Dark Desires: Male Masochism in the Horror Film
By Barbara Creed
Creed suggests that in horror films monstrous male bodies often take on female characteristics. Freud lists three types of masochism: erotogenic, moral, and feminine, in which the “feminine position” is adopted. This, in addition to the femininity of male monsters, may reveal a repressed desire of man to become woman. She also mentions Kristeva’s theories of abjection, citing the corpse and the ultimate abjection. The abject body is one aligned with the natural, such as the way the maternal body changes and expels. Creed suggests this is also Freud’s masochistic, feminine body. The desire for man to give birth appears in several horror films, within which man can only give birth to a monster.
Creed provides a useful overview of masochism, both within horror films and in relation to those viewing them. The concept of the abject is important as well, in that what is abject becomes monstrous. Therefore, for fathers to become monstrous they must also somehow become an abjection. In particular I would be interested in extending the idea of the maternal body as abject by comparing it to the paternal. This perhaps sets the paternal body as normative; in which case the monstrous paternal may no longer be normatively masculine