23. Mary J. Ainslie: Thai Horror Film in Malaysia. Urbanization, Cultural Proximity and a Southeast Asian Model

Abstract

This article examines Thai horror films as the most frequent and evident representation of Thai cultural products in Malaysia. It outlines the rise of Thai horror cinema internationally and its cultivation of a pan-Asian horrific image of urbanization that allows it to travel well. Through a comparison with Malaysian horror, the paper proposes a degree of 'cultural proximity' between the horrific depictions of these two Southeast Asian industries. This similarity then points to a particularly Southeast Asian brand of the horror film that is best understood through attention to structure and genre. Despite these similarities, I also argue that in the changing and complex context of contemporary Malaysia, the 'trauma' that is given voice in Thai horror may offer the new urban consumer an alternative depiction of and engagement with Southeast Asian modernity not addressed by Malaysian horror.

ISSN 2196-6893

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