The Modern Age: Horror Redux
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The iconoclastic films which rejuvenated the horror genre both in this country and abroad often achieved this task by taking radical new approaches to the genre; millennial horror had a pervasive influence, with an end-of-the-century (and end of time) mindset creating and feeding a fatalistic (often apocalyptic) strain. Visions of apocalypse tied into the revival of the zombie movie, while the massive new success of the vampire genre, both in the cinema and on television, aimed at (and captivated) a younger demographic. Along with these various phenomena, there was a marked growth of knowing parodies of the genre in such films as Shaun of the Dead. And the modern horror film enjoys some perceptive and informed attention. The days when a serious critical response to work within the cinema horror genre was considered infra dig seem very distant now, and a great deal of intelligent and perceptive analysis is now being applied to the field. But it should be noted that when the direction of so many films in the Gothic genre is dispiritingly pedestrian, aficionados are wont to leap upon the most evanescent fragment of inspiration and inventiveness, possibly praising these felicities more than they merit (perhaps a characteristic of this study?). But such generosity regarding the green shoots of inspiration is unsurprising, given the workaday nature of what we Gothic aficionados are — and have been — presented with so often.
KeywordsBritish Director Early Film Bubonic Plague Ghost Story British Film
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