Peter talks to professor Kendall R. Phillips about his book, A Place of Darkness, and how horror developed in early American cinema up until the release of Dracula in 1931.

Kendall R. Phillips is a professor of rhetoric at Syracuse University and in 2018 published a book titled A Place of Darkness: The Rhetoric of Horror in Early American Cinema with University of Texas Press. The book is a fascinating look at how horror came to be in American cinema, tracking the development of the horrific and uncanny in films up until 1931, the year Tod Browning’s Dracula was released and the term “horror film” entered our common vocabulary.

Peter wrote a review of Phillips’ book, discussing most of the major points it raises, which you can read here. You can also read Phillips’ watch list The birth of horror in seven films which takes you a video journey of early “pre-horror” cinema.

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