Horror Reception/Audiences

Matthew Hills

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter explores the work of scholars who have paid closer attention to horror's audiences, unhappy at the way they are ventriloquized in the theoretical frameworks of those who are themselves evidently passionate about horror. The distinction which frames the chapter, “reception” as opposed to “audiences,” can be fuzzy in some cases but it nevertheless grasps a difference between the institutional, mediated framing of textual meaning, and audience-produced meanings. The audience for horror movies is typically assumed to be young men. Historically, this audience has been depicted as requiring protection from the graphic representations characterizing horror, with cultural concerns circulating that the genre might also be consumed by, especially, impressionable and vulnerable viewers, that is, children. Gathering audiences' accounts of horror film inevitably means tackling the issue of memory, as Janet Staiger has pointed out.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to the Horror Film
EditorsHarry M. Benshoff
Place of PublicationMalden
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780470672600
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes

Cite this