Synopses & Reviews
For nearly two decades, the horror genre has been a major popular entertainment and has dominated the publishing and film industries. Yet there exists no philosophical examination of the genre - the time for its aesthetic analysis is ripe. Carroll discusses the nature of horror and explores the most characteristic narrative structures of the genre. He also attempts to explain how we can be genuinely frightened by vampires and the like, though we know they do not exist; and tries to account for how people can find pleasure in having the very wits scared out of them. He concludes with speculations about the present day popularity of the genre.
Noel Carroll, film scholar and philosopher, offers the first serious look at the aesthetics of horror. In this book he discusses the nature and narrative structures of the genre, dealing with horror as a transmedia phenomenon. A fan and serious student of the horror genre, Carroll brings to bear his comprehensive knowledge of obscure and forgotten works, as well as of the horror masterpieces. Working from a philosophical perspective, he tries to account for how people can find pleasure in having their wits scared out of them. What, after all, are those paradoxes of the heart that make us want to be horrified?