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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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New Hollywood Horror

New Hollywood Horror

(p.159) Chapter 8 New Hollywood Horror
Studying Horror Cinema

Bryan Turnock

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses New Hollywood horror, addressing how the counterculture movement in the United States championed alternative spiritual experiences while rejecting mainstream organised religion. As such the so-called Church of Satan, established in San Francisco in 1966, quickly gained tens of thousands of followers while membership of the Catholic Church fell precipitously. It was against this backdrop that Ira Levin's novel Rosemary's Baby (published 1967) managed to capture the mood and resonate with a society in a state of transition. Whilst the story also plays on the distrust of the older generational establishment, so much a feature of the youth counterculture of the 1960s, its themes of alienation and loss of personal control go back to the dawn of horror cinema. Its arrival also came at a time when Hollywood found itself facing some of its greatest challenges in terms of market forces and changing demographics. The chapter looks at how the major studios reacted to this, assimilating new approaches to film-making while retaining much of their influence and power, albeit under new ownership. It also considers Roman Polanski's film adaptation of Levin's novel in 1968.

Keywords:   New Hollywood horror, counterculture movement, Ira Levin, Rosemary's Baby, youth counterculture, horror cinema, Roman Polanski, New Hollywood film-making

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