Leigh Janiak’s Honeymoon (2014) and Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s Spring (2015) initially seem like two horror films birthed in the spirit of classical psychoanalytic film criticism. They deal with a monstrous female, a fearful, castrated male, and the “otherness” of sexual relationships. Through a close analysis of each film, however, I suggest in the following that both films “think” through problems of the gendered other, sexual politics, and cinematic affect outside the bounds of contemporary psychoanalytic or affect theory. By suggesting and analyzing two neologisms that blend the insights of psychoanalytic and affective film theory—objet a(ffect) and che(www) vuoi—I argue that both films not only complicate typical readings of horror films “about” gender and sex, but that each film performs its own type of philosophical thought about gender and “otherness” through its very form and content.
Dewey Musante is a PhD candidate (ABD) in moving image studies at Georgia State University. He is currently writing his dissertation entitled “The Illogic of Sensation: Horror, Comedy, and Contradictory Affects.” His research focuses on the interplay of the body and affect in film experience—particularly the “extremes” of bodily feeling in horror and comedy. Email: email@example.com.