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Studying Horror Cinema$
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Bryan Turnock

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325895

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325895.001.0001

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The Birth of Modern Horror

The Birth of Modern Horror

(p.99) Chapter 5 The Birth of Modern Horror
Studying Horror Cinema

Bryan Turnock

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the birth of modern horror. The horror genre is ultimately concerned with the battle between good and evil. At times this can be very clearly delineated, but in real life this is not always the case. At the time of its release, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) was truly ground-breaking in its approach to horror in everyday life. Shocking and controversial, it was initially denounced by critics yet became a worldwide box-office sensation and set the direction of the genre for the next fifty years. One of the most analysed and discussed films in cinema history, and arguably the single most influential film in the evolution of the horror genre, entire books have been written about every aspect of Psycho's production, reception and lasting influence. By contextualising the film in the environment of a Hollywood that found itself under mounting pressures, the chapter examines how Hitchock's low-budget film changed the face of horror forever.

Keywords:   modern horror, horror genre, Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho, horror films, Hollywood, low-budget horror film

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