Video Essay: Like Father

March 31, 2020
A thought provoking rumination about masculinity in horror films, accompanied by a glorious Cat Stevens song.

“I have always been drawn to horror, as I find it the most compelling vessel by which to tell stories about the darker facets of humanity,” says Noah Janssen, creator of the video essay Like Father. “All the best horror films would be excellent dramas if you removed the horror genre conventions that live on their surface. Toxic masculinity and the societal conventions of what a man should be are prevalent topics in my life, and I find them extremely compelling in cinema. After seeing how constantly these ideas are explored throughout the history of horror, I have edited together a video essay about the nature of fatherhood in horror films. It aims to explore the many thematic ideas inherent to being a dad (responsibility, masculinity, pride, envy, environmental upbringing) and how horror can expose and test them. Horror films have long provided men with cross road decisions about the kind of fathers they want to be, and this video essay is about the paths they choose.”

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