The Ovidian Locus Terribilis in Contemporary Rural Horror

Laura Ellen Joyce

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Why are contemporary crime dramas so often filmed in lush settings? From the supernatural woodland of Twin Peaks and The Blair Witch Project, to the haunting bayous of True Detective, landscape takes a starring role. Lakes are particularly dangerous and recur time and again in crime drama, most recently in New Zealand's Top of the Lake, Karen Fossum's Girl by the Lake, French film Stranger by the Lake, and British crime film Eden Lake. This volume asks what it is that draws our narrative imaginations so compellingly towards crime dramas that take place in unspoilt, sublime locations. Beginning with Ovid's most striking poetic special effect, the locus terribilis, which uses stunning, natural locations as the setting for violence, the book traces his influence and asks what this particular contrast has to tell us about our relationship to our landscapes, our bloody colonial histories, and our current ecological fears. Laura Joyce offers a fresh perspective on contemporary crime television and cinema using the lens of classical, and specifically Ovidian, reception.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages272
ISBN (Print)9781474294669
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

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