Making and Remaking Horror in the 1970s and 2000sWhy Don’t They Do It Like They Used To?

Making and Remaking Horror in the 1970s and 2000sWhy Don’t They Do It Like They Used To?

David Roche

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781617039621

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

Making and Remaking Horror in the 1970s and 2000s or Why Don’t They Do it Like They Used to? takes up the nostalgic assumption shared by many fans and scholars that the original movies are more “disturbing,” and thus better, than the remakes in order to assess their qualities according to criteria including subtext, originality and cohesion. Aspects of the American horror movie that have been both widely addressed (class, the patriarchal family, gender, the opposition between terror and horror) and somewhat neglected (race, the Gothic, style, verisimilitude) are investigated with a methodology that combines a formalist and cultural studies approach. The book offers a comparative analysis of the politics and aesthetics of four of the most significant independent American horror movies of the 1970s—The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974), The Hills Have Eyes (Wes Craven, 1977), Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero, 1978) and Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)—and the remakes directed by, respectively, Marcus Nispel (2003), Alexandre Aja (2006), Zack Snyder (2004) and Rob Zombie (2007). Yet its scope extends far beyond the corpus or even the genre itself, for studying the remake as a form of adaptation ultimately enables the foregrounding of the way various trends have evolved in contemporary American cinema.