Is immersion merely a subjective response to a work, or can it be an objective formal feature of the work itself? This article examines the unique situation of horror as a genre that demands a substantial level of immersion in order to be successful and will begin to answer this question through a close reading of Marisha Pessl's Night Film (2013). Through the novel's intricate staging of different forms of immersion that is made possible by its extended length, this article argues that Pessl and the horror genre more generally seek to establish a difference between something like literal immersion, which requires the engrossment of a reader or viewer in the world of the story, and immersion as a formal technique, which is for the most part indifferent to the actual engagement of the audience and instead produces a claim immanent to the work itself.

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