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Horror and the Horror Film

Horror and the Horror Film

By Bruce F. Kawin

New Perspectives on World Cinema

‘Horror and the Horror Film’ is a vivid, compelling, insightful and well-written study of the horror film and its subgenres from 1896 to the present, concentrating on the nature of horror in reality and on film.

Paperback, 268 Pages

ISBN:9780857284501

June 2012

£25.00, $40.00

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  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Recently Viewed Titles

About This Book

Horror films can be profound fables of human nature and important works of art, yet many people dismiss them out of hand. “Horror and the Horror Film” conveys a mature appreciation of horror films along with a comprehensive view of their narrative strategies, their relations to reality and fantasy, and their cinematic power. The volume covers the entire genre, considering every kind of monster in it – including the human.

After defining horror and thoroughly introducing the genre, the text offers a rich survey of all of the horror film’s subgenres, before concluding with a look at the related genres of horror comedy and horror documentary. International in scope, its survey extends from the first horror films (1896) to the present, discussing more than 350 movies. Through its comprehensive and detailed investigation of the genre, “Horror and the Horror Film” offers a compelling, insightful look at how the horror film frightens and revolts the viewer, its reasons for doing so, and the art of portraying and evoking fear, and will be a great asset to film scholars, horror enthusiasts and readers yet to be convinced of the importance of the genre.

Reviews

“Just when I thought everything possible had already been written on horror films, along comes ‘Horror and the Horror Film’. Kawin’s book offers something more: it undertakes a ‘complete taxonomy’ of horror in order to show us what it is, how it works, why it compels us, and why we need it in our lives.” —William Costanzo, “The Journal of Media Literacy Education”


“If you’re going to talk about horror film, well, the conversation starts here. This is the kind of book that makes you realize your horror shelves are incomplete.” —Stephen Graham Jones, author of “Demon Theory”


“There is no one alive who has seen more horror cinema, read more widely on the subject, or thought more deeply about its form, function and meaning than Bruce Kawin. And there are few scholars who can convey their ideas with such clarity and grace. Every page of this indispensable book offers exhilarating insight not only into the major modes and preoccupations of the horror genre, but also into the complex workings and undying needs of the human imagination.” —Harold Schechter, author of “Savage Pastimes: A Cultural History of Violent Entertainment”

Author Information

Bruce F. Kawin is Professor of English and Film at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His books include ‘Telling It Again and Again: Repetition in Literature and Film’, ‘Mindscreen: Bergman, Godard, and First-Person Film’, ‘The Mind of the Novel: Reflexive Fiction and the Ineffable’, ‘Faulkner’s MGM Screenplays’ and ‘How Movies Work’. He is also the co-author of ‘A Short History of the Movies’.

Series

New Perspectives on World Cinema

Table of Contents

Preface; List of Figures; Part I. Approaching the Genre; 1. Horror; 2. The Monster at the Bedroom Window; 3. Fear in a Frame; Part II. Subgenres: The Book of Monsters; 4. Monsters; 5. Supernatural Monsters; 6. Humans; Part III. Related Genres; 7. Horror Comedy; 8. Horror Documentary; Notes; Films Cited; Selected Bibliography; Index

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