Horror Film Aesthetics

Creating the Visual Language of Fear


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SKU: 9780786449729 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

This richly informed study analyzes how various cinematic tools and techniques have been used to create horror on screen—the aesthetic elements, sometimes not consciously noticed, that help to unnerve, frighten, shock or entertain an audience. The first two chapters define the genre and describe the use of pragmatic aesthetics (when filmmakers put technical and budgetary compromises to artistic effect). Subsequent chapters cover mise-en-scène, framing, photography, lighting, editing and sound, and a final chapter is devoted to the aesthetic appeals of horror cinema.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Thomas M. Sipos is the founder/manager of the Tabloid Witch Awards and a past film judge for the World Horror Convention. He has worked as a script reader, actor or extra on more than 70 productions and has contributed to Filmfax, Midnight Marquee and other magazines.

Bibliographic Details

Thomas M. Sipos
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: 99 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4972-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5834-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments       v

Preface     1

1. Defining the Genre      5

2. Pragmatic Aesthetics      29

3. Mise- en- Scène      31

4. Framing the Image      71

5. Photographing the Image      97

6. Lighting the Image      140

7. Editing the Image      176

8. Putting Sound to the Image      216

9. The Appeals of Horror      247

Chapter Notes      259

Bibliography      267

Index      271

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Very highly recommended”—Midwest Book Review

• “This isn’t some guy speaking from a pulpit of theory; he’s someone who actually uses this specialized knowledge in his work. The knowledge herein would therefore be most beneficial to those who actually hope to work in the horror field, or anyone wishing to be more conscious of the pleasures they take in the craft of the genre”—Video Watchdog