Научная статья на тему 'Horror-styled house. Housing situation patterns of horror movie characters'

Horror-styled house. Housing situation patterns of horror movie characters Текст научной статьи по специальности «Строительство и архитектура»

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Аннотация научной статьи по строительству и архитектуре, автор научной работы — Kazakova A.

The article is relevant in the light of strengthening "antidomestic" values, growth of anxiety in society, an attempt to identify conventional, robust features of the "scary house" representations in horror movies, the popularity of which is of interest not only as an indicator of the state of mass psychology, but also as a direct mapping of the types of deprivation of housing situations and deprived persons, and also as a factor of actual housing units

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Текст научной работы на тему «Horror-styled house. Housing situation patterns of horror movie characters»


Media Culture

Horror-styled house. Housing situation patterns of horror movie characters

Anna Kazakova

doctoral student at North-Caucasus Federal University (22.00.04), Associate Professor of the Department of Philosophy and Culturology,

Kaluga State University, 26, street Stepan Razin, Kaluga, 248000, kaf32@tksu.ru kazakova.a.u@yandex.ru

Abstract. The article is relevant in the light of strengthening "antidomestic" values, growth of anxiety in society, an attempt to identify conventional, robust features of the "scary house" representations in horror movies, the popularity of which is of interest not only as an indicator of the state of mass psychology, but also as a direct mapping of the types of deprivation of housing situations and deprived persons, and also as a factor of actual housing units - of the prejudices and preferences of Russians. To identify the types of housing deprivation and attributes of terrible spaces, we used as material the annotations of horror films in the catalogue on the website https://my-hit.org/. We used two samples. The first one (n1=900) was strictly horror sample with a house as an important element of the character system in the plot. The second one (n2=572) was of all genres films, the title of which present any nomination of the house. Horror movie mostly stable models such housing frames as homelessness, institutional housing, a cultural heritage site as a residential, and a mansion, a manor, a castle. Among the forms of housing and the forms of territorial behavior the most dangerous are: job with residence (at the place of work), patrilocal marriage regardless of the quality of housing conditions, studies in boarding school, squatter settlement, accommodation in non-residential premises outside the city, rent or purchase too cheap compared to the market housing. The main attributes of a terrible home are old age, large size, spatial and social isolation, group or individual, and the abundance of "closed-like" architectural forms and details, especially additional barriers, special means of tracking and security. Horror has both psychotherapeutic, and oikophobia effect, the ratio of which is yet to be traced.

Keywords: Cinema, horror, "Antihome", oikophobia, housing deprivation


The typical stereotype of a horror film is following. A family buys a house at a lower price, and their whole life turns into a nightmare. Fear as an aesthetic and consumer category at the image of home, it's aggregated "oikophobia" effect can be seen as a symptom of housing deprivation. V.M. Khalilov succinctly expressed the idea of "oikophobia" in modern mass culture: "Children, which previously were an embodiment of innocence, became the personification of the monster, and the home space, once the last bastion of security has become the main battle-field and ... the location of the worst of evils" [Khalilov, 2013, p. 86]. Cinema dehumanizes both childhood [Ivanov, 2010], and the house, which turned into prison, the torture chamber, purgatory, vivisector's laboratory. But since the content and functions of superstitions, mystical worldview in modern society are not comprehensively understood [Baiduzh, 2011], it is unclear whether the trend of demonization extends to any home or selectively picks out certain types of housing situations, spaces, inhabitants.

The direction of analysis of "Antihome" in the literature [Poiarkova, 2003; Proskurina, 2014; Pykhtina, 2012], culture and language [Chesnokova, 2014] is barely emerged. Literature scientists erect it to Y.M. Lotman [Mazurova et al., 2015]. However, they traditionally neglect

the "low" genres. In their turn cultural experts do not study cinema because of orientation to the literature as the main kind of art [Kupina and others]. Even less attention is paid to the horror [Tichomirov, 2008]. The great contribution to the study of "terrible space" is made by A.K. Baiburin [Baiburin, 2003], M.V. Akhmetova [Akhmetova, 2011], M.V. Osorina [Osorina], N.K. Radina [Radina, 2012], S.K. Nartova-Bochaver [Nartova-Bochaver, 2005]. The idea of the danger of the wrong location of the house from semiotics and psychology moved into the theory of architecture, which became environmental. L.V. Anisimova uses psychological indicators, such as" viability"," meaningfulness", "accessibility"," compliance", "efficiency" [Anisimova, 2002]. K.V. Kiianenko describes the methodological apparatus of "post-occupancy evaluation", which" is supported by many modern movements: of human rights, of democratization of urban life, of "sustainability", "accessibility", "adaptability" [Kiianenko, 2016]. The sociological category, which should cover the pragmatics of the supernatural as part of the living space, is completely absent.

