The American Horror Film: An Introduction

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9780748614165: The American Horror Film: An Introduction
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The American Horror Film is the first overview of this popular genre. It moves from Dracula in 1931 to contemporary films such as Scream and The Sixth Sense. The various characters that recur in horror films - Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll, the Mummy, the Werewolf - are discussed, as are repeated themes such as the mad scientist, nuclear anxiety, psychological 'monsters', the living dead, and 'slasher' movies. Key directors including Jacques Tourneur, David Cronenberg, Roger Corman and Joe Dante are covered.The emphasis is on accessibility: while theory is included through reference to gender and politics, women's studies and psychoanalysis, it is introduced carefully and in direct relation to the films being discussed. No prior knowledge of the subject area is assumed. An extensive Filmography is included and reference is made at the appropriate point to the most pertinent writing on horror. Overall, this is an ideal introduction to the area for all students and general readers interested

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About the Author:


Reynold Humphries is Formerly Professor of Film Studies at the University of Lille

Review:

Humphries' chapter in Part II on Slashers, Serial Killers and the 'Final Girl' is invaluable as an introduction to horror. It not only presents the author's major themes in a concise manner, it illustrates point of view as an integral part of a film's meaning. Other discussions that seem particularly rewarding are those on Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and on Cronenberg's films. Humphries encourages readers to delve further into issues important to horror by providing a useful filmography and bibliography. The author's passion and respect for the horror film contributes to the energy and force of this study ! Humphries' extensive knowledge of the horror film and his fleeting allusions to hybrid genres, whets one's appetite for a slightly longer discussion of the subject, especially in light of the current emphasis on border crossings [!] by including a discussion of contemporary genre mixing in the concluding chapter, he might help readers to explore more fully whether there is anything beyond Shayamalan's Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense to enlighten an otherwise dimming screen. Humphries' chapter in Part II on Slashers, Serial Killers and the 'Final Girl' is invaluable as an introduction to horror. It not only presents the author's major themes in a concise manner, it illustrates point of view as an integral part of a film's meaning. Other discussions that seem particularly rewarding are those on Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and on Cronenberg's films. Humphries encourages readers to delve further into issues important to horror by providing a useful filmography and bibliography. The author's passion and respect for the horror film contributes to the energy and force of this study ! Humphries' extensive knowledge of the horror film and his fleeting allusions to hybrid genres, whets one's appetite for a slightly longer discussion of the subject, especially in light of the current emphasis on border crossings [!] by including a discussion of contemporary genre mixing in the concluding chapter, he might help readers to explore more fully whether there is anything beyond Shayamalan's Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense to enlighten an otherwise dimming screen.

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9780748614158: The American Horror Film: An Introduction

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ISBN 10:  074861415X ISBN 13:  9780748614158
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press, 2002
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