Dear Screen-L Subscribers,
We would like to announce two new horror publications from University of Texas Press, which we hope will be of interest.
Screening Stephen King
Adaptation and the Horror Genre in Film and Television
Since the 1970s, the name Stephen King has been synonymous with horror. His vast number of books has spawned a similar number of feature films and TV shows, and together they offer a rich opportunity to consider how one writer’s work has been adapted over a long period within a single genre and across a variety of media—and what that can tell us about King, about adaptation, and about film and TV horror. Starting from the premise that King has transcended ideas of authorship to become his own literary, cinematic, and televisual brand, Screening Stephen King explores the impact and legacy of over forty years of King film and television adaptations.
Simon Brown first examines the reasons for King’s literary success and then, starting with Brian De Palma’s Carrie, explores how King’s themes and style have been adapted for the big and small screens. He looks at mainstream multiplex horror adaptations from Cujo to Cell, low-budget DVD horror films such as The Mangler and Children of the Corn franchises, non-horror films, including Stand by Me and The Shawshank Redemption, and TV works from Salem’s Lot to Under the Dome. Through this discussion, Brown identifies what a Stephen King film or series is or has been, how these works have influenced film and TV horror, and what these influences reveal about the shifting preoccupations and industrial contexts of the post-1960s horror genre in film and TV.
University of Texas Press | | March 2018 | 240pp | 9781477314920 | Paperback | £22.99*
*Price subject to change.
A Place of Darkness
The Rhetoric of Horror in Early American Cinema
Kendall R. Phillips
"Film is a telling lens for cultural history. . .[and] the book's central arguments make for great reading, as Phillips lays out the ways that proto-horror movies contained distinct and disparate rhythms (suspense, surprise, superstition), how the need for legitimacy led to literary adaptation as a horror standard, how movies developed alongside audiences to bring new immediacy to onscreen dread, and how shifting visions of the Other forced movies to constantly renegotiate what, exactly, people were meant to be afraid of." - NPR Books
Horror is one of the most enduringly popular genres in cinema. The term “horror film” was coined in 1931 between the premiere of Dracula and the release of Frankenstein, but monsters, ghosts, demons, and supernatural and horrific themes have been popular with American audiences since the emergence of novelty kinematographic attractions in the late 1890s. A Place of Darkness illuminates the prehistory of the horror genre by tracing the way horrific elements and stories were portrayed in films prior to the introduction of the term “horror film.”
Using a rhetorical approach that examines not only early films but also the promotional materials for them and critical responses to them, Kendall R. Phillips argues that the portrayal of horrific elements was enmeshed in broader social tensions around the emergence of American identity and, in turn, American cinema. He shows how early cinema linked monsters, ghosts, witches, and magicians with Old World superstitions and beliefs, in contrast to an American way of thinking that was pragmatic, reasonable, scientific, and progressive. Throughout the teens and twenties, Phillips finds, supernatural elements were almost always explained away as some hysterical mistake, humorous prank, or nefarious plot. The Great Depression of the 1930s, however, constituted a substantial upheaval in the system of American certainty and opened a space for the reemergence of Old World gothic within American popular discourse in the form of the horror genre, which has terrified and thrilled fans ever since.
University of Texas Press | | March 2018 | 256pp | 9781477315514 | Paperback | £22.99*
*Price subject to change.
With all best wishes,
Combined Academic Publishers
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