Projected Fears / Edition 1

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Movie audiences seem drawn, almost compelled, toward tales of the horrific and the repulsive. Partly because horror continues to evolve radically—every time the genre is deemed dead, it seems to come up with another twist—it has been one of the most often-dissected genres. Here, author Kendall Phillips selects ten of the most popular and influential horror films—including Dracula, Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, The Silence of the Lambs, and Scream, each of which has become a film landmark and spawned countless imitators, and all having implications that transcend their cinematic influence and achievement. By tracing the production history, contemporary audience response, and lasting cultural influence of each picture, Phillips offers a unique new approach to thinking about the popular attraction to horror films, and the ways in which they reflect both cultural and individual fears. Though stylistically and thematically very different, all of these movies have scared millions of eager moviegoers. This book tries to figure out why.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Phillips analyzes ten landmark horror films, including Dracula, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Silence of the Lambs and The Sixth Sense, to discover the ways horror films reflect their cultural contexts and the audiences' fears. In addition to his analyses, Phillips provides a synopsis of each film and describes its production history, contemporary audience response and cultural influence. Although Phillips incorporates the work of other film and cultural critics, he writes for a general audience."


Reference & Research Book News

"The book is sensible, highly readable, and concise….[t]his book will best serve as an introduction to the horror genre. Recommended. Lower-/upper-division undergraduates; general readers."



"Fans of horror and horror movies who wish an intellectual examination of links between horror films and American culture will find professor Kendall R. Phillips' Projected Fears: Horror Films and American Culture to be most intriguing."


MBR Bookwatch

"[E]xplores the relationship between 10 classic horror films and the cultures they reflect."


US States News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275983536
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

KENDALL R. PHILLIPS is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University. His essays and reviews have appeared in such journals as Literature/Film Quartlery and Philosophy and Rhetoric.

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Table of Contents


Dracula (1931)

The Thing from Another World (1951)

Psycho (1960)

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

The Exorcist (1973) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Halloween (1978)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Scream (1996)

The Sixth Sense (1999)



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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2005

    Better than the Average Film Book

    I've read more than my fair share of books about film, and horror films in particular. What made me like this book was that it blended together history, film production stuff and some pretty cool observations about the films themselves. Projected Fears is smarter than the average film history book and more accessible than the average 'academic film studies' book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2005

    Must-Read for Film Buffs

    If you like films, and especially if you like horror films, this is the book for you! I found the combination of historical facts, cultural issues, and insightful criticism really rewarding. The book had me re-viewing many of the familiar classics with new eyes and a new appreciation for the importance of the horror film.

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