A brief note: This is my theory/genre list. It was a lot of fun building it from scratch. Basically, I wanted it to cover horror films that deal with the anxieties and fears present within the current neoliberal era. While I do include some films from the 1960’s and early 70’s (there are certain movies like Psycho that demand placement on a horror film list), I tried to focus mainly on the late 1970’s to today. I’ve included both my chronological version of the list and the thematic version below. The themes I’ve chosen to focus on include: ecogothic/ecohorror, biopolitics (and serial killers, zombies, and evil corporations/governments), posthumanism and transhumanism, technohorror and surveillance, and the neoliberal family/home. Once again, texts may be deleted from the list as I work through it.

I will link each text to its corresponding blog post as I continue to blog my exam notes!


Guiding Discussion Questions 




Robin Wood

“An Introduction to the American Horror Film” (1979)


Julie Kristeva

From Powers of Horror (1982)“Approaching Abjection,” “Something to be Scared of”


Noel Carroll

The Philosophy of Horror (1990)


Frederic Jameson

Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991)


Carol Clover

From Men, Women, and Chainsaws (1992):  “Introduction,” “Her Body Himself”


Michel Foucault

Society Must Be Defended (1992): “Chapter 11”


Barbara Creed

The Monstrous-Feminine (1993): “Part I: Faces of the Monstrous-Feminine”


John Belton

From American Cinema/American Culture (1994): “Horror and Science Fiction.”


Nicola Nixon

“Making Monsters, or Serializing Killers.”  American Gothic: New Interventions in a National Narrative.  Ed. Robert Martin and Eric Savoy.  University of Iowa Press, 1998. 217-36.


Achilles Mbembe

“Necropolitics.” Translated by Libby Meintjes. Public Culture 15.1 (2003): 11-40.


Henry A. Giroux

The Terror of Neoliberalism (2004)


Toby Miller

A Companion to Film Theory (2004)


David Harvey

A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005)


Sianne Ngai

From Ugly Feelings (2005): “Introduction,” “Paranoia,” “Animatedness” and “Stuplimity”


David Lyon

Surveillance Studies: An Overview (2007)


Estok, Simon C.

Theorizing in a Space of Ambivalent Openness: Ecocriticism and Ecophobia.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Volume 16, Issue 2, 1 March 2009, Pages 203–225.


Michel Feher

“Self-Appreciation; or, The Aspirations of Human Capital.” Public Culture 1 January 2009; 21 (1): 21–41.


Steven Shaviro

Post-Cinematic Affect (2009)


Jordan Lavender-Smith

“Irony Inc.: Parodic-Doc Horror and The Blair Witch Project.” Scope: An Online Journal of Film & TV Studies, Issue 15. 2009.


Ron Wagler

“Foucault, the Consumer Culture and Environmental Degradation.” Ethics, Place, and Environment. 12.3 (October 2009): 331-336.


Stacy Alaimo

Bodily Natures (2010)


Johanna Oksala

“Violence and the Biopolitics of Modernity.” Foucault Studies 10 (2010): 23-43.


Lauren Berlant

From Cruel Optimism (2011): “Introduction,” “Cruel Optimism,” and  “Slow Death”


David McNally 

Monsters of the Market: Zombies, Vampires, and Global Capitalism (2011)


Rob Nixon 

Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (2011)


Jonathan Crary

24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep (2013)


Barry Keith Grant

“Rich and Strange: The Yuppie Horror Film.”  Journal of Film and Video, vol. 48, no. 1/2, 1996, pp. 4-16.

“Digital anxiety and the new verité horror and sf film.” Science Fiction Film and Television, vol. 6 no. 2, 2013, pp. 153-175. Project MUSE, muse.jhu.edu/article/510738.


