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FrightmaresA History of British Horror Cinema$
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Ian Cooper

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780993071737

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780993071737.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

‘It’s Alive!’ The Birth of Home-Grown Horror

‘It’s Alive!’ The Birth of Home-Grown Horror

(p.23) Chapter 1: ‘It’s Alive!’ The Birth of Home-Grown Horror

Ian Cooper

Liverpool University Press

The chapter discusses how the interest in British horror films grew at a slow pace. It mentions that there was an enormous popularity of imported American horror films and that this led to a certain amount of unease in the UK, especially at the British Board of Film Censors. The chapter talks about the creation of the H (for Horror) and the restrictive X certificate. It discusses the fascination with orientalism and the exotic, and how it recurs throughout the horror films. The chapter also discusses The Cinematograph Act of 1927 which established an exhibition quota for British films with the aim of boosting home-grown production. It analyses how it had the unintentional effect of widening the gap even further between prestige pictures and what would in the US be called B movies or low-budget comedies, thrillers and comedy thrillers. It then reviews the influence of slaughter on British horror. The chapter discusses the struggles that the horror genre had to go through and how film makers had to sneak horror into comedies and thrillers in the 1930s.

Keywords:   film certificate, exotic, orientalism, Cinematograph Act of 1927, B movies, comedy thriller, British horror films, American horror films

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