• “You’re a dangerous Girl”: The fashioning of satanic liberation in The VVitch (2015), The Neon Demon (2017), and Midsommar (2020)

Richards, Jennifer, 2021, Book Section, “You’re a dangerous Girl”: The fashioning of satanic liberation in The VVitch (2015), The Neon Demon (2017), and Midsommar (2020) In: Ollett, Robyn, (ed.) Satanism and Feminism in Popular Culture. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISBN Not available yet (In Press)

Abstract or Description:

In the three films around which this chapter focuses its thesis, the central young woman protagonist is stylised as the contemporary incarnation of Gothic heroine par excellence: she is psychologically traumatised, or vulnerable, she is inexperienced, naïve but aspiring; she is the white, petite, blonde ingenue who is presented to us as exceptional and coloured as singular, as Othered and alienated from her family and wider society. Satan clearly has ‘a type’ insofar as these twenty-first-century film texts provide a reflection of the cultural afterlives of the traditions of white colonial Gothic literature and the female Gothic of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. However, as argued by Per Faxneld (2014), such texts also provided narratives of feminist liberation via satanic inculcation. From the dual perspective of Queer Gothic studies and Fashion studies, this chapter aims to reconcile the level of feminist liberation available to Thomasin (The VVitch), Jesse (The Neon Demon), and Dani (Midsommar) and, in turn, available to the spectator, with each film’s use of queerbaiting and misogynistic tropes. The chapter will chart how each of these films presents a stylised performance of exceptional femininity, it will consider how these films reflect the male gaze, and it will contend that the satanic liberation extant is an uneasy and profoundly ambivalent thing.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 13 May 2024 12:50
Last Modified: 13 May 2024 12:50
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5824
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