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The Language of Darkness: Adapting Horror to the Screen

Semester and Year FA 2016
Course Number ARTS-UG1611
Section 001
Instructor Pedro Cristiani
Days W
Time 2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Units 4
Level U



This course will analyze the cinematic adaptations of literary, mythological and global film sources that share the same genre— horror. From Murnau’s  Nosferatu  to Bryan Fuller’s  Hannibal , horror has proven to spawn its own storytelling archetypes, serving as strong subtext for race, faith, politics and sexuality. We will explore how different horror auteurs give their unique vision to the same source material, as well as how this particular genre has transcended and influenced even the most “respected” mainstream directors. The sessions will not only cover the question of translating narrative components and theme, but also creating “mood” and the “sense of the ominous”. Students will research and select their own original horror source, and will be guided throughout the stages of an adaptation into a final short film draft in proper screenplay format, or a fully-developed feature length script treatment. In-class screening excerpts will include  Dracula  [Todd Browning and F. F. Coppola],  The Thing  [John Carpenter],  Ringu  [Hideo Nakata],  The Mist  [Frank Darabont],  Let The Right One In  [Tomas Alfredson],  Rosemary’s Baby  [Roman Polanski],  American Psycho  [Mary Harron],  Ju-On/The Grudge  [Takashi Shimizu],  Candyman  [Bernard Rose], and  The Shining  [Stanley Kubrick]. For more details, please visit the course website:


All Syllabi

Course Type

Arts Workshops (ARTS-UG)