Horror cinema is a hugely successful, but at the same time culturally illicit genre that spans the history of cinema. It continues to flourish with recent cycles of supernatural horror and torture porn that span the full range of horror styles and aesthetics. It is enjoyed by audiences everywhere, but also seen as a malign influence by others.
In this Routledge Film Guidebook, audience researcher and film scholar Brigid Cherry provides a comprehensive overview of the horror film and explores how the genre works. Examining the way horror films create images of gore and the uncanny through film technology and effects, Cherry provides an account of the way cinematic and stylistic devices create responses of terror and disgust in the viewer.
Horror examines the way these films construct psychological and cognitive responses and how they speak to audiences on an intimate personal level, addressing their innermost fears and desires. Cherry further explores the role of horror cinema in society and culture, looking at how it represents various identity groups and engages with social anxieties, and examining the way horror sees, and is seen by, society.
Brigid Cherry is a senior lecturer at St Mary’s University College where she teaches courses on film and popular culture. Her research into horror film audiences and fan canons has been recently published, alongside articles on Candyman, Hellraiser, and Interview with the Vampire.