[A] well-plotted survey. Total Film
In 100 American Horror Films
, Barry Keith Grant presents entries on 100 films from one of American cinema’s longest-standing, most diverse and most popular genres, representing its rich history from the silent era – D.W. Griffith’s The Avenging Conscience
of 1915 – to contemporary productions – Jordan Peele’s 2017 Get Out.
In his introduction, Grant provides an overview of the genre’s history, a context for the films addressed in the individual entries, and discusses the specific relations between American culture and horror. All of the entries are informed by the question of what makes the specific film being discussed a horror film, the importance of its place within the history of the genre, and, where relevant, the film is also contextualized within specifically American culture and history. Each entry also considers the film’s most salient textual features, provides important insight into its production, and offers both established and original critical insight and interpretation.
The 100 films selected for inclusion represent the broadest historical range, and are drawn from every decade of American film-making, movies from major and minor studios, examples of the different types or subgenres of horror, such as psychological thriller, monster terror, gothic horror, home invasion, torture porn, and parody, as well as the different types of horror monsters, including werewolves, vampires, zombies, mummies, mutants, ghosts, and serial killers.