Symposium: Animated Horror - Fredrikstad Animation Festival

Symposium: Animated Horror

The potential of animation as horror – What characterizes animated horror? What is the value of it? And what are the fruitful synergies between the medium of animation and the genre of horror? These are some of the questions that will be asked in this symposium on animated horror.

Animation and horror share several traits: They are both pop cultural forms of expression that reanimate the seemingly lifeless; they are both characterized by the transgression of borders, and they are both allowed to be boundlessly inventive in their expressions. A premise of this symposium is that horror is a genre that is apt for dealing with fear, and not only for creating fear in the audience. We ask: What are the unique qualities of animation in its ability to treat and give expression to fear?

The keynote speaker of the symposium is Stacey Abbott, a Professor in film and television studies, who has written extensively on the topic of horror. She will discuss the fascinating synergies between animation and horror. Associate Professor of film studies Endre Eidsaa Larsen will present some theories of why horror matters, and suggest how animated horror can rework our sense of the familiar. Finally, Ray Whitcher, lecturer at the Department of Game Design in Uppsala, will discuss how the so-called Grimdark genre can be used as a framework for storytelling.

The symposium also includes screenings, a discussion among the speakers, and a Q&A with the audience. Welcome to a peaceful symposium on horror!


Stacey Abbott

Stacey Abbott is a Professor Emerita in Film and Television at Roehampton University, UK. She is a leading scholar of horror cinema and TV, with a specialism around vampires and zombies. She has taught courses on horror as well as the history of animation for over 15 years. She is the author of “Celluloid Vampires” (2007), “Undead Apocalypse: Vampires and Zombies in the 21st Century” (2016), the BFI Film Classic on “Near Dark” (2020), and co-author, with Lorna Jowett, of “TV Horror” (2012). She is currently writing a new book that weaves together her love of the horror genre and animation, “Horror Animation: History, Aesthetics, and Genre”.

Ray Whitcher

Ray Whitcher is a lecturer and practitioner of animation hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, now lecturing at Uppsala University, Sweden. In his professional career, Ray has animated lyric videos for clients including Marshmello, YungBlud, and Corey Taylor, illustrated comics for Star Wars: Clone Wars Confidential as well as various illustrative and design projects. In his lecturing capacity, Ray teaches 2D animation for video games, concept art development, critical theory, and professional practice (including pitching). He has also published scholarly articles on Comic Practices in Africa, Intermediality, and Curatorial Practice.

Endre Eidsaa Larsen

Endre Eidsaa Larsen is an associate professor in Film and Animation Studies at Volda University College. Endre teaches film and animation history, theory and analysis, and centers his research on questions of aesthetics, style and perception. In 2021, he finished his Ph.D. with the thesis Figures of Cinema: A Figural Approach to Film and Film Analysis (Larsen, 2021).