Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type



Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Gregory A. Waller


The decade of the 1980s has often been considered a reactionary artistic wasteland in film studies, but it was nonetheless a period of volatile changes for the film industry. This period saw the decline of the mainstream horror film and the rise of the family film, two currents that reflect and illuminate the enormous changes in film production, marketing, and distribution. The hybrid genre of the childrens horror film, born in the 1980s, is particularly apt for discussing both the industry changes in this period and childrens relationship as viewers to the medium of film. The thesis defines the childrens horror film as a subgenre and focuses primarily on five films: The Watcher in the Woods, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Gremlins, The Lost Boys, and Lady in White. The following thesis is an electronic document presented in PDF format.

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