Revisiting the Philosophy of Horror

By: Caetlin Benson-Allott and Noël Carroll

For our themed issue “Design and Componentry of Horror,” Caetlin Benson-Allott conducted an interview with Noël Carroll. Since its publication 25 years ago – and despite controversy regarding some of its key claims – Noël Carroll’s The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart (1990) has led a renaissance in horror studies by paying close critical attention to the form and structure of scary movies. The Philosophy of Horror was one of the first academic monographs to attempt a theory of horror with its ground-breaking call for greater attention to negative affects in aesthetic experience. In this interview, Carroll reflects on horror studies since The Philosophy of Horror, historicizes some of his most controversial claims, and examines new developments in horror production, including horror film franchises and horror video games. For a transcription, see the themed issue.