Bryan Bertino

MoviesFilm School Rejects

Bryan Bertino and 21st-Century Nihilism

Shades of nihilism are no stranger to the horror genre. The human body is so often manipulated and destroyed in the face of an evil force. However, in the 21st century, a new type of nihilistic cinema was born in France with the New French Extremity. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the world felt defenseless, and the films within this movement, such as Martyrs and High Tension, depend on the complete destruction of the human body to convey a sense of hopelessness: bad things happen to normal people and it cannot be stopped. But in the US, while there was a rise in torture porn films such as Saw and Hostel, there wasn’t such a pervading sense of nihilism in mainstream American horror cinema.
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