Stanley Kubrick hailed The Shining as 'the scariest horror film of all time' before its release in 1980. Though the film opened to poor reviews, it has since become one of the most admired horror films in cinema history. Exerting an enormous influence on popular culture, The Shining has spawned a vast array of interpretations and conspiracy theories.
Roger Luckhurst's illuminating study of this seminal film explores its themes, tropes and resonances through a detailed analysis of sequences and performances. Situating The Shining in a series of fresh contexts, this book looks at the complex nature of horror cinema at the end of the 1970s and early 80s. Taking the maze of the haunted hotel as a key motif, Luckhurst offers numerous threads with which to navigate the strange twists and turns of this enigmatic film.
F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922), the first screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, remains a potent and disturbing horror film. One of the outstanding documents of Weimar culture's dark side, the film's prevailing themes of human destructiveness, insanity, and moral and physical pollution had a stinging topicality for contemporary audiences.
Kevin Jackson's illuminating study traces Nosferatu's production and reception history, including attempts by Stoker's widow to suppress the film's circulation. Exploring the evolution of the vampire myth, both in the film and in wider culture, Jackson exposes how and why this film of horror and death remains enduringly beautiful and chilling today.
Inspired by an alleged real case of demonic possession in 1949, "The Exorcist" became an international phenomenon. A blockbusting adaptation of a best-selling novel, it was praised as deeply spiritual by the Catholic Church while being picketed by the Festival of Light and branded satanic by the evangelist Billy Graham. Banned on video in the UK for fifteen years, the film still retains an extraordinary power to shock and startle. The second edition of Mark Kermode's "Exorcist" volume has now been updated and expanded; its publication completes a journey of discovery begun by the author in 1997.The new edition documents the deletion and recovery of key scenes that have now been re-integrated into the film to create "The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen". Candid interviews with director William Friedkin and writer/producer William Peter Blatty reveal the behind-the-scenes battles which took place during the production. In addition, exclusive stills reveal the truth about the legendary subliminal images allegedly lurking within the celluloid.
Don't Look Now
Don't Look Now, released in 1973, confirmed director Nicolas Roeg as one of the most stylish and innovative British directors of the postwar period. Adapted from a short story by Daphne du Maurier, it is both a complex study of how people come to terms with grief and a chilling tale of murder set among the canals and churches of Venice. Featuring telling performances by Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland as the couple whose daughter has tragically died, Don't Look Now depicts the way in which the macabre and the everyday are intertwined.
In his lucid, subtle account, Mark Sanderson describes the collaboration between director and actors that sustained the film's emotional richness. He returns to du Maurier's original text and to the traditions of Gothic writing that underpin Don't Look Now's combination of horror, melodrama and black comedy. Sanderson examines the film's intricate visual style, uncovering the way in which particular motifs are used to amplify its depiction of two terrible deaths. He finds compensation for the film's grimly fatalistic view of life in its celebration of sexual relationships and the power of recollection. The book includes an exclusive and in-depth interview with Roeg as well as rare and unpublished comments from Christie.