The cross-cutting theme of semiotics is an artificial, inhuman Imperial "phantom" city, where the tightness of the living space [Knabe, 2006] is narrowed to a hopeless "corner" [Toporov, 2009]. The living space of Petersburg is a "bad" multi-family apartment buildings, forming a faceless and voiceless lot. Rounded Moscow with its ponds and gardens is a prototype of an organic "garden city", the mother's bosom [Liusyi, 2014], which includes a "good" house. It is a city estate devoid of "Horror" of vertical prospect. But the founders of Russian literary mysticism found creepy not in poverty of the basement or of subleased part of dwelling, but into petty-bourgeois "lonely cottage on the Vasilyevsky" (A.S. Pushkin), in the estate of vampire (A.K.Tolstoy), in the life of Ruthenian (N.V. Gogol, O.M. Somov) or of South Slavic (A.K. Tolstoy, A.V. Amfiteatrov) farm, in the Russian peasant estate (A.A. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky). So, the opposition of planning- spontaneous, of urbanism and rurality, of vertical and horizontal do not differentiate supernatural stigma of "terrible home".

Fear of technology is part of modern eschatology, which is fueled with "the immense popularity of horror cinema. We can remember at least two movies, built on typical eschatological "demonizing" of TV, Poltergeist (1982) by Tobe Hooper and Electroshock (1989) by Wes Craven)" [Korovashko, 2012, p. 261]. But to reduce the dehumanization of the house to technophobia and fear of the rapid social changes is impossible because of counter-examples: shelter far from civilization, outside the settlements (the recognizable stamp of American horror is "the cabin in the woods"), ecovillage (Limbo, Argentina, 2014, The Lost City, USA, 2014, Deadly blessing, USA, 1981), the rural estate and the agrarian way of life as a whole (Puffball, UK, 2007, Lokis, Poland, 1970).

One might decide that special "conventionally scary "houses do not exist - they are made "scary" by "scary" social relations. But this is wrong. Intellectual uncertainty is necessary in the aesthetics of classic detective and horror. They need a contrast between respectability, high standards of living, and the brutality of the crime, the killer's devilish ingenuity. Specific type of dwelling contributes to suspense. A prerequisite for the development of the detective plot becomes a bourgeois mansion, fashionable estate, good rural cottage. External respectability is a very convenient mask for evil, which in normal circumstances would remain unsolved.

We can find similar results in article of N.V. Rabkina about the fear of loss of freedom as a psychological "metaprogramme" of S.King's works and in the article of T.L. Novikova about neo-Gothic prose of Nina Sadur. N.V. Rabkina emphasizes the motive of non-freedom " in a legal sense ... as a result of the illegal actions of another person ... as a result of natural or supernatural... the gender dimension of non-freedom" [Rabkina, 2012, p. 113]. In the case of women who have been victimised of domestic violence, "an outwardly prosperous home is described as a cage" [Rabkina, 2012, p. 3]. 113], a "haunted house" "not only becomes a death trap for the heroes, but also "crowds out" of their own bodies the most vulnerable of them " [Rabkina, 2012, p. 114]. T.L. Novikova also reveals the claustrophobic features of Nina Sadur's

Gothic prose: "the house and way of life of the bourgeois family gained the functions of repression and restriction of women's freedom and therefore became symbolic features of the castle /prison. /.../ an ordinary city apartment becomes a narrative space ... which is depicted as a closed world, whose main function is to keep forcibly the suffering female character. Sadur connects home space, close to everyone, with a sense of anxiety, fear and a scene of cruelty and violence. Therefore, the trend of Nina Sadur's prose to identify the sources of insecurity of women in the family, marriage or romantic relationships with men is not surprising" [Novikova, 2012, p. 46].

The tyranny of husband, the sacrifice of wife is caused by Patriarchal and Patrilocal family structure, as well as the type of housing - respectable mansion. The mansion hides from the neighbors what is happening inside, and as a result, "this lack of freedom is deliberately denied and not seen by the society" [Rabkina, 2012, p. 113]. And Sadur describes not "ordinary city apartment". The space of her characters is a hell of communal apartment, mythologized in the style of children's horror stories, as well as a rented apartment. Incomplete ownership, the powerlessness of tenants explain the delusional consciousness as a escape from someone else's presence (the owner of the apartment, neighbors). The traditional for horror "inhabitants is a wife suffering from patrilocal residence, a woman-companion who fell into poverty, a worker "with living", a nonresident student for whom the opportunity of living is more important than income from work. In all cases, she depends on her husband, husband's family, apartment owners and employers. In all cases, the housing is alien by law and psychologically alien.

