School of History

HST5305 - British Horror: Film, Television and Literature

British cinema is often celebrated for its social realism, yet it has made significant and influential yet often overlooked contributions to the horror, fantasy and sci-fi film genres.

Module code: HST5305

Credits: 15
Semester: SEM 1

Module Convenor: Dr Matt Jacobsen

British cinema is often celebrated for its social realism, yet it has made significant and influential contributions to the worlds of horror, fantasy and science fiction. From the Gothic tradition of Dracula to the nightmarish vision of London in 28 Days Later, this module investigates this alternative history or 'repressed underside' of British cinema and the ways in which these films have responded to their social and cultural production contexts. 

Introducing you to a range of critical approaches to film, this QMUL model module will explore debates on the cultural appeal and social significance of horror, the meaning of horror figures like the vampire, werewolf and zombie, and the nature of audiences and film spectatorship. Key discussion topics will be the representation of gender and sexuality in horror texts; the psychoanalytic interpretation of horror; and the ways in which the films respond to the history of Britain and its capital. With an emphasis on cinema, we will also compare the writing of British authors with film adaptations of their work.

Assessment: Take Home Exam (1,00 words) [25%] and Essay (3,000 words) [75%]
Level: 5