It’s that time of year again Indy fans. Have no fear though, this week’s show will not horrify you. If fact, we are going to treat you to some of the anthropological thoughts behind the appeal of horror films. There is not trickery here. The horror film genre is popular. Psychologists cite multiple theories of the appeal of horror: psychodynamic, catharsis, excitation transfer, curiosity/fascination, sensation seeking, dispositional alignment, gender role socialization, and societal concern. Anthropologists and archaeologists can also unmask the importance of horror films with the discussion of history of what scares us, how we develop practices to protect ourselves, and what the horror may represent in reality. We are joined by Dr. Kendall Phillips to explore the crypt of things frightening. Happy Halloween Indy Fans.
Kendall R. Phillips is professor of communication and rhetorical studies and associate dean for global academic programming and initiatives at Syracuse University. His research focuses on rhetorical dimensions of popular and political culture with a particular focus on the place of the horror film in American culture. He is author of several books including Projected Fears: Horror and American Culture (2005), Controversial Cinema: The Films that Outraged America (2008), and Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter and the Modern Horror Film (2012). Phillips received his Ph.D. from Penn State University and currently holds honorary positions at Massey University (New Zealand) and York St. John University (UK).