Transnationalism and Genre Hybridity in New British Horror Cinema

Author(s) Lindsey Decker

Language: English

Genre(s): Media, Film and Theatre

Series: Horror Studies

  • March 2021 · 288 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786836984
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786836991
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786837004

About The Book

As an intervention in conversations on transnationalism, film culture and genre theory, this book theorises transnational genre hybridity – combining tropes from foreign and domestic genres – as a way to think about films through a global and local framework. Taking the British horror resurgence of the 2000s as case study, genre studies are here combined with close formal analysis to argue that embracing transnational genre hybridity enabled the boom; starting in 2002, the resurgence saw British horror film production outpace the golden age of British horror. Yet, resurgence films like 28 Days Later and Shaun of the Dead had to reckon with horror’s vilified status in the UK, a continuation of attitudes perpetuated by middle-brow film critics who coded horror as dangerous and Americanised. Moving beyond British cinema studies’ focus on the national, this book also presents a fresh take on long-standing issues in British cinema, including genre and film culture.


‘These are exciting times in British horror and Lindsey Decker has written an expert book capturing this resurgence in the genre. Decker presents an illuminating take on some of the most recent trends in British horror from the 2000s. A brilliant book and a must-read for anyone interested in horror, British cinema, genre theory and transnational film theory.’
-Professor Deborah Shaw, University of Portsmouth

‘Clearly written and bold in its claims, Decker’s book is a welcome contribution to ongoing discussions surrounding the transnational nature of horror cinema and the genre’s place within mainstream film criticism. Those with interests in contemporary British cinema and the horror genre have a lot to gain from engaging with this work.’
-Dr Johnny Walker, Northumbria University, author of Contemporary British Horror Cinema: Industry, Genre and Society (2015)

‘The resurgence of British horror in the early 2000s had a major impact on both the British filmmaking industry and the global genre of horror. Decker provides a thorough and provocative analysis of the complex relationship between horror, the British film industry and British culture. For anyone wanting to understand the developments of horror in the twenty-first century, this is an essential book.’
-Kendall R. Phillips, author of A Place of Darkness: The Rhetoric of Horror in Early American Cinema

‘We all thought British horror film perished in the 1990s. So when it returned from the dead in the 2000s, there wasn't a critic who knew what to do with it. Thankfully, we now have Lindsey Decker to illuminate this decade – with sharp, incisive and yet accessible prose, Decker explores how gothic horror, zombie films and hoodie horror embodied a distinctive Britishness that offered a compelling global appeal. This book is going to be a fixture on horror film reading lists for years to come.’
-Dr Alison Peirse, University of Leeds, editor of Women Make Horror: Filmmaking, Feminism and Genre


List of Illustrations
Introduction: Frights, Film Culture and Genre Hybrids: Examining Transnational Genre Hybridity in New British Horror Cinema
1 The ‘Bastard Child of Mainstream Cinema’: Middlebrow British Film Culture, Transnationalism and Horror
2 The Golden Age of British Cinema is Undead: British Zombies and The Social Realist Impulse
3 Hybrid Hoodie Horrors: Genre Localization and Britain’s Moral Panic
4 ‘A Famous Corpse’: Resurrecting Hammer’s Transnational Appeal
Conclusion – British Horror’s Perpetually ‘Dying Light’

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Lindsey Decker

Lindsey Decker is Master Lecturer of International Film Studies in the Department of Film & Television at Boston University.

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