Two researchers of the cinematic image of the house distinguish in it prominent features of anxiety and instability [Balandina, 2009; Reizen, 2012]. The collapse of the permanence and predictability of the world picture is the major source of fear, mysticism, eschatology, escapism in society: "Cinema is dealing with images that appeal not to individual but to collective desires and fears, in which each one of us won't admit" [Tropina, 2013, p. 76]. The therapeutic function of cinema allow "to conclude that the people who want to overcome their own fears and phobias like watch horror films" [Muromova, 2014, p. 11], with aim to "enjoy the perversion, vomit, regurgitate, expel the disgusting" [Rogozin, 2011, p. 76]. So, horror is a means of relieving stress, tension, aversion to everyday life.

Horror directly reflects the social problems [Chvostov, 2011]; its "theme ... is rigidly attached to a certain socio-cultural and historical context" [Tikhomirov, 2008, pp. 13-14]. In a zombie Apocalypse N. Ozgenalp sees criticism of the Consumer society, capitalist exploitation, alienation through the metaphor of cannibalism and pandemics [Ozgenalp, 2012]. Frustration in the movie Dream House (2010, Hong Kong) is shown without metaphors: a woman, trying to save up for an apartment, does not keep up with rising prices, and to bring down the market price, decides to arrange a massacre in the desired house. Poor spouses are looking for an inexpensive rental option (Room of death, UK, 2017; The Glow, USA, 2002; Burnt offerings, USA, Italy, 1976). Deceived housing expectations give rise to danger. Work with living with the employer (Dark art, UK, 2012, Devil's house. Alternative version, USA 2009, Lost City, USA, 2006, Curse, Germany, USA, Japan, 2004) poses a danger to the typical victim - nurse, governess, model. It is dangerous to be in urban ghettos and suburban favelas (Contusion, USA, 1984; Consternation, Russia, 2006; Cold sweat, Argentina, 2010; Quarter of horror, USA, 2006); typical victim is a "slum tourist", journalist, war veteran. Communal life can continue both in conflicts and in cohesion as a mask of sectarianism, Satanism, depersonalization of the person (Sacrament, USA, 2013; Asylum, USA, 2008, Room 205, USA, 2013; The Haunting of Sorority Row, Canada, 2007, Disturbing Behavior, USA, Australia, 1998). Even in the first approximation it is clear: the deprivation of housing-psychological and social homelessness-is the reason for the hero's stay in a dangerous place. He has nowhere to run.

If the interest in horror films is an evidence of "disgusting" in the daily life of the country, the image of the monster house indicates the inhabitants of objectively disgusting houses. Content analysis will help to identify the "disgusting".

Materials and Methods

Why the character was in the "scary house", the film explains in the exposure. Attributes of "antihome" are marked by the moment of evil phenomenon appearance. As a material, we used the annotations in the catalog of films on the site https://my-hit.org. At the time of the search (14.08.2017) in the category of "Horror" we found 4532 movies. By the method of the main array, we selected 900 films with nominations "house" in annotations (descriptions of films in Russian), that is, about 20% of all films of this genre.

Each unit of observation was coded by us at first on two signs. The first sign was the Source of threat for the characters (with values: 1 - "the Threat arises because of the lack of the house, its remoteness or stay at someone else's house"; 2 - "the Threat enters the house from the outside"; 3 - "Certain features of the house (structural, engineering, geographical, etc.) are under certain conditions a source of threat"; 4 - "the house Itself is a threat to any person"). The second sign was the Nature of the use of the house (with values: 1 - "Abandoned, uninhabited, empty house"; 2 - "Seasonally used house»; 3 - "Permanently used residential").

In the fact that these signs allow us to differentiate the "bad" house, we were convinced by the discriminant analysis. We've added a second sample of 572 movies of all genres that contain the category "house" in the title (from the annotations provided on the same site, either in Russian or in English), and one sample of the horrors describing the home, to the overall dataset. All units of the array (n=1472, excluding 3) were grouped according to the dependent variable "the Image of home" (1171 negative, 114 neutral, positive 184). Discriminant analysis showed that the variables "Source of threat" and "Habitability (Nature of the use of the house)" correctly classify 78.9% of initial observations, including "negative" 96.1%,"neutral"0%, "positive" 18.5%. Without highlighting the "good" house, they almost unmistakably recognized the "bad" one. The gravitation of a "neutral" house to" good" house corresponds to the distribution of estimates of housing conditions by real people obtained by I.A. Martyniuk by the survey [Martyniuk, 2009]. "Bad house" on the basis of classification is significantly different from "good" and "neutral" ones and, therefore, the task of identifying the criteria of inclusion in the "bad" category is correct methodologically and methodically achievable.

