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Post-Horror Summer Nights


Emerging partly as a reaction to the success of big budget horror films, a different style crawled out of the mid-2010s, rejecting worn tropes in favour of shocking subversion and existential dread.

Here we have the ‘post-horror’ film, a term coined in 2017 by Steve Rose and often used interchangeably with that of ‘elevated horror’.

Titles emerged early on from the American independent film scene and, though the term is a slippery one, a common consensus tends to be that these are firmly arthouse properties buried just under a surface of mainstream horror iconography. Other common traits include a disparity between the critical reception and that of the audience; with critics wowed whilst audiences often feel tricked by distributors seemingly selling the titles as mainstream horror, thus standing in stark contrast to the slow pace, narrative ambiguity and austere style of the films themselves.