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A New Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema, Revised and Updated Edition

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David Pirie’s acclaimed 'A Heritage of Horror'  was the first book on the British horror movie, and the first to detect and analyse the roots of British horror, identifying it as 'the only staple cinematic myth which Britain can properly claim as its own.'  It has long been regarded as a trail-blazing classic, “having the force of a revelation”, according to one recent stu David Pirie’s acclaimed 'A Heritage of Horror'  was the first book on the British horror movie, and the first to detect and analyse the roots of British horror, identifying it as 'the only staple cinematic myth which Britain can properly claim as its own.'  It has long been regarded as a trail-blazing classic, “having the force of a revelation”, according to one recent study of the subject, and heralded by  Michael Powell and Martin Scorsese. Now with 'A New Heritage of Horror', David Pirie has revised his original work, bringing the story up to date and into the 21st century.  Alongside the classic films of the twentieth century, all explored within the full context of their production and appearance on our screens, he examines the latest horror boom, inaugurated by such films as 'The Others' and '28 Days Later'.  He has also uncovered fresh documentation from the original files for this new edition, to add more revelations abuot the history of UK horror and Hammer Films, not least the largely untold story of their desperate battles against censorship.  He has further up-dated the original text and added new illustrations.  'The New Heritage of Horror' promises to be one of the key film books of 2008.


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David Pirie’s acclaimed 'A Heritage of Horror'  was the first book on the British horror movie, and the first to detect and analyse the roots of British horror, identifying it as 'the only staple cinematic myth which Britain can properly claim as its own.'  It has long been regarded as a trail-blazing classic, “having the force of a revelation”, according to one recent stu David Pirie’s acclaimed 'A Heritage of Horror'  was the first book on the British horror movie, and the first to detect and analyse the roots of British horror, identifying it as 'the only staple cinematic myth which Britain can properly claim as its own.'  It has long been regarded as a trail-blazing classic, “having the force of a revelation”, according to one recent study of the subject, and heralded by  Michael Powell and Martin Scorsese. Now with 'A New Heritage of Horror', David Pirie has revised his original work, bringing the story up to date and into the 21st century.  Alongside the classic films of the twentieth century, all explored within the full context of their production and appearance on our screens, he examines the latest horror boom, inaugurated by such films as 'The Others' and '28 Days Later'.  He has also uncovered fresh documentation from the original files for this new edition, to add more revelations abuot the history of UK horror and Hammer Films, not least the largely untold story of their desperate battles against censorship.  He has further up-dated the original text and added new illustrations.  'The New Heritage of Horror' promises to be one of the key film books of 2008.

30 review for A New Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema, Revised and Updated Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    indispensable review of a classic period within horror. terence fisher and hammer horror are of course the most extensively discussed, but the author doesn't stint on many other fascinating works and directors. even better, the reach of this is wide, discussing everything from gender roles to production history, with everything in between. the author's perspective is a generous but critical one and his style is scholarly but by no means dry. because i love lists, here are my favorite films from h indispensable review of a classic period within horror. terence fisher and hammer horror are of course the most extensively discussed, but the author doesn't stint on many other fascinating works and directors. even better, the reach of this is wide, discussing everything from gender roles to production history, with everything in between. the author's perspective is a generous but critical one and his style is scholarly but by no means dry. because i love lists, here are my favorite films from hammer horror and the like: The Devil Rides Out The Gorgon The Horror of Dracula Dracula Has Risen from the Grave Dracula, Prince of Darkness Plague of the Zombies Peeping Tom

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne Billson

    It's missing one star because the publishers failed to proof-read it properly, but this is a ground-breaking study of British horror cinema and a must-read for anyone interested in horror movies.

  3. 5 out of 5

    G. Connor Salter

    Several reviewers have already noted that this revised version isn't hugely different from the previous version except for grammar changes to some of the original text, a few new pages of insights about the material covered in the older version, and several added chapters covering new English horror films. Advertising aside, this is still a definitive look at English horror movies, well-worth buying in any format and very readable for a scholarly text.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Barnett

    I did this with another book - judge me for it, its a flaw - but I gave this five stars because it's essential reading if you are interested in British horror or English Gothic horror. Pirie's argument has its flaws and I don't necessarily agree with his opinions on seventies horror films, in the first edition he even had a different idea of where horror was going. But, it's fairly easy to read, it makes a lot of good points, and it really comes from a love and respect for horror films that was I did this with another book - judge me for it, its a flaw - but I gave this five stars because it's essential reading if you are interested in British horror or English Gothic horror. Pirie's argument has its flaws and I don't necessarily agree with his opinions on seventies horror films, in the first edition he even had a different idea of where horror was going. But, it's fairly easy to read, it makes a lot of good points, and it really comes from a love and respect for horror films that was completely non-existent before this book. He really made it possible for people to take horror films seriously from an academic/non-fiction perspective. I think what made me really like this book was not that it was perfect, but rather that he clearly loves horror films and loves the Gothic and sees that it's not just cheap shock. Horror films really challenge society, and I love that he sees that and celebrated it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Luumi Zuckerberg

    This is definitely a must-have for any horror buff.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    This used to be the essential bridge between Dennis Gifford's Pictorial History of Horror Movies and Kim Newman's Nigtmare Movies for anyone interested in UK Gothic Cinema, until the revised edition, A New Heritage of Horror was published in 2011

  7. 4 out of 5

    Abs007

    Detailed, in depth and entertaining look at the behind the scenes shenanigans of British horror in the early days. Hammer studio's constant battles with the censor are particularly eye opening.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Simona

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alberto

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Cornelius

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  12. 4 out of 5

    Craig

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elena

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrej Gustincic

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael Psaro

  17. 5 out of 5

    eve

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bilskirnir

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erik

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tony Sims-Novis

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eamonn

  22. 5 out of 5

    John

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tony

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fraser Burnett

  25. 4 out of 5

    Leo

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ysbrand Bosma

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aaryk Noctivagus

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mr. David Roberts

  29. 4 out of 5

    James

  30. 5 out of 5

    J.A.

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