ENGL 091: The Slasher Film
Winter Session – 12/28/20 – 1/21/21
Professor Dawn Keetley
Remote Asynchronous (with virtual office hours) – 3 credits (HU)
The slasher has been one of the most enduring subgenres of horror, evolving and continuing to thrive since the 1970s. In this course, we will read some of the most important critical discussions of the slasher and watch films that span from the 70s to the present and that embody both the core characteristics of the subgenre and its radical innovations, from Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th, and Prom Night through Scream, Cabin in the Woods, and Final Destination and then into “neo slashers” from the 21st century, including Unfriended, Jigsaw, Thriller, Halloween (2018), Ma, and Black Christmas. We will address what the slasher is, why it’s remained so popular, and what ethical and political questions it raises.
Assignments will include short quizzes, discussion posts, a video presentation, weekly small group meetings and assignments, one 750-word paper, and a final 1200-word paper that will be published in a special issue / flipbook on the “Neo Slasher” on HorrorHomeroom.com.
For those enrolled students who need 4 credits of Humanities, a 1-credit extension of ENGL 091 will be offered in the spring 2021 semester.