Dark Dreams 2.0

A Psychological History of the Modern Horror Film from the 1950s to the 21st Century

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About the Book

Greatly expanded and updated from the 1977 original, this new edition explores the evolution of the modern horror film, particularly as it reflects anxieties associated with the atomic bomb, the Cold War, 1960s violence, sexual liberation, the Reagan revolution, 9/11 and the Iraq War. It divides modern horror into three varieties (psychological, demonic and apocalyptic) and demonstrates how horror cinema represents the popular expression of everyday fears while revealing the forces that influence American ideological and political values. Directors given a close reading include Alfred Hitchcock, Brian De Palma, David Cronenberg, Guillermo Del Toro, Michael Haneke, Robert Aldrich, Mel Gibson and George A. Romero. Additional material discusses postmodern remakes, horror franchises and Asian millennial horror. This book also contains more than 950 frame grabs and a very extensive filmography.

About the Author(s)

Charles Derry is professor emeritus of motion picture studies at Wright State University. He has written widely on a variety of popular culture topics, including film, television and ideology.

Bibliographic Details

Charles Derry
Foreword by John Russell Taylor
Format: hardcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 447
Bibliographic Info: 988 photos, notes, appendices, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3397-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5695-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Introduction to Dark Dreams 2.0      1

PART ONE: DARK DREAMS (1977)

Foreword to the Original Edition, by John Russell Taylor      15

Introduction      19

1—The Horror of Personality      21

2—The Horror of Armageddon      55

3—The Horror of the Demonic      88

PART TWO: MILLENNIAL NIGHTMARES (2009)

4—A Context; and Why What’s Not Happening in American Horror Isn’t      109

5—The Horror of Personality, Revisited      112

6—Sequels and Insincerity      200

7—The Horror of the Demonic, Revisited      203

8—The Horror of Armageddon, Revisited      231

9—Asian Millennial Horror      284

10—Postmodern Remakes, the Averted Gaze, and Some Glimmerings of the New      305

11—Guillermo Del Toro      315

12—David Cronenberg      330

13—9/11 and Beyond      342

Appendix I: A Proposed Canon of Modern Horror      347

Appendix II: Interviews with Horror Directors: Aldrich, Castle, Harrington, Romero, Friedkin (1977)      349

Appendix III: Filmographies (Compiled by Thomas G. Kohn)      365

Notes      409

Bibliography      413

Index      415

Book Reviews & Awards

“an insightful study…a good choice for film students and researchers”—Library Journal; “back and…it’s bigger and better than ever…highly recommend…essential addition to any serious library”—Scarlet; “a must read…highly recommended”—Choice; “everything about this volume is first rate… This is a book that offers a refreshing approach to a well-worn genre. It is sure to please, delight, and excite a wide audience. Highly recommended.”—Cinema Booklist; “this is really an excellent book on the psychological reasons we go to horror films, what they mean to us, what the metaphors of various manifestations mean, and how our fears reflect in the films that are made”—Film World; “this refreshingly original, intelligent, and serious study…manages to cover a large number of titles with commendable fullness and lucidity…this is one of the most important specialized horror books to appear recently, and deserves closer examination than present space permits. Highly recommended”—Film Review Annual.