Wait, USC Has a Horror Movie Class?

This semester, students in the South Carolina Honors College had the option of enrolling in a class called, “Monstrous Mothers and Femme Fatales: Gender and Monstrosity in Horror Films”, taught by Dr. Julia Elliot. The class was split up into small groups and each group was assigned a film; either Jennifer’s Body (2009), Lyle (2014) or The Hunger (1983). The task: promote and show the assigned film at the Nickelodeon theatre on Main Street.

Local theatres are like drive-ins, an iconic piece of American culture that is slowly and sadly fading away. The Nick, close to the University of South Carolina’s campus, is one of few remaining non-profit theatres left and a treasure to be had. The “Medusa’s Gaze” series hoped to bring in students at the University of South Carolina to the theatre, drawing in a younger crowd. Unfortunately, some students at USC don’t know what the Nick is (and if that describes you, you have to check it out).

 The movies curated for the series were handpicked and chosen to show the monstrous mother, maiden and crone theme that runs through horror movies constantly. Students in Dr. Elliot’s class looked into these three ideas thoroughly before the movie screenings and will continue to study them after all showings. Jennifer’s Body focuses on the monstrous maiden played by Megan Fox, Lyle, starring Gabby Hoffman, portrays monstrous motherhood and The Hunger, with Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve, focuses on a monstrous crone. Women are often portrayed as evil and not following patriarchal norms. The idea of the female monster plays on male subconscious fears that are in essence about losing their power. To society, anything not considered “normal” is dangerous and brings out our deepest fears.

Both the screenings for Jennifer’s Body and Lyle were earlier in October, but The Hunger will be showing on October 25th at 7 p.m. The film features David Bowie, Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve as vampires – a great Halloween date idea! The price is $10 for students if you are not a member of the Nick. This cult classic has gothic and LGBT elements and does not follow the typical vampire love story of today. And, who doesn’t love David Bowie? Come to support your fellow students and a great local gem.

 The Nick is also going to have screenings, outside of the USC series, of Frankenstein (1931) on October 29th at 6:30 p.m. and Halloween (1978) on October 31st at 8:30 p.m. Get out, support your theatre and have a fun night. Thank you to students of Dr. Elliot’s class for promoting the screenings, and thank you to the Nick for collaborating with USC! Have a great Halloween and remember... vampires are not real.