Bernice M. Murphy

Selections from The Rural Gothic in American Popular Culture (2013): “Introduction: We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet,”  “Backwoods Nightmares: The Rural Poor as Monstrous Other,” and “’Why Wouldn’t the Wilderness Fight Us?’ American Eco-Horror and the Apocalypse”


Edited by William Hughes and Andrew Smith

Ecogothic (2013): “Introduction”


Selections from The Transhumanist Reader (2013):

Andy Miah, “Justifying Human Enhancement: The Accumulation of Biocultural Capital”

Patrick D. Hopkins, “Is Enhancement Worthy of Being a Right?”


Niels van Doorn

“The Neoliberal Subject of Value: Measuring Human Capital in Information Economies.” Cultural Politics, vol. 10 no. 3, 2014, pp. 354-375. Project MUSE, muse.jhu.edu/article/565184.


Edited by Linnie Blake and Xavier Aldana Reyes

from Digital Horror (2015): “Introduction: Horror in the Digital Age,” “Part One: Haunted Technologies and Network Panic”


Wendy Brown 

Undoing the Demos (2015)


Simone Browne

Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (2015)


Richard Grusin

 From The Nonhuman Turn (2015): “Introduction”


Jessica Hurley

“History Is What Bites.” Extrapolation 56.3 (2015): 311–333. Web.


Imre Szeman

“Entrepreneurship as the New Common Sense.” South Atlantic Quarterly (2015) 114 (3): 471-490.


Annie McClanahan

Dead Pledges (2016): “Houses of Horror.”


David Schmid

“The Limits of Zombies: Monsters for a Neoliberal Age.” Zombie Talk: Culture, History, Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2016


Edited by Linnie Blake and Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet

Neoliberal Gothic (2017): “Introduction”


Melinda Cooper

Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism (2017)


Anna Tsing

Selections from The Mushroom at the End of the World (2017)


Theodore Martin

Introduction from Contemporary Drift (2017)


Jane Elliot

“The Microeconomic Mode: Survival Games, Life-Interest, and the Re-imagination of Sovereignty” (2018)



Peeping Tom (1960)

Psycho (1960)

The Birds (1963)

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Deliverance (1972)

The Last House on the Left (1972)

The Crazies (1973)

The Exorcist (1973)

The Wicker Man (1973)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Jaws (1975)

Carrie (1976)

The Omen (1976)

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Halloween (1978)

Alien (1979)

The Amityville Horror (1979)

Friday the 13th (1980)

Maniac (1980)

Motel Hell (1980)

The Shining (1980)

Evil Dead (1981)

Poltergeist (1982)

The Thing (1982)

Videodrome (1983)

The Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The Terminator (1984)

Aliens (1986)

Chopping Mall (1986)

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (1986)

Evil Dead II (1987)

Predator (1987)

They Live (1988)

IT (1990)

Gremlins II: The New Batch (1990)

Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Candyman (1992)

Scream (1996)

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

American Psycho (2000)

Session 9 (2001)

28 Days Later (2002)

Cabin Fever (2002)

The Ring (2002)

Saw (2004)

The Descent (2005)

Hostel (2005)

Behind the Mask: The Rise and Fall of Leslie Vernon (2006)

Funny Games (2007)

The Mist (2007)

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Cloverfield (2008)

The Happening (2008)

The Ruins (2008)

Splinter (2008)

The Strangers (2008)

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

You’re Next (2011)

The Bay (2012)

Cabin in the Woods (2012)

The Conjuring (2013)

The Sacrament (2013)

The Purge film series (2013-18):

Creep (2014)

It Follows (2014)

Unfriended (2014)

The Witch (2015)

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

The Belko Experiment (2016)

The Conjuring II (2016)

Don’t Breathe (2016)

Get Out (2017)

The Ritual (2017)

Annihilation (2018)



Dexter (2006-13):

Season 1


Black Mirror (2011-present):

Men Against Fire, Be Right Back, Hated in the Nation, The National Anthem, The Entire History of You, Nosedive, Playtest, Shut Up and Dance, USS Callister



Jim Cobb

Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary (2012)


Anglo-American Neoliberal Horror Film List by Caitlin Duffy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.