Archive for 2021

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[Commlist] New book: Post-Horror: Art, Genre, and Cultural Elevation

Thu Feb 25 03:58:35 GMT 2021

David Church is 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.) This is the first full-length study of the recent cycle of "elevated" or "post-horror" films, with case studies on 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 David ((drchurch /at/ know if you have any questions about the book, and happy reading!

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