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Wednesday, Nov 4, 2009
by PopMatters Staff
by Stephen T. Asma
The Chronicle of Higher Education (25 October 2009)

“Monsters are on the rise. People can’t seem to get enough of vampires lately, and zombies have a new lease on life. This year and next we have the release of the usual horror films like Saw VI and Halloween II; the campy mayhem of Zombieland; more-pensive forays like 9 (produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov), The Wolfman, and The Twilight Saga: New Moon; and, more playfully, Where the Wild Things Are (a Dave Eggers rewrite of the Maurice Sendak classic). The reasons for this increased monster culture are hard to pin down. Maybe it’s social anxiety in the post-9/11 decade, or the conflict in Iraq—some think there’s an uptick in such fare during wartime. Perhaps it’s the economic downturn. The monster proliferation can be explained, in part, by exploring the meaning of monsters. Popular culture is re-enchanted with meaningful monsters, and even the eggheads are stroking their chins—last month saw the seventh global conference on Monsters and the Monstrous at the University of Oxford.”


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