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Posted on July 21, 2019

Styx and the ‘Monstrous-Migrant’

Dawn Keetley

Styx (2018) is a taut psychological drama from Austrian director Wolfgang Fischer that turns to horror near its end, offering something of a commentary on horror as it does so. Indeed, Styx is part of an emerging sub-genre of horror that I’m calling the ‘monstrous-migrant’, after Barbara Creed’s ‘monstrous-feminine’.

The film follows a German doctor, Rike (Susanne Wolff), who lives and works in Gibraltar. The first scenes of the film, which show her at work as a trauma physician, are almost entirely silent and dark and strongly suggest the deadening nature of her work. One morning, however, she packs her sailing boat the Asa Gray (named after US botanist and friend of Charles Darwin) with plentiful supplies and sets off to sail down the coast of Africa to Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean.

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