The Monster Always Returns

American Horror Films and Their Remakes

The monsters of the horror genre never remain dead – they invariably return in new and terrifying shapes for another installment. In this study Christian Knöppler explores the phenomenon of horror film remakes. He argues that even though these derivative films typically earn little praise from critics, their constant refiguration of monsters and horror scenarios serves to access and update otherwise obscure cultural fears. With an in-depth examination of six sample sequences of films and remakes, this book aims to shed new light on a much maligned and often neglected type of film and promises fresh insights to scholars and aficionados alike.

€39.99 * $45.00 *

13 January 2017, 262 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8376-3735-9

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Christian Knöppler

Christian Knöppler, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany

... with Christian Knöppler

1. Why a book on this subject?

Even though the Hollywood movie industry has a steady output of horror remakes, these films usually get little attention from critics and scholars. With this book, I want to suggest a reevaluation. Horror remakes may be calculated and derivative, but they also serve a cultural function that warrants further investigation.

2. What relevance does this subject have in the current research debates?

In response to a rapidly evolving media landscape, we are seeing more and more scholarly interest in the transmedial permutations of genres and processes of reproduction. The phenomenon of film remaking makes for an intriguing object of study in these contexts, as it highlights issues of authorship, originality, and generic categorization. Horror, in turn, is highly sensitive to socio-historical contexts, and therefore links up with a multitude of issues relating to cultural fears and identity.

3. What new perspectives does your book open up?

In this book, I aim to analyze films and their remakes as one functional unit, a horror remake complex, which develops a particular discourse of monstrous difference. This approach helps to discern intertextual dynamics and synergies, and stresses the continuous refiguration of generic and cultural discourses. Instead of affirming hierarchies of originals and lesser copies, this book gives equal consideration to the often maligned and neglected remakes.

4. Who would you preferably like to discuss your book with?

I think it would be really interesting to discuss this book with a mixed group of film and genre scholars as well as horror filmmakers and aficionados. I would expect their combined expertise to pose an intriguing challenge to my theses, and hope that this book will have something to offer for each of these groups.

5. Your book in only one sentence:

An in-depth look at the phenomenon of horror film remakes and the cultural fears that shape the incessant reproduction of fictional monsters.

Book title
The Monster Always Returns American Horror Films and Their Remakes
transcript Verlag
kart., Klebebindung, 6 Farbabbildungen
Commodity Group
PER004030 SOC052000 SOC022000
Release date
13 January 2017
Popkultur, Amerika, Film
Film Studies, American Studies, Popular Culture Studies and the general public
Film, Horror, Remake, Media, Culture, Cultural Fear, Popular Culture, The Thing, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Crazies, Dawn of the Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, America, Media Aesthetics, Media Studies

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