A History of Horror

  • by Wheeler Winston Dixon
  • Narrated by Aaron Henkin
  • 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ever since horror leapt from popular fiction to the silver screen in the late 1890s, viewers have experienced fear and pleasure in exquisite combination. Wheeler Winston Dixon's A History of Horror is the only book to offer a comprehensive survey of this ever-popular film genre. Arranged by decades, with outliers and franchise films overlapping some years, this one-stop sourcebook unearths the historical origins of characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman and their various incarnations in film from the silent era to comedic sequels. A History of Horror explores how the horror film fits into the Hollywood studio system and how its enormous success in American and European culture expanded globally over time.
Dixon examines key periods in the horror film - in which the basic precepts of the genre were established, then banished into conveniently reliable and malleable forms, and then, after collapsing into parody, rose again and again to create new levels of intensity and menace. A History of Horror brings over 50 timeless horror films into frightfully clear focus, zooms in on today's top horror Web sites, and champions the stars, directors, and subgenres that make the horror film so exciting and popular with contemporary audiences.
Named an "Outstanding Academic Title" by Choice.


What the Critics Say

"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)
"This concise overview is an informative and entertaining read. Recommended." (Library Journal)
"This is an excellent survey of horror movies...full of fascinating information and is delivered in an accessible manner. Required reading for horror fans." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I am a "scary movie" fan and I was looking forward to a book that explained many of the thematic underpinnings of horror movies and the evolution of those themes from the very early horror through the modern horror movie. What I got was a list of ever horror movie ever made and a short synopsis of each. It was incredibly boring. At first I thought that perhaps the author wanted to give appropriate background on all the films before getting into the heart of the subject matter. But no, there was no scholarly analysis of the subject matter at all.
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- Amy Broughton

good not great

well researched and entertaining, this book reads as if the author cut a two paragraphs from the Wikipedia article of every major horror movie and only briefly touched on any of them. as an overview not bad and still entertaining but again just brief tidbits of information that most horror fans already know just on the reputation of the movies and their creators
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- eric

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-22-2012
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks