Abre los ojos: a Socio-Political Analysis of Spanish Horror Films

Sophia Kachur, Dr. Charlene Kalinoski, Modern Languages Department, Roanoke College, 221 College Ln, Salem VA 24153

This study explores the social and political messages present in Spanish horror films. Reading critical texts and essay collections on the Spanish film industry, specifically within the horror genre, I constructed a chronological progression of the genre within that country. Alongside this I chose several films representative of each period and examined them within the social and political context I constructed from my readings. Informal audience reviews also factored into my analysis of these films, as the horror genre in Spain relies heavily on an underground, informal critical structure to avoid historically biased mainstream and state perspectives. I initially approached this study with the expectation that Spanish horror films would be “higher quality” than American works, either more artistically inclined, more blatant in political messages, or more polished in their production. My research revealed, however, that the opposite was true for Spain’s horror industry in its budding days, and the very desire of the state to produce “quality” films later quashed the horror genre. Ultimately, I found that the actual process of filmmaking was often politically charged for Spanish filmmakers during the Franco dictatorship. Moving into the era of democracy, Socialist control of the state hindered freedom within the horror genre, and only during the 2000s has Spain begun to reconcile its traditionally state-run film industry with the horror genre to garner movies both critically and commercially successful.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Sophia Kachur

Institution: Roanoke College

Type: Poster

Subject: Linguistics & World Languages

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 8
Date/Time: Tue 5:00pm-6:00pm
Session Number: 5555