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Laughing at the Horror: Horror Films and the ‘Failed Carnival’

Carnival laughter is a significant feature of American horror films from the late 1970s onward which is often overlooked. In this paper I address this critical gap by developing the concept of ‘failed carnival’. The failed carnival takes elements from Mikhail Bakhtin’s idea of festive laughter and Linda Hutcheon’s theories on parody, elaborating them through …