Book Chapter: “Doesn’t everyone want their parents dead?” Monstrous Children in the Films of Ridley Scott  

A side project that I have been working on for the past year or two has finally come to fruition! This book chapter is a study of monstrous children in the science fiction films of Ridley Scott, published in ‘Monstrous Children and Childish Monsters‘ by McFarland and edited by Markus P.J. Bohlmann and Sean Moreland.

With a focus on the genre of popular cinema, ‘Monstrous Children’ brings together a collection of scholars who interrogate ideas of monstrosity in association with the concept of ‘childness’ or the child. Karen J Renner,  author of The Evil Child (2013) is one of the contributors. The collection also features forewords by Steven Bruhm and James R. Kincaid, and afterwords by Kathryn Bond Stockton and Harry M. Benshoff.

In this essay I analyse themes of patriarchy, the monstrous and the liminal in Scott’s films Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1983) and Prometheus (2012). I’ve always been a fan of those films, and having the opportunity to adopt a critical approach to them has been a great experience. Plot wise, I feel that Prometheus had a lot less to offer than Scott’s earlier efforts, but the representation of monstrous children seems to be a recurring theme in his science fiction films. The creation of artificial life is another theme that these films have in common. While the concept of creating artificial people might seem like an alien (excuse the pun) concept, recent advances in the development of artificial intelligence, as Stephen Hawking proposes, should be treated with caution. What is ‘science fiction’ in these films, might become an actual reality, as this clip from Prometheus’s viral campaign presupposes.

Monstrous Children Cover


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'horror': Middle English: via Old French from Latin horror, from horrere ‘tremble, shudder’.

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