Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

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Chapter 1: Origins

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pp. 1-24

Before there were horror movies, there were written or spoken horror narratives, fables handed down from one generation to the next, and, as we shall see, theatrical presentations designed to thrill and horrify audiences. The origins of the horror story may be traced to the beginning of narrative itself, or at least as far back as the...

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Chapter 2: Classics

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pp. 25-64

Between 1931 and 1948 one studio dominated the production of horror films, not only in the United States, but world wide. That studio was Universal Pictures, which began an aggressive slate of horror films in 1931 with Tod Browning’s Dracula, based on the...

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Chapter 3: Rebirth

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pp. 65-122

In America, horror films in the 1950s were trying to find a new audience. The genre had yet to recover from the predations of Abbott and Costello’s burlesques of Universal’s classic monsters (Meet the Mummy and so on). The rise of television, too, was another “monster” that the studios faced during this period, and one of the tools...

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Chapter 4: New Blood

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pp. 123-171

And so the floodgates opened. The horror films released from the 1970s onward had little in common with their predecessors, save for one central aspect: they genuinely horrified viewers. It is hard to imagine audience members fainting dead away at the sight of Boris Karloff in Frankenstein, but it is so; Edward Van Sloan’s “friendly...

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Chapter 5: The Future

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pp. 172-210

While the franchises of the 1970s through the turn of the twenty-first century continued unabated, a number of factors combined to make horror films in the new millennium more imaginative, more original, and more accessible to a wide range of audiences...

Top Horror Web Sites

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pp. 211-213

50 Classic Horror Films

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pp. 215-216

Bibliography

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pp. 217-222

Index

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pp. 223-248