American Gothic: Sixty Years of Horror Cinema is a British book by Jonathan Rigby, originally published in 2007 by Reynold and Hearn. A revised, expanded reprint was published by Signum Books in October 2017.
American Gothic presents an in-depth survey of the early years of the American horror film — ranging from the birth of cinema and the silent era to the mid-1950s. Jonathan Rigby examines a great many of the seminal films, including Cat People, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, The Fly, Frankenstein, Freaks, House of Wax, The Invisible Man, and She.
Rigby also considers the genre’s great actors and directors — Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Vincent Price, to name but a few. This is the genre as it flourished from Universal’s early-thirties cycle and which culminated in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 masterpiece Psycho, a film that forever changed and expanded the possibilities of horror cinema.
“Each chapter, written in his inimitable prose style, covers a specific period and discusses in detail not only the films but the filmmakers, actors, and studios involved. Rigby is not afraid to criticise films which many hold sacred, as well as finding positive aspects amongst the failures.” Adrian Smith, Cinemaretro