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Korean Horror Cinema

Edited by Alison Peirse, Daniel Martin

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The first detailed English-language book on Korean horror introduces the cultural specificity of the genre to an international audience, from the iconic monsters of gothic horror, to the avenging killers of Oldboy and Death Bell.

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Foreword, Julian Stringer
Introduction, Alison Peirse and Daniel Martin

Part I: Classic Korean Horror
1. Family, Death and the Wonhon in Three Films of the 1960s, Hyangjin Lee
2. Creepy Liver-Eating Fox Ladies: The Thousand Year Old Fox and Korea’s Gumiho, Alison Peirse and James Byrne
3. War Horror and Anti-Communism: From Piagol to Rainy Days, Mark Morris
4. Mother’s Grudge and Woman’s Wail: The Monster-Mother and Korean Horror Film, Eunha Oh

Part II: Contemporary ‘Domestic’ Horror
5. Heritage of Horrors: Reclaiming the Female Ghost in Shadows in the Palace, Yun Mi Hwang
6. From Acacia to Uninvited: Adoption Anxiety in Korean Horror Cinema, Hye Seung Chung
7. Apartment Horror: Sorum and Possessed, Nikki J. Y. Lee
8. The Face(s) of Korean Horror Film: Toward a Cinematic Physiognomy of Affective Extremes, David Scott Diffrient
9. Death Bell and High School Horror, Chi-Yun Shin

Part III: Contemporary ‘International’ Horror
10. Between the Local and the Global: ‘Asian Horror’ in Ahn Byung-ki’s Phone and Bunshinsaba, Daniel Martin
11. Diary of a Lost Girl: Victoriana, Intertextuality and A Tale of Two Sisters, Robert L. Cagle
12. From A Tale of Two Sisters to The Uninvited: A Tale of Two Texts, Leung Wing-Fai
13. Oldboy goes to Bollywood: Zinda and the Transnational Appropriation of South Korean ‘Extreme’ Cinema, Iain Robert Smith
14. Park Chan-wook’s Thirst: Passion, Guilt and Exsanguination, Kyu Hyun Kim


About the Author

Alison Peirse is Programme Leader in Film and Television Studies at the University of Northumbria. She researches international horror film and television and is the author of After Dracula: The 1930s Horror Film (I.B. Tauris). Her work has been published in Gothic Studies, Asian Cinema, Visual Culture in Britain, Studies in European Cinema and Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance.

Daniel Martin is Associate Professor of Film Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). His recent research concerns the international circulation of films from East Asia. He is the author of Extreme Asia: The Rise of Cult Cinema from the Far East (Edinburgh University Press, 2015), co-editor of Korean Horror Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2013).


‘An important scholarly contribution to Korean cinema studies in the English-speaking world. It lays the groundwork for future research of Korean horror cinema as well as horror genre studies in general.’

- Irhe Sohn (University of Michigan), H-Net, Humanities and Social Sciences

'The book is written by contributors who understand both Korean and western cultures, which adds credibility to its analysis of Korean horror films in both national and international cinematic contexts. Throughout the book, the reader is introduced to a substantial history of Korean horror cinema and even readers with no knowledge of Korean films and culture will find the book useful. However, scholars and students in the field of Korean Film Studies will find the book essential. It is clearly arranged, accessible, well written and, most of all, its descriptions of Korean horror films are as fascinating as the chilling horror films that captivate us.'

- Eunju Baehrisch , East Asian Journal of Popular Culture

From avenging ghost stories to the gory violence of Asian "Extreme," and from folkloric fox women to haunted high schools, this remarkable volume is an indispensable contribution to the expanding field of global horror film studies. Editors Peirse and Martin and their collected authors explore the history, national contexts, and global interactions of the Korean horror film. Fans, critics, and scholars alike will find this volume a useful introduction to a little-explored area of global film culture.

Professor Harry M. Benshoff, University of North Texas

- Professor Harry M. Benshoff, University of North Texas

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