1. The horror genre existed before the Communist Party founded the PRC. Ma-Xu Weibang’s Song at Midnight (Ye ban ge sheng, 1937), a Chinese version of Phantom of Opera, was a big success. The same director made a few more horror/thrill films, including Walking Corpse in an Old House (Gu wu xing shi ji, 1938), The Lonely Soul (Leng yue shi hun, 1938), and Song at Midnight II (1941).[return to page 1 of essay]
2. There are other countries that do not have the horror genre, such as Egypt and former Soviet Union. Ideological reasons usually account for the absence of horror films from national cinemas in the first place. See Josephine Woll, “Exorcising the Devil: Russian Cinema and Horror,” and Viola Shafi, “Egypt: A Cinema without Horror?” in Horror International, eds. Steven Jay Schneider and Tony Williams (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2005).
3. Peter Hutchings, Hammer and Beyond: The British Horror Film (Manchester, U.K. and New York: Manchester University Press, 1993). Also see Andrew Wills, “The Spanish Horror Film as Subversive Texts: Eldy De La Iglesia’s LA Semana Del Asesino,” in Horror International. Wills’ study of the Spanish horror film is a good application of Hutchings’ notion.
5. Genre films existed before the founding of the PRC, when the film industry was commercialized. See Shuyu Kong, “Genre Film, Media Corporations, and the Commercialisation of the Chinese Film Industry: The Case of ‘New Year Comedies,’” Asian Studies Review, Vol.31 Issue 3 (September 2007): 227-242.
9. Li Yinghe, “dianying shengcha zhidu de deshi”
11. “SARFT Reiterates Film Censor Criteria,”
13. Xie Xiao and Wu Jieming, “Cong kongbupian shongshen zhi lu toushi zhongguo dianying fenji” (Viewing Chinese film rating in relation to the censorship of the horror film), Nanfang Daily March 17, 2004.
15. “Interview with Li Shaohong,” see
16. U.S. horror films also went through the shift from the foreign location as the site of horror in the 1930s to the U.S. family in the late 1960s. See Robin Wood, “An Introduction to the American Horror Film,” in Planks of Reason: Essays on the Horror Film, ed. Barry Keith Grant (Metuchen, N.J., and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1984), 183-185.
17. Aaron Smuts, “Haunting the House from Within: Disbelief Mitigation and Spatial Experience,” in Dark Thoughts: Philosophic Reflections on Cinematic Horror, eds. Steven Jay Schneider and Daniel Shaw (Lanham, Maryland and Oxford: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2003), 166.