Woeful Wombs: Pregnancy and the Horror Film

“It’s like a wire inside me getting tighter and tighter.” – Rosemary Woodhouse
The best horror subverts the sublime, fouling sanctuaries, safe places and what is culturally labelled as innocent—homes, children and mothers. This troika often goes together, representing the holy trinity of an idea of domesticity, which in popular consciousness often begins with the pregnant body. As such, many horror films are read as having a reactionary view of women, reducing them to monstrous mothers or abject incubators for terrifying beings. But are these representations of pregnancy always cut and dry? What can be gained from debasing pregnancy? And what does it say about how we view (or cherish or revile) this biological process? Looking at how this “horrific” body has morphed on screen, this lecture will look at the likes of Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Fly (1986), Aliens 3 (1992), A l’interieur (2007), and yes, Twilight (2011) in hopes to give birth to some answers.
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