Jonathan Rigby has long been one of the UK’s most cogent authorities on the horror film, and when I published my own modest entry, British Gothic Cinema, I was fully aware that anything I wrote would be a in the nature of a footnote to his conscientious attempt to cover the macabre filmography of this country. In English Gothic (and addressing other points of the compass in Euro Gothic), his writing is always informed, provocative and often shot through dry humour – a pleasingly counterintuitive approach to the genre. Rigby’s American Gothic has long been the definitive guide to genre product from the US, but the paperback edition covered only the period up to 1956, and this very welcome (if belated) hardback edition remedies that omission by addressing — in the same beguiling fashion — later eras. Those who have eagerly devoured earlier books by the author need not hesitate – this expanded edition becomes another essential purchase for aficionados of the horror field.

American Gothic: American Gothic: Six Decades of Classic Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby is published by Signum Books

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