Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Maria Gigante

Second Advisor

Nicolas Witschi


My research project investigates horror film trailers in an effort to define the characteristics of this genre and discuss its ideological implications. Focusing on theatrical trailers for American wide-release horror films between 2013 and 2017, I closely viewed a sample of forty trailers to inform my investigation. Horror trailers create an intense emotional experience of both dread and fear, tending to follow a similar narrative structure and employ a common set of stylistic techniques to achieve this emotional intensity. The shared stylistic techniques include elements such as tight framing, innocent imagery, and genre misdirection. The repetition of these elements promotes certain values and beliefs while silencing or marginalizing others. For example, I focus my analysis on how the horror trailer genre portrays gender. Certain characters in horror trailers are commonly cast into roles of feminine weakness and feminine monstrosity, creating a false dichotomy. Further, I argue that horror trailers have persuasive potential to shape cultural beliefs and actions by perpetuating harmful stereotypes.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access