Welcome to “Digital Ghosts,” the virtual component of my article titled “Posthuman Final Girls: The Digital Hauntings of Unfriended (2014) and the Poppy Project.” I hope to publish an open access version of this paper in the near future.
Tread carefully here. Not only are there ghosts, but there are spoilers.
In my reading of Levan Gabriadze’s 2014 horror film Unfriended and Titanic Sinclair’s Poppy project as two examples of posthuman gothic texts, I found that they both operate within a version of the traditional slasher film, as defined by Carol Clover. In particular, I wanted to figure out who the final girl was in each of the two texts. This question turned out to be a lot more complex, as both Unfriended and the Poppy project contain characters who constantly undergo mutations of their forms and types.
I discovered that the digital ghost is a key figure in the posthuman gothic’s anxiety regarding the loss of a pure humanity in the face of integrated technology. I also realized that the digital ghost can be a figure of hope and empowerment when viewed for its ability to bring embodied experiences in conversation with virtual identities.