STREET DATE 12/19/2023
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In 1980s India, the Ramsay Brothers and other filmmakers produced a wave of horror movies about soul-sucking witches, knife-wielding psychopaths, and dark-caped vampires. Seeing Things is about the sudden cuts, botched prosthetic effects, continuity errors, and celluloid damage in these movies. Such moments may very well be "failures" of various kinds, but in this book Kartik Nair reads them as clues to the conditions in which the films were once made, censored, and seen, offering a view from below of the world's largest film culture. Combining extensive archival research and original interviews with close readings of landmark films including Purana Mandir, Veerana, and Jaani Dushman, this book tracks the material coordinates of horror cinema's spectral images. In the process, Seeing Things discovers a spectral materiality—one that informs Bombay horror's haunted houses, grotesque bodies, and graphic violence and gives visceral force to our experience of the genre's globally familiar conventions.