Popular Culture Review 29.1 (Spring 2018) - Page 103

Cross’s series, provide hiding places for the killers. For instance, episode one of series two focuses upon a young woman who, walking home late at night, takes a London side street, its dark and seemingly lifeless buildings intensifying the uncanny sense of a hidden, stalking presence. Sensing that she is not alone, the woman turns to discover that a man wearing the punch mask made famous by the Scream movies has been following her. Wielding a large knife, the man seizes the moment and brutally murders the woman. In the novel and the series, the dread inspired by setting is often intensified by creating the sense of a haunting, a device long associated with Gothic horror (Hutchings 14). As Jerold Hogle comments, “These hauntings can take many forms, but they frequently assume the feature of ghosts, specters, or monsters . . . . that arise from within the antiquated space” (3). Accordingly, in several episodes, the action takes place in derelict dwellings that, as they harbor the killer awaiting the victim, recall the haunted houses that have become one of the “visual codes” of Gothic horror (Hogle 2). The second episode from series three provides an example. Here, a lone woman returns to her flat, thinks that she senses another presence, and brushes off the uncanny sensation of a haunting as a product of her imagination. Of course, the monster is hiding in-wait for her. In fact, the director positions the camera under the woman’s bed to create the killer’s perspective and to reveal to the viewer where this monster is located. Thus, from the perspective of the killer, whose foot fetish drives him to rape and kill, the viewer watches as the woman removes her shoes and reveals her bare feet. She finds her fears confirmed but only after she closes her eyes and presumably falls asleep. That’s when the killer, head first and lying on his back, slides out from under the woman’s bed, his movement evoking the impression of something monstrous and inhuman. She opens her eyes to find the killer lurking over her in semi-darkness. In many Gothic horror narratives, the dread inspired by setting is amplified by sounds that intensify the sense of a haunting and the presence of a monstrous evil (Hutchings 126- 134). A striking example of the use of sound to inspire a sense of dread occurs at the beginning of the fourth episode of series three. In this episode, a single housewife, awaiting the arrival of her late-working husband, goes through the house searching for the source of a strange sound: she finds, much to her relief, that a pigeon has been trapped in one of the rooms. Any fear that danger awaits is seemingly put to rest after she receives a couple of texts, supposedly from her husband, one telling her that he is on his way and the second informing her that he’s stopping by the store to pick up that night’s dinner. The caller arrives at the house 103