The Uncanny Valley

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At its finest, horror is seductive. Some of the best works of horror are those which test the limitations of degrees of wrongness and still manage to keep audiences enticed. Like Clive Barker’s “In the Hills, the Cities”, a story following a gay couple, Mick and Judd, celebrating their honeymoon in Yugoslavia during a decade of celebration in the nearby cities of Popolac and Podujevo. Only this celebration involves a ritual where the thirty thousand citizens of each city are bound together to create two giant creatures. This story captures the essence of horror by both repulsing its readers and leaving their minds unsettled. I argue that Barker’s “In the Hills, the Cities” is best illustrated as a work of horror through Julia Kristeva 's’ notion…show more content…
Lastly is Masahiro Mori’s “ The Uncanny Valley” (1970) which is only applicable when analyzing the creation of Popolac and Podujevo can only be utilized to understand the uncanny effect of their material properties and physical attributes but nothing beyond that. In his article, Mori argues that robot designers should stray from particular attributes unless they want to risk falling into the uncanny valley. These attributes rely on factors such as familiarity, human likeness, and motion (or lack thereof). Overall, Mori’s theory is relevant when we consider the construction of Popolac and Podujevo and how both their designs break the rules set by Mori. If we were to apply Popolac and Podujevo within Mori’s measures, both giants would be guaranteed to fall into the uncanny valley because of their violation of Mori’s rules on skin color, eyes, and movement. Barker’s giants are not only skin colored, but they are also made of humans and made to resemble a human (despite its odd proportions). The only distinguishing variable between them is movement, unlike Popolac, Podujevo is unstable and moves unnaturally and as a result Podujevo would most likely be lower in the valley. In any case, I argue that beyond establishing these attributes and being able to identify their “uncanniness” on a scale, Mori does not help audiences expand on the nuances presented by Barker’s horrifying
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