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February 2021, Week 4


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Tue, 23 Feb 2021 19:28:34 +0000
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
"Church, David Ryan" <[log in to unmask]>
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*Apologies for cross-posting*

I'm pleased to announce the publication of Post-Horror: Art, Genre, and Cultural Elevation (Edinburgh University Press), now out in hardback and e-book. (A paperback edition will follow in 2022.) Case studies include such films as Under the Skin, It Follows, The Witch, The Babadook, Get Out, Hereditary, Midsommar, Goodnight Mommy, It Comes at Night, The Invitation, I Am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House, mother!, A Dark Song, A Ghost Story, and The Lighthouse. Chapters include discussions of style/affect, critical reception, trauma, gaslighting, landscape, and more.

Below is a description, table of contents, and several endorsements pasted in from the publisher's website:

Horror’s longstanding reputation as a popular but culturally denigrated genre has been challenged by a new wave of films mixing arthouse minimalism with established genre conventions. Variously dubbed 'elevated horror' and 'post-horror,' these films represent an emerging nexus of taste, politics, and style that has often earned outsized acclaim from critics and populist rejection by wider audiences. Post-Horror is the first full-length study of one of the most important and divisive movements in twenty-first-century horror cinema.


1. Apprehension Engines: Defining a New Wave of Art-Horror Cinema

2. "Slow," "Smart," "Indie," "Prestige," "Elevated": Discursive Struggle for Cultural Distinction

3. Grief, Mourning, and the Horrors of Familial Inheritance

4. Horror by Gaslight: Epistemic Violence and Ambivalent Belonging

5. Beautiful, Horrible Desolation: Landscape in Post-Horror Cinema

6. Queer Ethics and the Urban Ruin-Porn Landscape: The Horrors of Monogamy in It Follows

7. Existential Dread and the Trouble with Transcendence


The horror film is often read as a low-budget and disreputable genre that is disparaged by critics and loved by only a small core of committed fans. However, there has always been a high end to horror, a high end that is made up of both art films and prestigious productions from the major studios. In this book, then, Church offers a crucial contribution to an understanding of this trend through his analysis of recent developments in its history. Grounded in an analysis of the reception contexts within which these films are produced, mediated and consumed, this book is a must for those interested in contemporary film culture in general and the horror film in particular.

– Mark Jancovich, University of East Anglia

With this book, David Church confirms his status as one of the most interesting contemporary scholars working on horror and on taste politics. Church expands the notion of art-horror and shows the links between contemporary post-horror and 1940s woman's films, melodrama, science fiction and European art cinema, with great chapters devoted to the post-horror connection between family, intimate relationships, and epistemic violence. Meticulously researched and theorized, this is a book that, like the films it analyzes, rewards multiple readings. A thumping good read.

– Joan C. Hawkins, Indiana University

Please let me know ([log in to unmask]) if you have any questions about the book, and happy reading!

David Church
Postdoctoral Fellow / Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Gender Studies
Indiana University

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