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The Horror Film: An Introduction

ISBN: 978-1-4051-3902-1
336 pages
October 2006, Wiley-Blackwell
The Horror Film: An Introduction (1405139021) cover image
Combining historical narrative with close readings of several significant horror films, this brief volume offers a broad and lively introduction to cinematic horror. In doing so, it outlines and investigates important issues in the production, consumption, and cultural interpretation of the genre.

  • An ideal text for perennially popular courses on the horror film genre.
  • Examines the ways in which horror movies have been produced, received, and interpreted by filmmakers, audiences, and critics, from the 1920s to the present.
  • Provides a short historical introduction of the horror film as an orientation to the field.
  • Analyses a wide variety of major works in the genre, including Frankenstein, Cat People, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Halloween and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
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List of illustrations.

Acknowledgments.

1. Introduction: Undying Monsters.

2 A Short History of the Horror Film:Beginnings to 1945.

3. A Short History of the Horror Film: 1945 to the Present.

4. Monsters Among Us: Cases of Social Reception.

5. Edges of the Horror Film: Lon Chaney, Tod Browning, and The Unknown (1927).

6. Frankenstein (1931) and Hollywood Expressionism.

7. Cat People (1942): Lewton, Freud, and Suggestive Horror.

8. Horror in “The Age of Anxiety”: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).

9. Slaughtering Genre Tradition: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).

10. Halloween (1978): The Shape of the Slasher Film.

11. Re-Animator (1985) and Slapstick Horror.

12. Demon Lover: Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992).

13. Afterword: Our Haunted Houses.

Appendix: Horror Auteurs.

Notes.

Index

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Rick Worland is Associate Professor and Chair of the Division of Cinema-Television at Southern Methodist University. He has published in many scholarly journals, including Cinema Journal, and has contributed essays to a number of film collections.
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  • An ideal text for perennially popular courses on the horror film genre.
  • Examines the ways in which horror movies have been produced, received, and interpreted by filmmakers, audiences, and critics, from the 1920s to the present.
  • Provides a short historical introduction of the horror film as an orientation to the field.
  • Analyses a wide variety of major works in the genre, including Frankenstein, Cat People, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Halloween and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
  • Features numerous illustrations from a variety of horror films.
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"Worland writes in a scholarly but not overly pedantic style, and he is concise and insightful" Choice
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