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Cinema Journal (2010) - "Two Ways of Looking": The Critical Reception of 1940s Horror




This essay examines the ways in which the reception of 1940s horror was often bound up with concerns about cultural distinctions, examining the different ways in which New York Times critics evaluated horror productions during the period. While the Times critics displayed affection for many low-budget horror films, particularly those starring Boris Karloff, they complained about both high-and low-budget films that indulged in "psychologization," viewing such subtexts to be pretentious and overreaching, draining the films of their fun and vitality.