We grouped blocks of observations into 12 subsets and then subjected to automatic SEO-analysis online on the site https://advego.com/text/seo/ the whole set of annotations reformulated by the method of dense description as a single text in each of these subsets. The resulting word sets were inductively extended. For each semantic block, its share in the composition of all (automatically calculated) keywords is determined. All words formed several semantic blocks. These blocks have become content analysis categories, through which we have tried to identify the specifics of the housing situation, characterized by a combination of the two main variables (Source of threat and Habitability). Then inductively identified categories and dimensions were introduced into the SPSS array as formal variables.


We considered that a feature is specific to a segment if its share in all keywords (in %) exceeded both the arithmetic mean and the median average of this share (in %) for this semantic block for all 12 sets. Table 1 shows the key values by bold cell selection.

Group 1/1 consisted mainly of representations of individual housing (72%) or institutional (22%) housing outside settlements, sometimes rural estates with land. This home has always been presented as capable of accommodating a lot of people, leading a similar lifestyle and engaged in collective activities. In the group 1/2 there was institutional housing on the basis of

educational institutions (65%) or an individual household with adjacent territories outside the settlements (20%). 1/3 is often a closed socio-economic system-an estate with an aristocratic ancestral home in the center (60%). In clusters 2/1 and 2/2 there is a sporadic mention of a cabin in the forest, of a farm, of a mansion. Their common feature is that they are all abandoned, unclaimed. The hut dominates (31% of group 2/1 and 69% of group 2/2). In group 2/3, it is either a rented apartment in an apartment building, sometimes a skyscraper (46%), or a country estate with a land plot (32%). 3/1 is formed from the meaning of "an old, abandoned building of historical value" (47%), or a long-unused "holiday accommodation outside settlements" (17%). The group 3/2 is formed by collective commercial accommodation (hotel, family-run guest house, hotel) where rooms are rented (36%). The country (rural) farmstead with adjoining grounds (49%) and the apartment in the modern technically equipped high-rise building (44%) almost in equal shares form group 3/3. Group 4/1-is an elite, expensive housing, namely rural or country house and the whole estate. Abandoned, they keep traces of former luxurious life (50%). 4/2 is a typical "cottage" - a small country house for rest (100%). The main share of the group 4/3 is a commercial residential building with a constant rotation of tenants (74%).

Table 1. Grouping of horror movies in the types of situations (entirely valid observations 874)

Type of situation: the nature of the use of the dwelling/source of the threat

1/1 1/2 1/3 2/1 2/2 2/3 3/1 3/2 3/3 4/1 4/2 4/3

Share in the data array: absolute values/percentage

102/11, 115/ 128/ 34/ 33/ 128/ 35/ 25/ 92/ 97/ 16/ 69/

6% 13% 14,6% 3,8% 3,7% 14,6% 4% 2,8% 10,5% 11% 1,8% 7,8%

Cognition and consciousness: the share of all keywords in this category; Me =17, X=14

23% 16% 17% 10% 2% 20% 5% 7% 20% 17% 10% 19%

Type of dwelling: share of all keywords in this category; Me =6, X=7

4% 11% 6% 4% 3% 5% 17% 10% 8% 7% 5% 5%

Legal status of resident: share of all keywords in this category; Me = 3, X=3

3% 2% 2% 6% 0% 5% 6% 2% 3% 0% 1% 4%

Interior, parts of the house, household items: share of all keywords in this category; Me =2, X=2

2% 3% 2% 0% 1% 4% 1% 0% 1% 4% 0% 8%

Terrain: share of all keywords in this category; Me =5, X=6

14% 8% 4% 4% 7% 4% 6% 6% 7% 3% 2% 2%

Territorial and settlement community, spatial relations and contacts: share of all keywords in this category; Me =11 , X=10

21% 17% 26% 4% 12% 1% 9% 0% 13% 4% 12% 1%

Time and 3ace: share of all keywords in this category; Me =13, X=12

16% 18% 9% 7% 10% 12% 7% 13% 12% 14% 14% 16%

Type of character by occup ation, class or stratum: share of all keywords in this category; Me =6, X=7

9% 10% 10% 4% 16% 5% 4% 5% 10% 2% 7% 2%

Type of character: group 2/individual 1

2 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 1

Type of character: gender (1-female, 2-male)

2 2 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1

Variable "Habitability (Nature of the use of the house)" is most closely related with the right of ownership of the hero, and variable "Source of threat" is most closely related with the System of settlement and Type of building.

