Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Midterm Project - Examining Ableism in Horror

psmithhieb's picture

Hi all, 

Sorry about getting this to you so late. I've been dealing with a lot on my end, and I wanted to make sure that what I was handing in was well-crafted. You can access my midterm project, "Examining Ableism in Horror," through the provided hyperlink. I realize the document is pretty large, but a great deal of that is due to large font sizes. I'm excited to hear your thoughts!


Alyssa Saito's picture

Hi Paeton,


Wow - Your project is amazing! Even as someone who has never seen the “Big Four” horror movies highlighted in your project, your writing was easy to follow and extremely informative. I learned a lot about the various ways in which the horror genre projects ableist attitudes, a topic that honestly did not cross my mind before reading your project. I love the way you organized your ideas and the way you still appreciated the genre while recognizing and criticizing its shortcomings. I also loved how, in the conclusion, you offered a simple solution for fans and creators of horror and emphasized the importance of adopting a critical lens when consuming horror. I will definitely be more mindful of the controversies you raised when watching horror films in the future.


In addition to the content of your project, I really appreciate the time you put into making your project accessible; the hyperlinks you provided throughout your project was an immense learning opportunity for me. Thank you so much for sharing!


sarahmayer's picture

Hi Paeton! This is such a cool project, and am so intrigued to know more about the genre of horror now. I honestly don't know much about the horror genre since I get easily scared and usually stay far away from anything related. That being said, I've had friends over the years who love horror. Your paper not only informed me and taught me so much but caused me to start being interested in the creation and symbolism behind it all. I also learned so much more about how to make my writings more accessible, whether it be through hyperlinks, third-party braille hardware, or screen readers. I'm definitely going to incorporate all of these new tools into my work in the future. I've never seen the "Big Four" horror movies, but I was able to understand the synopsis of the stories through your writing easily. Overall, this was a great project, and I can't wait to see what you do for the final. 

TeddyCarlin's picture

Hi Paeton, I was scrolling through serendip and saw your post and realized I'd never had a chance to read it so decided to come back to it (maybe a little late). As someone who is an occasional consumer of horror films and has watched a couple of the movies descibred hear in detail I was very interested in your discussion of the inherent abilism of these films. Something that I was especially focused on in this context was how these films as you said used "Another disabled individual created to re-enforce the nondisabled fear of 'the other.' " I think this is a very accurate description but I also think a lot of this has to do with the purpose of horror films as an escape into a world so brutal and different from our own. I think in an attempt to satisfy viewers desire to know that a "normal person" is not behind these actions directors often choose disability as a way to other the 'monsters' depicted in these films. I really enjoyed this project and I'm really interested to see what else you do on it.

PS Do you have any thoughts on the more crime focused genre of horror movies that often feature disabled villians? à la Silence of the Lambs, Se7en, American Psycho and also true crime shows like Dahmer and others