"Where it Belongs": Television Horror, Domesticity, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Television horror is often seen as inferior to cinematic horror. Not only has Gregory Waller claimed that television horror can be seen as a “revealing contrast to theatrical horror films” (145), in which the latter is presumed to be clearly superior, he also claims that “made for television horror would seem to be by definition impossible” (159). For Waller and others, horror is at odds with the television, the domestic setting of which is often “imagined as a haven from an unsettling, dangerous, impersonal and immoral public sphere” (Hollows 17) and is therefore supposed to require television programming to conform to this setting or at least to avoid material that threatens or disturbs this sense of security and comfort. As Stephen King has claimed, horror and television are incompatible, given that the former wants to “scare the audience” (253), while the latter is “dedicated to the pervasion of the status quo and the concept of the LOP-Least Objectionable Programming” (252). This presumed inferiority of television horror is also found in the common suggestion that television horror imitates cinematic horror rather than there being a process of exchange between the two.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHorror Television in the Age of Consumption
Subtitle of host publicationBinging on Fear
EditorsKimberly Jackson, Linda Belau
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781351716284
ISBN (Print)9781138895652
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2017

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