Terrifying Nudity: the Naked Truth of Horror Film
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Nudity Nakedness the Nude the Other Vampire Palimpsest Body Monster

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Yakushenkova, O. (2022). Terrifying Nudity: the Naked Truth of Horror Film. Corpus Mundi, 3(1), 123-159. https://doi.org/10.46539/cmj.v3i1.62


Attitudes towards the naked body vary from culture to culture. Even within one culture, the nakedness often symbolises very different and sometimes arbitrarily contradictory things. It can be associated with eroticism, sanctity, aggression, a certain type of culture (from savagery to elitism), etc. Focusing on specific cinematic examples, the author examines the symbolism of naked male and female bodies in horror films. The author concludes that while nudity may serve to attract viewers to the cinema, it does not necessarily equate to sexuality. The nudity is frightening in its vulnerability, but it also shows how little we know about our own bodies. In cinema, the naked body is often tortured, objectified, manipulated or even sacrificed to maintain social order or nature's fertility. Female nudity in films is linked to fears of female sexuality and fertility. Often, the encounter with the naked female body turns out to be fatal for male characters, leading to their corporal transformation or loss of identity. In any case, the naked body is something out of the norm, it is marginal and destabilizing and so it scares us.

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