Overviews, Introductory Studies, and Guides
Hardy, Phil. The Overlook Film Encyclopedia: Horror
Collection of plot summaries and their subsequent analyses, though not without omissions (i.e.–Creature from the Black Lagoon). 496 pgs.
Hutchings, Peter. The Horror Film
Touches on most aspects of the genre while never brooding unnecessarily over an issue. 256 pgs.
Jones, Darryl. Horror: A Thematic History in Fiction and Film
Apologetic, thematically-based introduction to horror. 224 pgs.
Newman, Kim. The Bfi Companion to Horror
Reference guide which includes listings under film, director, actor, and term. 352 pgs.
Wells, Paul. The Horror Genre: From Beelzebub to Blair Witch
Jargon-heavy introductory guide which introduces the themes, concepts, and terminology within the field. 130 pgs.
Specialized Studies
Gender Studies
Benshoff, Harry. Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film
Queer Theory application to horror cinema. 304 pgs.
Clover, Carol. Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film
Feminist reading which attempts to establish an equilibrium between both male and female viewers. 276 pgs.
Creed, Barbara. The Monstrous-Feminine
Split text which is evenly divided between Kristevian and Freudian readings of such films as Alien, The Exorcist, The Brood, The Hunger, Carrie, Psycho, and I Spit on Your Grave. 192 pgs.
Freeland, Cynthia. The Naked and the Undead
Topical feminist assessment of the horror genre. 320 pgs.
Grant, Barry Keith. The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film
Collection of gender studies essays. 476 pgs.
Hogan, David. Dark Romance: Sexuality in the Horror Film
Encyclopedic assessment of sexuality in horror film. 334 pgs.
Psychoanalytic Studies
Carroll, Noel. The Philosophy of Horror
As psychological in its analysis as it is philosophic, addresses the concern of how an audience can be frightened of a knowing fiction (i.e. a horror film). 272 pgs.
Hantke, Steffen. Horror Film: Creating and Marketing Fear
In analyzing how the genre is marketed, the work becomes an intuitive study of the psychology of horror. Focuses upon such works as Nosferatu, Peeping Tom, The Mummy, Hannibal, Signs, The Exorcist, and Resident Evil. 261 pgs.
Iaccino, James. Psychological Reflections on Cinematic Terror: Jungian Archetypes in Horror Films
Archetypical readings of such classics as Psycho, The Shining, Frankenstein, Them!, The Blob, Halloween, Aliens, Romero’s Trilogy, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Re-Animator. 232 pgs.
Historical Studies
Lowenstein, Adam. Shocking Representation: Historical Trauma, National Cinema, and the Modern Horror Film
Cultural, postmodern study of horror in relation to history and society categorized by country. 272 pgs.
Magistrale, Tony. Abject Terrors: Surveying the Modern and Postmodern Horror Film
Comparative study of cinematic horror. 213 pgs.
Skal, David. The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror
Acute appraisal of Hollywood’s Gothic era before shifting to psychoanalytic readings of more recent horror. 432 pgs.
Tudor, Andrew. Monsters and Mad Scientists: A Cultural History of the Horror Movie
Historical overview of the genre, which then delves into the more specific category of ‘mad scientist’ films in the final section. 248 pgs.
Philosophical Studies
Greene, Richard. The Undead and Philosophy: Chicken Soup for the Soulless
Philosophical and sociological essays over vampirism and zombism. 288 pgs.
Prince, Stephen. The Horror Film
Collection of in-depth philosophical essays relating to horror throughout its history. 272 pgs.
Schneider, Steven Jay. The Horror Film and Psychoanalysis: Freud’s Worst Nightmares
Philosophical (primarily epistemological), as well as psychoanalytic, essays ranging from Nosferatu to Scream. 318 pgs.
Shaw, Daniel. Dark Thoughts: Philosophic Reflections on Cinematic Horror
Readings based on such thinkers as Aristotle, Hume, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Freud, Wittgenstein, Lacan, Dewey, and Schopenhauer. 304 pgs.
Period Studies
Brunas, John. Universal Horrors: The Studio’s Classic Films, 1931-1946
Overview of Hollywood’s Golden Age, historically cataloguing 85 films of the period. 624 pgs.
Heffernan, Kevin. Ghouls, Gimmicks, and Gold: Horror Films and the American Movie Business, 1953-1968
Historical document charting the political influences which propelled Hollywood horror during the Cold War Era. 304 pgs.
