The summer of 1975 completed changed movie history. Not only did the release of JAWS set the standard for the “summer blockbuster”, it also ignited society’s communal anxiety, fear, and fascination with what could be lurking just the below the surface of the water.
The success of JAWS not only led to a slate of rip-off films soon to be dubbed as “sharkploitation”, but also had real life repercussions of pure terror leading to deserted beaches and massive shark culls. However, JAWS was by no means the first or last aquatic horror media to pique our interest in the deep blue. Our fascination for monsters of the abyss goes back to the dawn of man and has traveled with us throughout time, from Jonah’s whale to ancient sea monsters depicted in early cartography to Moby Dick to the upcoming MEG film.
From unknown ghosts of the deep to sharks, mermaids, gators and the Great Old Ones of Lovecraftian lore, this lecture by Rebekah McKendry will examine not only the history of aquatic horror, focusing on film, but also touching on earlier texts and visual arts. McKendry will also explore the psychology behind our fascination with unknown fathoms, exploring the mental intersections of fear and fascination, the symbolism of submergence, and the subconscious primordial elements of the deep.
The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies - LA - I Dream of Deep Water: An Exploration of the History and Psychology of Aquatic Horror will take place on October 24th, 2018 from 7pm - 10pm at the Philosophical Research Society (3910 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA). Tickets are $12 advance ($40 with book) / $15 door. For more information click HERE.
Rebekah McKendry, PhD is an award-winning film and television director with a strong focus in the horror and science fiction genres. She has a doctorate focused in Media Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, a MA in Film Studies from City University of New York, and a second MA from Virginia Tech in Media Education. Rebekah previously has worked as the Editor-in-chief at Blumhouse Productions and as the Executive Director of Marketing for Fangoria Entertainment. She is also a co-host of Blumhouse’s SHOCK WAVES podcast. Her newest feature film, ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING, is a horror-comedy releasing this Fall.