Classification of all films horror depicted by their dwelling place in the settlement system using the variables "Threat' and "Habitability" has allowed to correctly predicted 54% of all observations. Correct predictions for urban dwellings 75%, outside settlements 70.4%. Rural settlements do not fit into the scheme (0% of correct predictions). Urbanism is opposed not to the village, but to the wild. Horror reflects not only "oikophobia", but "ecophobia" too: most of the "scary houses" lie outside of settlements, into places isolated by transport and landscape. Loneliness is considered as a natural source of fear [Izard, 2011]. Abandoned or uninhabited

premises in the city is the center of demonic, "ontological" horror, according to S.A. Tikhomirov [Tikhomirov, 2009], and outside the settlements it is dangerous because of the external invasion, because of natural disasters. The homeless, the traveller, the prisoner get into it most often. For citizens, a permanent house represents the whole set of various threats, but homelessness or visiting someone else's house in connection with work is an independent type of threat.

We give in descending order characteristics of the status of the character by occupation or strata for those groups for which they are specific (highlighted in table 1).

Group 2/2 (seasonal house, external threat). The literary work of the hero is the only referred sort of activity. This explains one of the main sociocultural functions of such dwelling: isolation is necessary for concentration of attention, for creative activity.

Group 1/3 (a house for permanent residence not owned by the hero). Living or staying in someone else's home in connection with work. The first option is typical for a landowning society: poor, lonely, orphaned, homeless young people who have lost their jobs are hired with housing (governess, nanny, maid, companion, gardener or kitchen worker). The second option is typical for a class society: a young careerist receives an order, assuming temporary residence at the place of activity (architect, designer, lawyer, notary, realtor, artist); a person of a free profession because of creative curiosity accepts an invitation to live in a dangerous house (Professor, archaeologist, writer); a policeman, a doctor, a priest on duty visits the house in connection with the performance of their duties.

Group 1/2 (seasonal house, the threat caused due to stay in the house that does not belong to the hero). Most often we see institutional housing (boarding school, psychiatric clinic, shelter, nursing home, prison, monastery): students, teachers, nuns, doctors, patients and the elderly.

Group 1/1 (abandoned house, the threat caused due to stay in the house that does not belong to the hero). Mostly classmates, students who for fun or involuntarily (due to weather or accidents) penetrate into a lifeless property, appear here. In other cases, the selection of status for the character is intended to explain his idleness, mobility, self-isolation (homeless, writer, journalist, criminal community).

The role of a domestic worker is particularly dangerous for women. Also specifically "female" threat is voluntary loneliness in" summer cottage " house without means of communication and the man-defender. The woman is subject to sexual violence, sacrifice, robbery, retention, nervous disorder, psychosis. Behavior of men is openly provoking: danger arises or at the time of initiation and ritual visit of "terrible places", or as a result of loss of the spouse, children, work, dwelling and love to life.

V.P. Kozyr'kov [Kozyr'kov, 2006] challenged the opposition of "femininity/masculinity" of the home space first proposed by G.Zimmel. It's backed up by horror. Where there is a dwelling house, is really dominated by female characters (group 1/3, 2/3, 3/3, 4/3). But where seasonal homes or non-residential premises, the seizure or purchase of abandoned houses are depicted in the films, we see a pronounced male activity. This corresponds to Kozyr'kov's observation that gender roles in the home space are differentiated, but not opposed at all. In other words, we do not see a woman who continuously turns chaos into space, and a man as a passive "consumer" of home comfort (see table 2).

Table 2. The relationship of the variables of gender and habitability

Habitable Male Female

Permanent house 0 4

Seasonal and abandoned housing 5 3

The coefficient of Association -1,00

The coefficient of contingency -0,598

Taking into account the genre of films, the links in the table indicate the gender differentiation of "home" risks. A man is in danger in the process of colonization of the territory, its primary structuring, protection, and for a woman the main threat is the daily home life, if the home environment itself is "terrible". At the same time, the" horror " of female domestic life is aggravated by the fact that, as shown by the links calculated in table 3, a woman fights this horror more often alone, while a man is always heroic in the company.

Table 3. The relationship of the variables of gender and the subject of the action

Character Gender

Actor Male Female

Individual 0 4

Group 5 3

The coefficient of Association -1,00

The coefficient of contingency -0,598

A group acts in the film, due to the age of heroes. "Children cluster" is the only, but vividly expressed: 1/2. Heroes - an unrelated, age-homogenous, same-sex (male) group of friends (7%), or younger generation of members of the same family, separated from the older(6%), or young heroine, separated from the family (pupil of closed school) (6%). "Youth" text is wider. Cluster 1/1-unrelated same-age same-sex group (9%) or nuclear family after the loss of one of the parents (mother) with the allocation of the older sister (5%). Cluster 2/1 is a young generation of one family (brother and sister) or a group of young people connected by friendship and sexual relations (5%). Cluster 3/2-single unmarried heroine (10%) or a group of friends, young people (10%). In the "adult" cluster the groups of 1/3 and 4/3 are indicative. In the first one heroes are the expanded Patriarchal family with several children who lost one of parents and therefore looking for support of a sort as a whole (10%), or the lonely heroine - the orphan, the widow (9%). In the second one before us an incomplete family (mainly a woman with small children) (19%), a lonely young unmarried heroine (6%), a couple of unmarried lovers (4%).

