Urban Terrors

Urban Terrors: New British Horror Cinema 1997-2008 by MJ Simpson

The definitive guide to the 21st Century British Horror Revival 
Foreword by Sean Pertwee 
Hemlock Books 
Publication date: 1 December 2012 
288 pages, approx. 300 photos 

By the late 1990s, the Golden Age of British Horror Cinema was long gone. But like all the best monsters, the genre has risen from the grave and in the 21st century is going from strength to strength.

Developments in video technology and changes in distribution have seen a ten-fold increase in the number of British horror films made and released each year. From major studio pictures like 28 Days Later and Shaun of the Dead to cult indies like Freak Out and The Last Horror Movie, the new millennium is a boom time for home-grown horror. And many of these new films are contemporary, socially-relevant tales reflecting life in modern Britain; instead of creepy castles, their monsters and psychos stalk housing estates and tower blocks...

Urban Terrors: New British Horror Cinema is the first book to fully examine the British horror film revival, documenting and analysing 114 movies which were commercially released between 1997 and 2008. It reveals how changes in technology have enabled more people to make films, how changes in distribution – from VHS to DVD to VOD – are enabling more people to watch them, and how the mainstream media has failed to spot and comment upon this phenomenon. And it examines how these new kinds of horror films have dealt with issues like disenfranchised youth, class division and social exclusion...
Also available: US edition
from Midnight Marquee
  • Nominated for 'Book of the Year' in the annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards
  • "What emerges is an illuminating account of contemporary Britain, a country reinventing its terrors of old to reflect and reinvent hell for the next generation. It's a read as original, provocative, perverse and diverse as the culture that spawned it - a bloody good show." - Ashley Thorpe, Fangoria
  • "Respected film journo MJ Simpson does a fine job of chronicling the dawn of a new age of cheapie creepy home grown horror fuelled by the easy availability of digital technology. In fact I'm pretty awestruck by what he has done here ... Urban Terrors gets a big thumbs up from me." Allan Bryce, The Dark Side
  • "He seems to have sat through a staggering amount of punishingly bad films so that we, the readers, don't have to. But along the way he has stumbled across a significant number of excellent films, too, many of which have escaped either critical or commercial attention. ... If you are interested in the horror genre, or want to find out just how active dozens of British filmmaker are, this is a great read." Adrian Smith, Cinema Retro - full review
  • "the wealth of information and the namechecking of some overlooked gems makes it well worth a read." Martin Unsworth, Starburst - full review
List of the films covered:
Alien Rising, Alone, Anazapta, Antisocial-Behaviour, The Asylum, Asylum Night, Beyond the Rave, The Big Finish, Blood, Botched, Broken, The Bunker, Chemical Wedding, The Children, Cold and Dark, The Cottage, Cradle of Fear, Credo, Creep, Daddy’s Girl, Darkhunters, Darklands, Dead Creatures, Dead Man’s Shoes, Deathwatch, The Descent, The Devil’s Chair, Devil’s Harvest, The Devil’s Tattoo, Doctor Sleep, Dog Soldiers, Dominator, Doomsday, Dust, Eden Lake, The Eliminator, Evil Aliens, Evil Calls, The Evolved Part 1, Experiment, The Fall of the Louse of Usher, Footsteps, Forest of the Damned, Freak Out, From the Grave, The Gathering, The Ghosts of Crowley Hall, Hellbreeder, The Hole, Home Made, In a Dark Place, The Innocent, I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain, Kannibal, KillerKiller, The Last Great Wilderness, The Last Horror Movie, LD50, The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse, Lie Still, Lighthouse, The Living and the Dead, London Voodoo, Long Time Dead, The Lost, Lycanthropy, Messages, MindFlesh, Mum and Dad, Mutant Chronicles, My Little Eye, Nature Morte, Never Play with the Dead, Night Junkies, Nine Lives, Octane, Outpost, Parasite, Penetration Angst, Project Assassin, Puritan, Razor Blade Smile, Revelation, Sacred Flesh, Sanitarium, Sentinels of Darkness, Severance, Shaun of the Dead, Sick Bastard, The Sickhouse, Small Town Folk, Snuff-Movie, Soul Searcher, Spirit Trap, Spring Heeled Jack, Stag Knight, The Summer of the Massacre, TrashHouse, Time of Her Life, The Toy Box, Trauma, Urban Ghost Story, Vampire Diary, The Vanguard, The Veil, WAZ, When Evil Calls, Wild Country, Wilderness, The Witches Hammer, Witch House: The Legend of Petronel Haxley, The Zombie Diaries, The 13th Sign, 28 Days Later


  1. Hi, full colour inside? Thanks & regards.

  2. Sadly no. There's an eight-page colour section and the rest is b/w. Out of my hands. Still lots of great rare/unseen stills though.

  3. Hi - I just found your site and wondered why you didn't get a professional book indexer to make a full index for your book. It would have contained a lot more than just titles and names and would definitely have enhanced the experience for the readers. I'm an indexer and would be happy to quote for any future books you produce.

  4. Thanks for the offer but I didn't get a professional indexer because (a) there was no money to pay one, (b) there was no room in the book for an index, and (c) in a book of this sort there is literally no need to index anything except names and titles.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thank you very much for your kind comments, Sheerblogger. In terms of the quality of the films featured, I consider about a third of them to be excellent, about a third to be diabolical and about a third to be middling.

    I don't know what you need for horrorpedia. Please email me.