Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Film Studies

First Advisor

Kelli Fuery

Second Advisor

Patrick Fuery

Third Advisor

Kelvin McQueen


To counter both the form of critical thought first outlined by Kant that dispels absolute knowledge, as well as the dogmatic necessitarianism that asserts the universe must be one way for an absolute originary reason, Quentin Meillassoux argues for the “non-facticity of facticity” to implicate an absolute contingency or unreason structuring reality: in effect, anything could happen for no reason at all. Meillassoux suggests the trauma of the contingent event and the sudden impossibility of inductive science in its wake may be explored in an “Extro-Science Fiction” text (XSF) – but limits his examples to science fiction literature. Framing the contingent rupture along Alain Badiou’s theory of the event, this paper argues Supernatural Horror media presents the possibility of an inhuman ethical attitude in the face of the contingent – an embrace of the insatiable wound of inductive skepticism (as outlined by David Hume) and the ulterior shock of the contingent event (as outlined by Meillassoux). These films generate a lucrative terrain to explore the contingent event and the ethical demands wrought therein, asking us – what does it mean to be in a world where positive (meta-)physical knowledge and inductive science become gratuitously and horrifically impossible? This embrace involves a decision between despair and quietism, or fidelity and scientific pursual.

Found Footage Horror will be analyzed as an urgent form of engagement with contingency through its continual re-inscription of the distance between image and unthought noumenal world, provoking an interest in contingency as a potentially cognizable real event. Subsequently, three Found Footage Horror texts will be analyzed as they outline three respective ethical attitudes facing the contingent: primal despair/avoidance in Grave Encounters (dir. Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz, 2011), mystic quietism/ineffability in Lake Mungo (dir. Joel Anderson, 2008), and finally a scientific ethics of fidelity, knowledge, and courage as outlined by Alain Badiou, apparent in Koji Shiraishi’s Senritsu Kaiki File Kowasugi (2012-2023) franchise.

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