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date: 30 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The horror film in Canada is a remarkable site of contradictions. On the one hand, it is almost entirely ignored by scholarship. On the other, it plays a part in the nearly two dozen books written about David Cronenberg, who built his reputation in the genre. Like Cronenberg’s early work, horror presents a challenge because of its association with the American entertainment industry—an institution Canadian cinema (like Canadian culture, broadly conceived) has always defined itself in opposition to. The very existence of a Canadian horror film blurs the boundary between “us” and “them.” Perhaps for this reason, previous scholars emphasize those horror films that most resemble Canada’s auteurist art cinema or otherwise evinced an identifiable “Canadianness.” This chapter avoids thematic analysis of individual works to instead resituate the genre as a whole to the center of the nation’s evolving conversation about its identity and its cinema.

Keywords: horror genre, Canuxploitation, tax shelter, Canadian film policy, Canadian cultural policy, David Cronenberg

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