The Horror Film is an in-depth exploration of one of the most consistently popular, but also most disreputable, of all the mainstream film genres. Since the early 1930s there has never been a time when horror films were not being produced in substantial numbers somewhere in the world and never a time when they were not being criticised, censored or banned. The Horror Film engages with the key issues raised by this most contentious of genres. It considers the reasons for horror's disreputability and seeks to explain why despite this horror has been so successful. Where precisely does the appeal of horror lie?
An extended introductory chapter identifies what it is about horror that makes the genre so difficult to define. The chapter then maps out the historical development of the horror genre, paying particular attention to the international breadth and variety of horror production, with reference to films made in the United States, Britain, Italy, Spain and elsewhere.
Subsequent chapters explore:
The Horror Film throws new light on some well-known horror films but also introduces the reader to examples of noteworthy but more obscure horror work. A final section provides a guide to further reading and an extensive bibliography. Accessibly written, The Horror Film is a lively and informative account of the genre that will appeal to students of cinema, film teachers and researchers, and horror lovers everywhere.
1. Defining horror 2. A world of monsters 3. All in the mind? The psychology of horror 4. Terror in the aisles: horror's audiences 5. Dealing with difference 6. The sounds of horror 7. Performing horror 8. Modern horror and the 1970s 9. Slashers and post-slashers