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A Companion


Edited By Simon Bacon

What is Horror?

Horror is an inherently sensational and popular phenomenon. Extreme violence, terrifying monsters and jarring music shock, scare and excite us out of our everyday lives. The horror genre gives shape to the particular anxieties of society but also reveals the fundamental nature of what it is to be human.

This volume provides an introduction to horror in compact and accessible essays, from classics such as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining to contemporary throwbacks like the Duffer Brothers’ Stranger Things. Beginning with the philosophical and historical background of horror, this book touches upon seminal figures such as Poe, Lovecraft, Quiroga, Jackson, King and Suzuki and engages with the evolution of the genre across old and new media from literature, art and comics to film, gaming and social media. Alongside this is a consideration of established and emerging areas like smart horror (Jordan Peele’s Get Out), queer horror (Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story), eco-horror (Alex Garland’s Annihilation), horror video games (P.T.) and African American horror (Tananarive Due’s Ghost Summer: Stories).

This volume provides an invaluable resource for experts, students and general readers alike for further understanding the horror genre and the ways it is developing into the future.

CONTENTS: Murray Leeder: David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows (2014) – The Limits of Knowledge – Gerry Canavan: Dan Trachtenberg’s 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) – Inconceivable Horror – Xavier Aldana Reyes: Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza’s [REC] (2007) – The Affective Approach to Horror – Darren Elliott-Smith: Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story (2011–present) – Queer Horror and Performative Pleasure – Lorna Jowett/Stacey Abbott: Victor Fresco’s Santa Clarita Diet (2017–present) – Television Horror – Julia Round: Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s Locke & Key (2008–2013) – Horror Comics – Christian McCrea: Kojima Productions’ P.T. (2014) – The Game of Horror – Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock: Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ (1982) and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) – The Sound of Horror – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas: Joseph DeLage and Troy Wagner’s Marble Hornets (2009–2014) – New Media Horror – Steve Jones: Spierig Brothers’ Jigsaw (2017) – Torture Porn Rebooted? – Elizabeth Parker: Alex Garland’s Annihilation (2018) – Eco-horror – Thomas Fahy: The Duffer Brothers’ Stranger Things (2016–present) – Horror and Nostalgia – Steffen Hantke: Alex Garland’s Ex Machina (2014) – Science Fiction and Horror – Stacey Abbott: James DeMonaco’s The Purge: Anarchy (2014) – Post-millennial Horror – Stephanie A. Graves: Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) – Smart Horror – Tracy Fahey: Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s The League of Gentlemen (1999–2017) – Contemporary Folk Horror – Ian Olney: Julia Ducournau’s Raw (2016) – Euro Horror – Katarzyna Ancuta: Sadako Yamamura and the Ring Cycle (1991–present) – Asian Horror – Cristina Santos: Mariana Enríquez’s Things We Lost in the Fire (2009/2017) – Argentinian Horror – Gina Wisker: Tananarive Due’s Ghost Summer: Stories (2015) – African American Horror – Gail de Vos/Kayla Lar-Son: Cowboy Smithx’s The Candy Meister (2014) – First Nations Horror – Meheli Sen: Prosit Roy’s Pari (2018) – Bollywood Horror – Dana Och: Jalmari Helander’s Rare Exports (2003–2010) – Transnational Horror – Dara Downey: Laeta Kalogridis’ Altered Carbon (2018–present) – Edgar Allan Poe – Carl H. Sederholm: Crafteon’s Cosmic Reawakening (2017) – H. P. Lovecraft – Todd S. Garth: Damián Szifron’s Relatos salvajes (2014) – Horacio Quiroga – Kristopher Woofter: Caitlín R. Kiernan’s The Drowning Girl (2012) – Shirley Jackson – Simon Brown: Stephen King’s Full Dark No Stars (2010) – Stephen King