Expert Witness: What’s it like to be a horror movie scream queen?

In entertainment, an awful lot of stuff happens behind closed doors, from canceling TV shows to organizing music festival lineups. While the public sees the end product on TVs, movie screens, paper, or radio dials, they don’t see what it took to get there. In Expert Witness, The A.V. Club talks to industry insiders about the actual business of entertainment in hopes of shedding some light on how the pop-culture sausage gets made.

While women screaming in terror has been a fundamental of horror movies since the silent-film era, the term “scream queen” didn’t come into use until the 1980s, when the development of VHS created an enormous demand for film, and cheaply made horror films were a way to fill that market. Concomitant with this explosion of cheap independent features was the growing fame of the women who starred in them. One of the most prolific …

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