The mental states of the characters, the pace of cognitive processes and the implementation of the events themselves reflect the level of predictability and diversity of the environment. Texts abound with adverbs "suddenly", "suddenly", verbs "stumble", "discover", adjectives "unexpected". The institutional environment of the" children's " text is characterized by the highest predictability (controlled by the hero) combined with impoverishment, monotony. Time in institutional housing is represented by routine, looped in seasonal cycles. Cluster 2/3, where the cognitive processes of the heroes are spontaneous, altered States of consciousness (sleep, trance, dreams) dominate, is remarkable. Time is represented as an unplanned sudden transition to a radically new stage in life. Disorientation is caused by euphoria as a result of the occurrence of positive changes (sudden enrichment and buying or unexpected inheritance of the old luxurious household).

The main factor in controlling the environment is the legal status of the home. In addition to the 2/3 group, legal status is important for group 2/1 with the typical motive of collision of legal owner (the heir or purchaser of the abandoned homes) with criminal actions (squattering or robbery, etc.); for the group of 2/4, where it is said on buying cheap (abandoned) housing, which would remain inaccessible if not for the cheapness associated with stigma; 4/3, where housing also get suddenly, for nothing, or almost nothing, emphasizes its accessibility (most often it is rent, and occasionally inheritance).

Indicator of control over the environment - its personification, the ability of the environment to reflect the personality of the inhabitant. Visually, this expresses the very constancy of the subject's stay in a certain territory, and in his absence - things as property

markers and products of activity. On the basis of this feature groups 1/2 (stranger/seasonal), 2/3 (external threat/constantly residential), 4/1 (the house itself is a threat/cast), 4/3 (the house itself is a threat/constantly residential) are significant. The importance of things in horror is high. The object brought into the house becomes a conductor of evil (group 2/3). There is a strong psychological need to mark your space in institutional housing (1/2: boarding school, nursing home, etc.). Abandoned house with the help of interior expresses its demonic essence, and ghosts notify new residents about the true right of ownership. Especially noticeable is the role of movable property there where we are talking about cheap rent or sudden inheritance (4/3): this is a rich range of interior items, household items, utensils, and the phrases "pack things", "unpack things", which is more than half of the words in the category 4/3. The abundance of things that are continuously packed and unpacked is a sign of the nomadic lifestyle with which, as the heroes hope in the exposition of the film, they say goodbye forever or for a long time.

The consistency of the environment with the needs of the individual and social relations depends on the class, profession of the hero, his relationship with the territorial and settlement community, on the physical space. Whether it is seasonal housing (1/2, 2/2, 4/2), abandoned (1/1) or permanent housing (1/3 and 3/3), spatial and social exclusion, forced or voluntary, is an essential feature of both the home and the housing subject.

After all, we've come to the conclusion that the housing situation of horror characters has repetitive traits that go beyond the genre's requirements, but reflect a sustainable social and cultural attitude towards home and the environment. It looks the most dangerous individual home, specially designed for recreation, seasonal, located outside the settlements among the wild natural landscapes, and intended for permanent residence, left by the owners for a long. And the most frequent type of threat is the threat due to the lack of their homes or forced separation, associated with moving into the house of the spouse, employer or institutional housing. The main trouble for the heir or the buyer of an abandoned old house is the inability to master the materialized personality of the previous owner, whether a person or a demon.

A requirement of the genre is the presence of shelter for evil within the whole exposition and ties. In a city apartment or a room, a mirror, a doll, a vessel - any piece of furniture or utensils - can be this shelter. But more often it is hidden in isolated non-residential premises (attic, basement, closet, enclosed, walled rooms, corridors). Hence, the constant of horror house (except seasonal houses): the size of the "terrible" housing is huge, which is associated with a variable of its individual/multi-apartment or institutional nature (see the classification results in figure 1; risk 0,337 with a standard error 0,018; correct predictions for the category "small home"19%, for the category" large home" 91.8%).

The size is closely related to the antiquity of the building: both Pearson's r and Spearman's ro for horror film category = -0.587 with a value of 0.000 for 166 actual observations. And although the old building is more attractive for all genres, old age can be considered a "genre-forming" attribute of "scary house" (see conjugacy table 4). The time when house gets the "plague" of evil, is associated with the crimes and cruelty of the nobility towards the household, servants, the inhabitants of the house and its surroundings, with the curse of a dying victim, with the occult, with a love passion, with the desecration of ancestral lands.

