White Terror: The Horror Film from Obama to Trump

Indiana Univ. Apr. 2022. 226p. ISBN 9780253060372. $65. FILM
Meeuf (journalism and mass media, Univ. of Idaho; Rebellious Bodies: Stardom, Citizenship and the New Body Politics) studies the ability of the horror film to reflect the current political climate in this fascinating homage to U.S. horror films from 2008 to 2016, which grossed at least one million dollars. Meeuf asserts that after Obama’s election, the horror genre returned to its traditional norms and focused on the anxieties of white people, who feared losing their social power now that the country was being led by a Black man. Meeuf focuses on 147 films, dividing them into five main categories—the haunted house, home invasion, horrific child, horrific technology, and nostalgic horror remake. He names the irrational fears that filmmakers tapped into: the stability of the white family home, the authority of white men, failures of white motherhood, and fears of the developing and exploitative surveillance culture. Ironically, with the rise of Trump, films pivoted to more nuanced explorations of race and ethnicity.
VERDICT Meeuf provides evidence of underlying social and political themes in an often-dismissed genre in this thought-provoking work that will be appreciated by fans of the format and by scholars studying the cultural effects of the first Black presidency.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing