Projected Fears: Horror Films and American Culture: Horror Films and American Culture

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ABC-CLIO, Apr 30, 2005 - Performing Arts - 240 pages

Movie audiences seem drawn, almost compelled, toward tales of the horrific and the repulsive. Partly because horror continues to evolve radically—every time the genre is deemed dead, it seems to come up with another twist—it has been one of the most often-dissected genres. Here, author Kendall Phillips selects ten of the most popular and influential horror films—including Dracula, Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, The Silence of the Lambs, and Scream, each of which has become a film landmark and spawned countless imitators, and all having implications that transcend their cinematic influence and achievement. By tracing the production history, contemporary audience response, and lasting cultural influence of each picture, Phillips offers a unique new approach to thinking about the popular attraction to horror films, and the ways in which they reflect both cultural and individual fears. Though stylistically and thematically very different, all of these movies have scared millions of eager moviegoers. This book tries to figure out why.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Dracula 1931
11
2 The Thing from Another World 1951
35
3 Psycho 1960
61
4 Night of the Living Dead 1968
81
5 The Exorcist 1973 and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974
101
6 Halloween 1978
123
7 The Silence of the Lambs 1991
145
8 Scream 1996
163
9 The Sixth Sense 1999
181
Conclusion
195
Notes
199
Selected Bibliography
215
Index
219
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Kendall R. Phillips is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University. His essays and reviews have appeared in such journals as Literature/Film Quartlery and Philosophy and Rhetoric.

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