4′ x 4′, Glue, Paper on Masonite
After years of films exploring dismemberment, torture, and human centipedes, what can still shock audiences? Horror is about fear of the unknown, and audiences have learned the language of horror cinema almost too well. We know what’s coming when city folk arrive in a backwoods town. We’ve seen the fleeting shadows on walls, the ghastly face that flashes in the medicine-cabinet mirror and all the other shockers punctuated by screeching bursts of sound, known as “jump scares”—like the hand that reaches from the grave in the original “Carrie.” The audience jumps. Scaring is caring. That comes down to old-fashioned storytelling, making characters sympathetic and real. Audiences want to relate to them. But the audience, too, has changed: It’s more female.