature Were Trying to Get Back at Us?”: Animals as Agents of Nature’s Revenge in Horror Cinema

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American Revenge Narratives

Abstract

This chapter surveys and maps the late twentieth-century American sub-genre of “nature takes revenge” films. It shows how this strand of animal horror cinema follows complex narrative templates with different ecological messages. Through comparative analysis, it tracks five types of tales: (1) Humans venture into “nature,” where they encounter wild animals. (2) Animals are reduced to projection screens for the human. (3) Explicitly environmentalist horror films that employ animals as nature’s tools to restore order and the “natural” balance on the planet, relieving humanity of ecological accountability. (4) Films about mutations and hybridizations caused by human actions that highlight the entanglement of nature and culture. (5) Animal apocalypse films that envision an imminent post-human age suffering from the vestiges of anthropogenic actions.

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Fuchs, M. (2018). “What if Nature Were Trying to Get Back at Us?”: Animals as Agents of Nature’s Revenge in Horror Cinema. In: Wiggins, K. (eds) American Revenge Narratives. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93746-5_8

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