The Evolution of Horror in the Twenty-First Century examines the intimate connections between the horror genre and its audience’s experience of being in the world at a particular historical and cultural moment. This book not only provides frameworks with which to understand contemporary horror, but it also speaks to the changes wrought by technological development in creation, production, and distribution, as well as the ways in which those who are traditionally underrepresented positively within the genre- women, LGBTQ+, indigenous, and BAME communities - are finally being seen and finding space to speak.
Simon Bacon is an independent scholar and film critic based in Poznań, Poland.
Part I: Frameworks and Classics of 21st Century Horror
Chapter 1. Horror Theory Now: Thinking About Horror
Chapter 2. Decadent Feasts: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Twenty-First-Century Prestige Horror Television
Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock
Chapter 3. Horror Cinema and Censorship in the Twenty-first Century
CHAPTER 4. The Recurrence and Evolution of Universal’s Classic Monsters in Twenty-first Century Horror
M. Keith Booker
Chapter 5. The Remixing (and Ransacking) of Hill House: Surveying the Spectral Presence of Shirley Jackson in Contemporary Gothic Fiction
Part II: Media and Consumption
Chapter 6. Further Notes Towards a Monster Pedagogy
John Edgar Browning
Chapter 7. Sounding Horror: Ballads, Ring Shouts, and the Power of Music in Black Horror
Chapter 8. The Evolution of Horror on Stage
Kevin J. Wetmore Jr.
Chapter 9. Hauntify the World: New Directions in Video Game Horror
Chapter 10. The Evolution of Horror and New Media
Frontispiece to Part III
Mother [Figure 5]
Part III: Recognition and Evolution
Chapter 11. The Future of Horror: Evolution or Revolution?
Chapter 12. Black Lives Matter Horror
Chapter 13. Indigenous Horror in the Twenty-First Century
Chapter 14. “Stepping out of the Closet”: The Evolution of Queer Representation and Tropes in Twenty-first Century Horror TV
Natasha C. Marchini
Chapter 15. Involution, Adaptation, Mutation: Horror’s Disability Dynamics
Angela M. Smith
Chapter 16. Sympathy for the Candyman: The Politics of the Past in Supernatural Horror
Part IV: Evolving Themes
Chapter 17. The Future Promise for Folk Horror
Mikel J. Koven
Chapter 18. The Rise in Ecohorror and Ecogothic Criticism
Chapter 19. Undying Earth: Extinction Romances in the Age of Anthropocene
Chapter 20. Fear of Infection: Negotiating between Community and Isolation in Gothic Contagion Narratives
Laura R. Kremmel
Chapter 21. The Metal and the Flesh: Techno-liminalities, Bio-subversion, and the Enhanced Super-Body as a Horror Space
The twenty-first century has seen a new golden age of horror cinema with a wide array of innovative and provocative films from creators around the globe. The essays in The Evolution of Horror in the Twenty-First Century capture the breadth and vibrancy of this period. The essays also make the important point that horror films in the twenty-first century are not only reflections of political and social tensions but are actively and critically engaged in advocating for change.
The Evolution of Horror in the Twenty-First Century captures a sense of what could be argued to be the two liveliest decades in the history of horror yet. This goes for the increasing diversity of the genre—in production and distribution technologies, national cinematic traditions and styles, and the range of thematic options—but also for horror’s status as an object of fan adoration, popular appreciation, and academic study. Readers, academic or otherwise, interested in where horror stands today will appreciate Simon Bacon’s collection as a valuable contribution to the study of the genre in one of its most creatively and commercially vital periods.