Horror violates the taken-for-granted ‘natural’ order. It blurs boundaries and mixes categories that are usually regarded as discrete to create…’[im]purity and danger.’ The anomaly manifests itself as the monster: a force that is unnatural, deviant, and possibly malformed. The monster violates the boundaries of the body in a two-fold manner: through the use of violence against other bodies…and through the disruptive qualities of its own body. The monster’s body is marked by the disruption of categories; it embodies contradiction. The pallor of the vampire, the weirdly oxymoronic ‘living dead’ signifies death, yet the sated vampire’s veins surge with the blood of its victim. The monster disrupts the social order by dissolving the basis of its signifying system, its network of differences: me/not me, animate/inanimate, human/nonhuman, life/death. The monster’s body dissolves binary differences.
The monster signifies what Julia Kristeva calls the ‘abject,’ that which does not ‘respect borders, positions, rules’—‘the place where meaning collapses’. Danger is born of this confusion because it violates cultural categories. This is why the destruction of the monster is imperitave; it is only when the monster is truly dead and subject to decay that it ceases to threaten the social order. Disintegration promises to reduce the monster to an undifferentiated mass, one that no longer embodies difference and contradition, for ‘where there is no differentiation, there is no defilement’.
Isabel Cristina Pinedo, Recreational Terror: Women and the Pleasures of Horror Film Viewing
The star of the show is the town. That’s what it’s about. It’s how people tend to cleave together, and social order forms out of chaos. That’s the primary theme of the entire show, so therefore the town itself is the star. People would come to visit and want to go to the set. Most sets are f—king boring, really. “Deadwood” was the one place that was so immersive, especially when we were shooting at night, because we shot a lot by torch. We used minimal lights. Going there at night, when you couldn’t see the surrounding area at all, it was like stepping back in time. It really was this kind of other world.
…and his face had a fragile look as if it might have been broken and stuck together again, or like a gun no one knows is loaded.