A History of Horror

Front Cover
Rutgers University Press, 2010 - Performing Arts - 248 pages
Ever since horror leapt from popular fiction to the silver screen in the late 1890s, viewers have experienced fear and pleasure in exquisite combination. Wheeler Winston Dixon's A History of Horror is the only book to offer a comprehensive survey of this ever-popular film genre.

Arranged by decades, with outliers and franchise films overlapping some years, this one-stop sourcebook unearths the historical origins of characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman and their various incarnations in film from the silent era to comedic sequels. A History of Horror explores how the horror film fits into the Hollywood studio system and how its enormous success in American and European culture expanded globally over time.

Dixon examines key periods in the horror film-in which the basic precepts of the genre were established, then banished into conveniently reliable and malleable forms, and then, after collapsing into parody, rose again and again to create new levels of intensity and menace. A History of Horror, supported by rare stills from classic films, brings over fifty timeless horror films into frightfully clear focus, zooms in on today's top horror Web sites, and champions the stars, directors, and subgenres that make the horror film so exciting and popular with contemporary audiences.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - phoenixcomet - LibraryThing

A comprehensive look at the history of horror films since the advent of the motion picture industry and a mild social commentary on the role horror films have played in providing a release for people ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I like this book very much and has very well written info and details.


Top Horror Web Sites

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

WHEELER WINSTON DIXON is the James Ryan Endowed Professor of Film Studies, professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He is the coeditor-in-chief of the Quarterly Review of Film and Video. His many books include the recent Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia (Rutgers University Press).

Bibliographic information