Hendersho, Cynthia. I Was a Cold War Monster: Horror Films, Eroticism, and the Cold War Imagination
Sociological reading of the various horror metaphors used to represent the anxiety experienced during the Cold War Era. 152 pgs.
Humphries, Reynold. The Hollywood Horror Film, 1931-1941: Madness in a Social Landscape
Analysis of the Golden Age of Hollywood Horror. 283 pgs.
McCarty, John. The Modern Horror Film
Study of Hammer Horror and the Slasher Era. 244 pgs.
Muir, John Kenneth. Horror Films of the 1970s
Extensive period filmography which includes a brief overview of the critical reception each film received, cast and crew, plot synopsis, commentary, and influence. 672 pgs.
Rockoff, Adam. Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978 to 1986
Genre study of the most popular form of horror during the 1980s. 223 pgs.
Sevastakis, Michael. Songs of Love and Death: The Classical American Horror Film of the 1930s
Study of 11 of the more important films of the decade. Charts the masterpieces’ theological, mythological, historical, as well as cinematic heritages. 232 pgs.
Weaver, Tom. Poverty Row Horrors!: Monogram, Prc and Republic Horror Films of the Forties
Historical catalogue of 31 of the Poverty Row B-films of the 1940s. 392 pgs.
Regional Studies
Jancovich, Mark. Rational Fears: American Horror in the 1950s
Study of “Us” verses “Them” in 1950s horror films using Fordism as its litmus. 224 pgs.
Maddrey, Joseph. Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film
Cultural history of the American horror film. The second section analyzes the specific titles of Tod Browning, Roger Corman, George Romero, John Carpenter, Larry Cohen, David Lynch, and Wes Craven. 208 pgs.
Phillips, Kendall. Projected Fears: Horror Films and American Culture
Introductory text which offers cultural readings of ten of the more relevant horror films throughout cinematic history. 240 pgs.
Waller, Gregory. American Horrors: Essays on the Modern American Horror Film
Collection of essays focusing on such works as Night of the Living Dead, Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, Don’t Look Now, and The Howling. 228 pgs.
Boot, Andy. Fragments of Fear: An Illustrated History of British Horror Films
Introductory history of British Horror. Contains overviews of over 400 films. 288 pgs.
Denis, Meikle. A History of Horrors
Thorough, yet resistant, reading of the whole of Hammer Horror. 420 pgs.
Maxford, Howard. Hammer, House of Horror: Behind the Screams
Illustrated history of the British production company’s films made from 1955-1972. 192 pgs.
Rigby, Jonathan. English Gothic
Historical account of British horror from the Silent Era to 1975. The final chapter explores the recent decline of the British horror film. 304 pgs.
Smith, Gary. Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976
Bibliographical analysis of the period. 320 pgs.
Other Regions
Mcroy, Jay. Japanese Horror Cinema
Sociological overview of Japanese horror. Includes studies on Ringu, Tetsuo, Battle Royale, the Ju-On Series, and Pinnochio 964. 238 pgs.
Paul, Louis. Italian Horror Film Directors
Encyclopedic reference to Italian horror with extended entries on many of the more notable directors of the region. 376 pgs.
Schneider, Steven Jay. Horror International
Overview of horror films from Egypt, Romania, Belgium, New Zealand, and Thailand. 384 pgs.
Vatnsdal, Caelum. They Came From Within: A History Of Canadian Horror Cinema
Study of Canadian horror from 1967 to present. 256 pgs.
Miscellaneous Studies
Grant, Barry Keith. Planks of Reason: Essays on the Horror Film
Diverse collection of essays spanning the whole of horror. 400 pages.
Jancovich, Mark. Horror, The Film Reader
Collection of essays focusing upon the theory, gender and sexuality, production, and reception of horror films. 208 pgs.
Royer, Carl. The Spectacle of Isolation in Horror Films: Dark Parades
Brief study of such topics as Hitchcock, atheism in Cronenberg’s horror canon, Raimi’s Evil Dead Trilogy, and Postmodern Theory. 120 pgs.
Twitchell, James. Dreadful Pleasures: An Anatomy of Modern Horror
Psychoanalytic study of the Universal monsters, their variants, and why certain horror archetypes thrive while others fail. 371 pgs.
Williams, Tony. Hearths of Darkness: The Family in the American Horror Film
Study of the sociology and metaphorical use of the family unit in horror cinema. 320 pgs.