Auburn Family

Oh, the horror: Halloween-worthy class offered next spring

BEWARE! The stressful time of registration is upon students at Auburn University, but this spring, RTVF professor Dr. Deron Overpeck is offering a unique course where students can face their fears and explore their love of gore. 

Amid the pressure of avoiding the Business Ethics waitlist (again) and worrying about the rumors circulating Public Speaking, students can register for RTVF 4970, Horror Films.

“I love horror films, so it’s an opportunity to watch, teach and discuss a genre that I love dearly,” Overpeck said. “Horror films present us the opportunity to confront the destruction of everything we hold dear. They allow us to confront our fears: the fear that we’re out of control, the destruction of ourselves or of society.”

This class will be taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 pm with a screening of a new film every Tuesday at 4 pm.

“I am a very firm believer in that the reason you take film classes is to watch films and discuss them,” Dr. Overpeck said. "We watch classic horror films in the beginning like The Exorcist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. From there we take a more historical approach to how the genre has developed, starting with silent films like The Phantom of the Opera."

Students’ first assignment will be to write an essay about what frightens them and why. Horror movies can provide a safe way to confront fears and get an adrenaline rush without the risk.

“To quote the jigsaw killer from the Saw films, ‘Oh yes, there will be blood,’” Overpeck said. “There is no horror film that I would not show in this class, no matter how graphic. Expect a lot of blood. Expect a lot of uncomfortable material.”

At the end of the semester, students will be able to choose their own film to watch and write about. They will have a chance to explain why they consider the chosen movie a horror film and show their personal preferences and opinions.

“It will be a class where your interest in film will be taken seriously, and you’ll be encouraged to pursue them further, to nurture them” Dr. Overpeck said. “This class will help you learn about yourself.”

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