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American Horror Film: The Genre at the Turn of the Millennium

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Creatively spent and politically irrelevant, the American horror film is a mere ghost of its former self--or so goes the old saw from fans and scholars alike. Taking on this undeserved reputation, the contributors to this collection provide a comprehensive look at a decade of cinematic production, covering a wide variety of material from the last ten years with a clear cri Creatively spent and politically irrelevant, the American horror film is a mere ghost of its former self--or so goes the old saw from fans and scholars alike. Taking on this undeserved reputation, the contributors to this collection provide a comprehensive look at a decade of cinematic production, covering a wide variety of material from the last ten years with a clear critical eye. Individual essays profile the work of up-and-coming director Alexandre Aja and reassess William Malone's much-maligned Feardotcomin the light of the torture debate at the end of President George W. Bush's administration. Other essays look at the economic, social, and formal aspects of the genre; the globalization of the US film industry; the alleged escalation of cinematic violence; and the massive commercial popularity of the remake. Some essays examine specific subgenres--from the teenage horror flick to the serial killer film and the spiritual horror film--as well as the continuing relevance of classic directors such as George A. Romero, David Cronenberg, John Landis, and Stuart Gordon. Essays deliberate on the marketing of nostalgia and its concomitant aesthetic and on the curiously schizophrenic perspective of fans who happen to be scholars as well. Taken together, the contributors to this collection make a compelling case that American horror cinema is as vital, creative, and thought-provoking as it ever was.


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Creatively spent and politically irrelevant, the American horror film is a mere ghost of its former self--or so goes the old saw from fans and scholars alike. Taking on this undeserved reputation, the contributors to this collection provide a comprehensive look at a decade of cinematic production, covering a wide variety of material from the last ten years with a clear cri Creatively spent and politically irrelevant, the American horror film is a mere ghost of its former self--or so goes the old saw from fans and scholars alike. Taking on this undeserved reputation, the contributors to this collection provide a comprehensive look at a decade of cinematic production, covering a wide variety of material from the last ten years with a clear critical eye. Individual essays profile the work of up-and-coming director Alexandre Aja and reassess William Malone's much-maligned Feardotcomin the light of the torture debate at the end of President George W. Bush's administration. Other essays look at the economic, social, and formal aspects of the genre; the globalization of the US film industry; the alleged escalation of cinematic violence; and the massive commercial popularity of the remake. Some essays examine specific subgenres--from the teenage horror flick to the serial killer film and the spiritual horror film--as well as the continuing relevance of classic directors such as George A. Romero, David Cronenberg, John Landis, and Stuart Gordon. Essays deliberate on the marketing of nostalgia and its concomitant aesthetic and on the curiously schizophrenic perspective of fans who happen to be scholars as well. Taken together, the contributors to this collection make a compelling case that American horror cinema is as vital, creative, and thought-provoking as it ever was.

38 review for American Horror Film: The Genre at the Turn of the Millennium

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carlos

    En 'American Horror Film: The Genre at the Turn of the Millenium', Hantke nos presenta una compilación de ensayos escritos por personalidades académicas relacionadas directa o indirectamente con el Horror y sus sub-géneros. En esta compilación se trata de arrojar algo de luz sobre la aparente crisis creativa que enfrenta la producción de cine de terror en los Estados Unidos contemporáneos. Los ensayos son variados y me parece que la cuestión no se atiende de forma clara, sin embargo hay escritos m En 'American Horror Film: The Genre at the Turn of the Millenium', Hantke nos presenta una compilación de ensayos escritos por personalidades académicas relacionadas directa o indirectamente con el Horror y sus sub-géneros. En esta compilación se trata de arrojar algo de luz sobre la aparente crisis creativa que enfrenta la producción de cine de terror en los Estados Unidos contemporáneos. Los ensayos son variados y me parece que la cuestión no se atiende de forma clara, sin embargo hay escritos muy buenos y en su mayoría tienen formalidad analítica lo que los convierte en fuentes informativas que ayudan al lector a generar o contrastar un criterio sobre el estado de la industria en los Estados Unidos. Pienso que la cuestión podría haber sido más rica si se hubieran incluido documentos escritos por productores, directores y escritores ya que se contaría con diversos puntos de vista de personas que participan en todo el proceso.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Randi

    I enjoyed most of the broader essays, and skimmed the specific ones in the last section. Overall, interesting and informative (not to mention great for Netflix, considering all the movies I added to my queue). However, i found the lack of discussion about found footage horror films, a sub genre very much blooming during the time period under discussion, to be myopic and disappointing. Personally, I find found footage films to be the most innovative in regards to storytelling and character develop I enjoyed most of the broader essays, and skimmed the specific ones in the last section. Overall, interesting and informative (not to mention great for Netflix, considering all the movies I added to my queue). However, i found the lack of discussion about found footage horror films, a sub genre very much blooming during the time period under discussion, to be myopic and disappointing. Personally, I find found footage films to be the most innovative in regards to storytelling and character development, so I was looking forward to some mention of the them. Meh.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I'm usually not one to sit down and read a collection of academic essays for fun but this is about horror films so I was all over it. I enjoyed most of them and all offered interesting perspectives on horror in America, the directors, and the stories. I may even have to give FearDotCom and the remake of The Hills Have Eyes another chance after this! I'm usually not one to sit down and read a collection of academic essays for fun but this is about horror films so I was all over it. I enjoyed most of them and all offered interesting perspectives on horror in America, the directors, and the stories. I may even have to give FearDotCom and the remake of The Hills Have Eyes another chance after this!

  4. 4 out of 5

    juicy brained intellectual

    a vast array of approaches to discussing horror & it covers a lot of different ground. the first few essays were really strong, and there were some that were less than stellar, but overall a pretty good compendium of academic essays on the genre

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Graves

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

  7. 4 out of 5

    J.A.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angela

  9. 4 out of 5

    Greenlee Brown

  10. 5 out of 5

    tyto

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Miller

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jason Coffman

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emma-Louise Platt

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karen Renner

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sally Buckley

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mr Daniel Padian

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Fox

  20. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  21. 5 out of 5

    Siddartha

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Wiles

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nyssa

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tedwood Alexander Peacock

  26. 4 out of 5

    Skii Sun

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cody

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bryan R.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anonymous

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  32. 5 out of 5

    Emma Hartman

  33. 4 out of 5

    Aimee McKinney

  34. 4 out of 5

    Dax

  35. 4 out of 5

    Bookwhore Extraordinaire!

  36. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Rostami

  37. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  38. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

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