This is a ground-breaking exploration that runs generally against the critical grain in identifying a burgeoning production of films of fear and horror before the admission of the horror film genre per se. It is a study that reveals and emphasises the formative and innovative power of film, from Georges Melies's Le Manoir du Diable (1896) to Edgar G. Ulmer's superbly reflexive The Black Cat (1934). With its focus on twenty-one key films, and referencing other relevant productions, the present study involves an inclusive and sensitive approach. It reveals an awareness of the heterogeneity of horror production with the discussion spanning the period of the invention of movies, the expansion from single-reelers to longer and continuous productions, and the advent of talkies. Stepping beyond the bounds of Anglo-American studios, in its seven chapters the book involves the work of directors from France, Spain, England, Moravia, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Mexico and the USA, to consider and compare films that have not previously received serious attention.