Siseof housing beam 0 Category % n Small 35,1% 232 Big 64,9% 429 At all 100% 661

Figure 1. The results of the classification for the dependent variable "Size of the dwelling" with a

categorical "Sample "

Table 4. Sample * Age of house

Sample Age of house Total

Old building New building

All categories Frequency 26a 12b 38

% to Sample 68,4% 31,6% 100,0%

Category horror Frequency 186a 26b 212

% to Sample 87,7% 12,3% 100,0%

Total Frequency 212 38 250

% to Sample 84,8% 15,2% 100,0%

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Each substring represents a set of Age of house categories for which the proportions of the columns do not differ significantly at 0.05.

"Technophobic" representation of urban high-rise buildings (Lift, UK, 1968; the whole subgenre of cyberpunk) is present in the sample sporadically and cannot be reliably allocated to a separate segment, except for a narrow category of Asian films, for which cross-tabulation has shown the statistical significance of differences between films with images of old and new buildings.

Security systems - video surveillance, keys, fences, ditches, mazes, secret passages - are especially important in "scary" houses (see the classification results in Fig.2; risk 0,276 with St. error 0,018 correct predictions about belonging to the horrors 93,2% about it being "perfect home" 25.4 per cent). Zombie horror and post-Apocalypse in general tends to transfer the action into the house-shelter, a kind of bunker.

Mention of security of house beam 0

Category % n


The security of the house is emphasized 30,6% 189 At all 100% 617

Figure 2. The results of the classification of the dependent variable "Protected" using

categorical "Image of home»

With this feature "scary house" from the "ideal" home can be distinguished. "Perfect" is a house where there is nothing to be afraid of. But within the category of "terrible" houses, the presence or absence of technical protection corresponds to the normal distribution. Attempts of heroes to secure the house by means of the weapon and technical devices are inefficient in the unpredictable environment which is not allowing to identify the nature of risk.


The analysis reveals the conventionally "horrible" living situation.

Such type of deprivation, as homelessness, is most common in horror. Latent homelessness is represented by continuous moving from one rented apartment to another (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, France, USA, Canada, 2012, etc.), by search $ job with accommodation (Skeleton Key, USA, Germany, 2005, etc.). Tenants can be families (The Sublet, Canada, 2015; The Spirit Is Willing, USA, 1967 and others), students who do not get a place on campus (The Silent Scream, USA, 1979), young people at the beginning of their working career (Home, USA, 2014). Inappropriate selection of a neighbor for a joint tenancy (Rumumeito, Japan, 2013), circle of friends among the neighbors (Rosemary's Baby, USA, 1962) or apartment owners (Peliculas para no dormir: Para entrar a vivir, Spain, 2006) are fatal. Rarely, but sometimes Vice versa: when criminal tenants become a threat to the owner (The Lodger, USA, 1944; Blocked, USA, 2006). Inability to maintain housing, deprivation as deprivation of rights is a common motive, touching on even count Dracula (Love at First Bite, USA, 1979). The horror says little about lumpenized underclass of homelessness. In the film The Tunnel (Australia, 2011), the authorities, having started the renovation of old underground collectors, deny living there urban homeless.


But the homeless is not always the victim: in the films The Vagrant (France, USA, 1992), Kristy (USA, 2014) it is a source of threat. His territorial behavior is based on the model of seizure of seasonal housing (less often abandoned urban too).

Seasonal housing is present in two versions. The first of these options is institutional housing, a "total" organization, a student campus, empty on vacation and attracting intruders (vagrants, criminal gangs). They are a pipeline to supply to the evil spirits by the hands of the staff of the hecatombs of victims. The second of these options is a week-end house, which represents us a type of inhabitant fleeing from the stress of urbanism to focus on creativity, communication with nature, often against the background of a personal tragedy (Night watch, UK, 1973; Secret window, USA, 2004, Deadline, USA, Malaysia, 2009). In addition to former city-livers who chose to stay in a non-residential building for the sake of a quiet environment, it is used by families with children for recreation, young couples on a honeymoon, students for parties; it harbors tourists and squatters. Finally, non-residential out-of-town premises are being used as permanent dwellings by the social bottom, which turn dacha settlements into slums, as well as quite respectable families who have lost their homes or faced with the need to reduce costs.

Within the house relatively safe zones are allocated. This are kitchen and living room, and if the fear is represented by the eyes of the child, the parent bedroom is also an island of safety. The key to solving the mystery, traces of atrocities, "possessed" item are usually hidden in the "secret spaces": in the basement, in the attic, in the cabinet. But the first suspense-effect occurs in the spaces of solitude, of defenseless nudity: in the bathroom, bedroom. These same places -shared shower, toilet, bedroom - are "gray" areas hidden from the eyes of adults, convenient for all forms of violence by the informal group in relation to the newcomer or the outcast in institutional housing ("child" and "youth" text).

