Horror films have traditionally sunk their teeth into straitened times, reflecting, expressing and validating the spirit of the epoch, and capitalising on the political and cultural climate in which they are made. This book shows how the horror genre has adapted itself to the transformation of contemporary American politics and the mutating role of traditional and new media in the era of Donald Trump’s Presidency of the United States. Exploring horror’s renewed potential for political engagement in a socio-political climate characterised by the angst of civil conflict, the deception of ‘alternative facts’ and the threat of nuclear or biological conflict and global warming, Make America Hate Again examines the intersection of film, politics, and American culture and society through a bold critical analysis of popular horror (films, television shows, podcasts and online parodies), such as 10 Cloverfield Lane, American Horror Story, Don’t Breathe, Get Out, Hotel Transylvania 2, Hush, It, It Comes at Night, South Park, The Babadook, The Walking Dead, The Woman, The Witch and Twin Peaks: The Return. The first major exploration of the horror genre through the lens of the Trump era, it investigates the correlations between recent, culturally meaningful horror texts, and the broader culture within which they have become gravely significant. Offering a rejuvenating, optimistic, and positive perspective on popular culture as a site of cultural politics, Make America Hate Again will appeal to scholars and students of American studies, film and media studies, and cultural studies.

chapter |15 pages


part 1|37 pages

“Drain the swamp … we all float down here!”

chapter 1|13 pages

“Let’s put a smile on that face”

Trump, the psychotic clown, and the history of American violence

chapter 2|22 pages

Shilling Pennywise

Chump change in Trump’s (trans) America

part 2|40 pages

“A (nasty) woman’s place is in the resistance!”

chapter 3|10 pages

Breaking out and fighting back

Female resistance in the Trump-era horror film

chapter 4|14 pages

An end to monstrosity

Horror, queer representation, and the Trump kakistocracy

chapter 5|14 pages

Trauma, repression, and The Babadook

Sexual identity in the Trump era

part 3|34 pages

“We all bleed red!”

chapter 6|12 pages

Lock her up!

Angry men and the captive woman in post-Recession horror

chapter 7|10 pages

“I told you not to go into that house”

Get Out and horror’s racial politics

chapter 8|10 pages

Securing the borders

Isolation and anxiety in The Witch, It Comes at Night, and Trump’s America

part 4|46 pages

“You’ve been Trump’d … get out (of the White House)!”

chapter 9|10 pages

Trump’s great American family

Racism, sexism, and homophobia in Hotel Transylvania 2

chapter 10|11 pages

South Park

Trump, technology, and the uncanny

chapter 11|12 pages

Get Out (of the White House)

The Trump administration and YouTube horror parody as social commentary

chapter 12|11 pages

Beware the untruths

Podcast audio horror in Post-Truth America

part 5|36 pages

Now you’re in the sunken place … with a damn fine cup of “covfefe”

chapter 13|18 pages

“There is no return”

Twin Peaks and the horror of pleasure

chapter 14|16 pages

“I don’t understand how this keeps happening … over and over again”

Trumpism, uncanny repetition, and Twin Peaks: The Return