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.

A range of national cinemas both historical and recent are discussed, including canonical films such as:

    • The Curse of Frankenstein
    • Night of the Living Dead
    • Ginger Snaps
    • Halloween
    • The Evil Dead
    • Candyman
    • Saw
    • Ringu
    • Nosferatu

This introduction to horror cinema is the perfect guide for any student new to the genre or wishing to study in more depth.

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