In private family house the cause of the terrible helplessness of the lonely person is spatial and informational isolation, lack of confidence in the source and nature of threats, lack of vigilance. In institutional housing, the reason is the accumulation of aggression in the conditions of crowding and rigid hierarchical discipline, the totality of informal control and the presence of places where formal control is weaker, and there are no zones of intimacy at all.

The house, threatening the life, health, immortality of the soul, large and ancient. It stands out for its architecture and rich decorations, magnificent forms, details of symbolism against the background of everyday urban development, as a witness of past eras and a channel of historical memory of local communities. The house is spatially and socially isolated. It is located outside the settlements (castle, family estate, departmental housing stock), or on the inner periphery of the city, in special functional areas (near the cemetery, mortuary, high-speed road, in a dead end street, near a ravine, in the woods, on a vacant lot, on a hill outside the city). If it is inhabited, the owner lives like a hermit, and physical boundaries strengthened by a series of obstacles (grates, fences, ditches or shafts, sinister sculptures, warning signs). "Total" organizations acting as institutional housing (disciplinary or monastic school, shelter or nursing home) are also placed in films only in old buildings (see table 5).

Table 5. Type of building* Age of the building

Individual dwelling house /Apartment building/Institutional housing, collective housing Age of the building Total

Old building New building

Individual dwelling house Frequency 146a 26a 172

% to Type of building 84,9% 15,1% 100,0%

Apartment building Frequency 17a 7b 24

% to Type of building 70,8% 29,2% 100,0%

Institutional housing, collective housing Frequency 22a 0b 22

% to Type of building 100,0% 0,0% 100,0%

Total Frequency 185 33 218

% to Type of building 84,9% 15,1% 100,0%

Each substring represents a set of Age of not house categories for whic iiffer significantly at 0.05. i the proportions of the columns do

In addition to the appearance and wonderful signs, its stigma is formed by folk narrative. This house is a landmark for tourists and old-timers who like history, a place of ritual (initiation) pilgrimage of children's groups, youth leisure, a cover for criminal elements.


It can be assumed that the image of the "terrible house" formed by horror can influence people's perception of their own living space and even the formation of the real physical space of the city.

First of all, its attributes largely meet the characteristics of the residential property of cultural heritage. In the urban landscape, cultural heritage materializes the idea of contact between ancestors and descendants, creating the very effect of "presence", which is necessary both for the ritual of identity reinforcement, considered by W.L. Warner [Warner, 2000], and for horror. The author of the thesis on English and Irish literary mysticism notes: "The Gothic as a genre deals with historical processes of transition or change, and derives its gothic effects not simply from the presence of demons or haunted houses, but from the often violent interruption of the present by the return of the past, frequently depicted in supernatural form" [Wurtz, 2005].

Therefore, the second empirical type of housing, due to the contrast with time and space, even more clearly indicates the "horror" of Russian everyday life. We mean "monstrous house" of individual housing segment in the 1990s. These urban and suburban households with elements of the Gothic style, especially on small territories, by means of architecture proclaimed a break with the closest cultural environment, the feudal sovereignty of the owners, their thirst to perpetuate suddenly achieved high status. It is wrong to write off this massive tendency to a low level of education or the unwillingness of the rich to pay for architectural design. Outright fear of fellow citizens, which gave rise to the replacement of the Windows on the battlements, the erection of high solid walls, topped with towers, giving the house a shape of the donjon, prevents such explanation. Why even in the heart of Russia we do not see imitation of a traditional Slavic dwelling (a wooden mansion or a stone choir) or a noble estate of the classicism era? - We consider that thus the owner declares to people his Pro-Western orientation. Why Gothic castle has become such a symbol and a specific material carrier of the idea of the break with the Soviet past and the culture of its people as a whole? - We believe that under the influence of horror, which reached the peak of popularity in the 1990s.

But it remains unclear, if mass anxiety spontaneously manifested itself both in the preferences of the Russians in movies, and in the practices of individual housing construction of the 1990s years of age or preference in movies has had a direct effect on the practices of individual housing construction.

The stamp does not simply reproduce, but creates reality, if the category of fear ceases to be only aesthetic, only psychological and becomes sociological. Namely, if the fear is separated from its artistic prototypes and becomes a criterion for assessing the habitat of typical social actors, the criterion of inequality, prestige, the basis of segregation, discrimination and exclusion. Thus, the question "Is cinema a mirror or a hammer?" [Zhabski, 2010], when applied to housing requires a separate study.


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