Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Nathaniel Cadle

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Martha Schoolman

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Jason Pearl

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


film studies, marxist theory, intersectional theory

Date of Defense



As horror films once again gain popular and critical praise, horror film scholarship continues to expand in analyses of these films through the lens of now-prominent theoretical frames like intersectional theory, critical race theory, and fourth wave feminist theory. However, many analyses miss a class component. Therefore, this article demonstrates that a significant anti-capitalist history exists in horror film, that analysis of anticapitalist themes in these horror films is essential to a complete understanding of American genre film as an art form, and that these anti-capitalist themes can be important in the overall work of radicalization and consciousness-raising. I will be focusing on three films from various sub-genres and time periods: Alien (1979) a science fiction horror film; Society (1989) a body horror political comedy; and Ready or Not (2019) a supernatural horror comedy. The article concludes that all three of these films flip the category of monstrosity on its head, choosing to make the most privileged classes amongst us the monsters instead of those who are usually Othered such as racial others, gendered others, or working class others. Thus, anti-capitalism shows itself through both the monsters of these films and the working class, everyman heroes that populate them, creating a reliable and accurate picture of working Americans’ anxieties in capitalist life.





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