Beyond the slasher film: History, seriousness and the problem of the children’s audience in the critical reception of big-budget horror in the late 1970s and early 1980s

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An analysis of the horror films of late 1970s and early 1980s argues that although this period is usually understood as one that was dominated by the slasher film, it was actually one defined by a wave of big-budget horror films. Furthermore, through an analysis of the reception of these films in mainstream publications such as the New York Times, the article not only explores features and trends that these films were understood as exhibiting but also the broader discourses through which films were either championed or condemned by reviewers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-176
Number of pages16
JournalHorror Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • big-budget horror
  • cultural distinction
  • reception studies
  • reviewing
  • seriousness
  • the slasher film

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