Swearwolves and werewolves: mockumentary, masculinity and mundane monsters

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


‘Found footage’ films have enjoyed some success in recent years, with horror offerings such as Paranormal Activity and [REC] establishing themselves as ongoing franchises. Pseudo-documentary also has a lineage in horror TV, and horror TV series have often adopted this style for one-off episodes or specials (e.g. Buffy, Supernatural, Psychoville). The ‘raw’ style of observational documentary/ reality formats has obvious advantages in terms of budget, and keys into debates about what is/is not seen in visual horror, about how the genre seeks to engage its audience, and the ways it can portray the eruption of the fantastic into the mundane. This kind of visual horror capitalises on the pervasiveness of digital recording technologies, offering new perspectives on horror tropes such as ghosts, zombies and vampires. The werewolf story, with its spectacular transformations and often conflicted characters, might seem a natural for this ‘uncut’ format, yet there are still relatively few examples. This paper will analyse one cinematic and one televisual version of the werewolf that use the characteristic features of pseudo-documentary to rather different effect, staging an exploration of masculinity via horror’s clash of the mundane and the fantastic.
Period4 Sep 2015
Event titleThe Company of Wolves: Sociality, Animality, and Subjectivity in Literary and Cultural Narratives - Werewolves, Shapeshifters, and Feral Humans
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionRegional


  • Werewolves
  • television
  • found footage
  • horror
  • masculinity