The Spark of Fear

Technology, Society and the Horror Film

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About the Book

The horror genre is continually being reinvented as societal fears evolve. As technology has developed and become ubiquitous in modern life, horror films have effectively played upon our increasing reliance on technology as a source of anxiety. Focusing on advancements from the advent of electricity to the Internet, this book explores how technology—ostensibly humanity’s means of conquering fear and the unknown—has become a compelling and abundant source of dread in horror films.

About the Author(s)

Brian N. Duchaney teaches writing and literature at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, and Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He lives in Pembroke, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Brian N. Duchaney
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9511-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1982-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction 1

Part I—Classic Horror and

Establishing the Horror Film

1. The Origins of the Horror Film: From Page to Screen 11

2. The Frankenstein Cycle: Film as a Method for Reconciling the Mind/Self in Society 25

3. Horror from Beyond: Social Anxieties, Dystopias and Outsider Threats 42

Part II—Modern Horror and the Fear of Progress

4. Psychos, Civic Unrest and Refining Horror 63

5. The Mainstreaming of Underground Horror: Shlock, Special Effects and Slashers 80

6. Us vs. Them: Modern Horror and the Horror of Complacency 96

7. Science Fiction or Science Horror? American Dystopia and Cinematic Frontiers 115

Part III—Contemporary and Postmodern Horrors in a ­Tech-Savvy World

8. Virtual Terrors: Modern Technologies and the Assumption of Horror 137

9. Exhibitionism, Technique and Establishing Modern Horror 155

10. The Future of Horror 173

Suggested List of Films 181

Chapter Notes 185

Bibliography 193

Index 201