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A History of Horror Paperback


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A History of Horror + Short Guide to Writing about Film, 8th Edition (Short Guides)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813547962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813547961
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dixon is recognized as an eminent film scholar and the current title is an impressive addition to his oeuvre. This book certainly has solid scholarship, but it is also a book that once picked up is hard to put down. Essential."
(Choice 2011-05-01)

"Dixon is a deft and knowledgable guide, leading us from silent ghouls to Universal's monsters. Interspersed throughout this catalogue are nuggets of surprising information."
(Times Literary Supplement 2011-09-02)

"This is an excellent survey of horror movies. The author, a veteran film historian, takes the reader back to the beginning, when, in the first three decades of the twentieth century, such directors as Georges Melies, F. W. Murnau, and Paul Wegener were defining not only the look of a genre but also cinema itself. The period between 1930 and the late 1940s saw the rise of the classic Universal Studios characters—Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy—and the actors who played them: Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney Jr. By the end of the 1940s, horror was dying, 'killed by a plethora of poorly made sequels.' But never fear: the period between the late 1940s and 1970 saw a massive resurgence, due in part to gimmicks (such as 3-D); low-budget quickies from the likes of Roger Corman, the wizard of the B movie; and the stylish resurrection of the classic Universal monsters by Britain's Hammer Film Productions. This survey, which takes the reader right up to the present, is full of fascinating information and is delivered in an accessible manner. Required reading for horror fans."
(David Pitt Booklist 2010-08-01)

"Dixon surveys the development of the horror genre from the earliest Frankenstein and Dracula films through the decades of classics by Hammer studios, William Castle, Roger Corman, and Val Lewton. Dixon covers movies seldom found in other histories and more modern, international titles such as Wolf Creek, Black Water, and Grudge. The endurance of horror, trends like remakes and sequels, and such popular franchises as Child's Play and Halloween are also discussed. In the final chapter, Dixon analyzes the decline of modern horror owing to desensitized audiences, graphic gore, violence, and lack of solid plot lines or character development. Lists of the best horror websites as well as the 50 movies covered round out this volume. This concise overview is an informative and entertaining read. Recommended."
(Library Journal 2010-09-17)

"In less than 250 pages, Wheeler Winston Dixon manages to cover the trends and sub-genres of film horror from 1896 to 2009. Bonuses include a list of top horror sites, a list of fifty classic films, and a pretty wonderful bibliography. Well written and well researched and offering an enjoyable overview of more than one hundred years of cinema, A History of Horror is a quick, delightful read."
(Seattle Post-Intelligencer 2010-11-05)

"No mere catalog of titles, Dixon's account explores all aspects of the genre: literary underpinnings, themes, and transformations, including much on actors and directors. Dixon's mind-priming volume will enhance spine-tingling late-night viewings."
(ForeWord Reviews 2099-01-01)

"A breathtaking panorama, written with wit and candor, showing how the horror film has shaped cinema from the origins of the genre until now."
(Tom Conley Harvard University 2010-05-18)

"Rich with excellent illustrations and clever anecdotes, this book will appeal to fans of horror as well as film students and scholars interested in a readable overview of the history of the genre."
(Rebecca Bell-Metereau author of Hollywood Androgyny 2010-01-25)

About the Author

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).

More About the Author

Wheeler Winston Dixon is the Ryan Professor of Film Studies, Coordinator of the Film Studies Program, and Professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

His many books include Streaming: Movies, Media and Instant Access (University Press of Kentucky, 2013); Death of The Moguls: The End of Classical Hollywood (Rutgers University Press, 2012); 21st Century Hollywood: Movies in the Era of Transformation (co-authored with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster; Rutgers University Press, 2011); A History of Horror (Rutgers University Press, 2010; reprinted 2011; also available as an audio book from Redwood Audiobooks, 2012); Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia (Edinburgh University Press / Rutgers University Press, 2009); and A Short History of Film (co-authored with Gwendolyn Audrey Foster; Rutgers University Press, 2008; second revised edition 2012).

His text blog, Frame by Frame, and a series of videos by Dixon on film history, theory and criticism, also titled Frame by Frame, can be found on the web. In 2003, Dixon was honored with a retrospective of his films at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and his films were acquired for the permanent collection of the Museum, in both print and original format.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James Hauser on September 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A History of Horror is an engaging overview of the history of horror cinema. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject, or who wants to know more about the genre. Dixon is a great writer, and I was impressed by the ground he managed to cover in only 210 pages. The only negative to the book is he sometimes slips into a "those were the days" routine, forcing his particular vision of what horror should be on the reader. I love a moody atmospheric film that doesn't rely on gore as much as the next person, but that isn't the only flavor out there that has merit.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jon Kitley on April 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Too many errors to list here, but it seems that once the author got to the '60s and beyond, he stopped watching the films he was talking about. Mentions plot points that never happened, or not like he seen them.

If you want to read our full review, just go here: [...]
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael on April 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Kindle copy is useless for students as you will not be able to find the page numbers referenced by your professor. If you are a student do not buy this for kindle. Otherwise, this is a great book.
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