Movie audiences seem drawn, almost compelled, toward tales of the horrific and the repulsive. Partly because horror continues to evolve radically-every time the genre is deemed dead, it seems to come up with another twist-it has been one of the most often-dissected genres. Here, author Kendall Phillips selects ten of the most popular and influential horror films-including Dracula, Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, The Silence of the Lambs, and Scream, each of which has become a film landmark and spawned countless imitators, and all having implications that transcend their cinematic influence and achievement. By tracing the production history, contemporary audience response, and lasting cultural influence of each picture, Phillips offers a unique new approach to thinking about the popular attraction to horror films, and the ways in which they reflect both cultural and individual fears. Though stylistically and thematically very different, all of these movies have scared millions of eager moviegoers. This book tries to figure out why.