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How has British horror changed? New book to explore the modern-day monster

From The Seasoning House on the shores of Eden Lake to Severance, Outpost and beyond, a new book by a Leeds Beckett academic will look at how British horror films have changed since the millennium.

Portland Building

Dr Steven Gerrard, Senior Lecturer in the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett, has published ‘The Modern British Horror Film’, looking at the progression of horror and what constitutes as a modern-day monster.

Steve said: “When we think of British horror films, we usually remember the old Hammer horror movies of Dracula and Frankenstein, ghoulish Grand Guignol and not very frightening monsters.

“But since the turn of the millennium, British horror has been resurrected from its dank tomb. Where there were once werewolves lurking in the forest, hoodies now roam the streets of Britain. The castle on the hill has now become the tower block.

“And the mad professor has turned into the modern-day business man.”

Dr Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

Looking at the revitalisation of the British horror film industry over recent years, Steve examines why horror movies are still a popular genre. The book is broken down into three areas; Hoodie Horror, The Great Outdoors and The Monster Within, and looks at some key films that reflect the three genres. It has been published by Rutgers University Press.

“Films like Eden Lake and the terrific F focus on how the alienated youths of today have become unstable monsters trying to fit into the society which has rejected them,” he added.

“Others such as the wonderful Severance takes swipes at capitalism, while the truly horrific movie Mum & Dad clearly shows that the monster isn’t out there anymore, but rather in here with us!”

Steve has also written a monograph entitled The Carry on Films, contributed numerous chapters to We Belong Dead’s publications on horror and is currently co-editing a book about British megastar Jason Statham. 

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