They Don’t Make ’Em Like They Used To
On the Rhetoric of Crisis and the Current State of American Horror Cinema
This introductory chapter, which begins by presenting a pessimist’s view of American horror films, suggests that over the last decade, starting from around the mid-1990s, the genre has fallen into a slump. It then reviews academic studies of American horror films between 2002 and 2006; considers the problems that writers of film histories face when dealing with a genre that remains a vital element in the cultural landscape; and discusses the responses of fans and general audiences to the mainstreaming of American horror films. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
Keywords: American horror film, horror genre, film studies, horror film fans