top of page


Heavenly Creatures (1994), an early film by director Peter Jackson, chronicles the true story of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme, two adolescent girls in 1954 New Zealand. In the film, the girls develop a deep romantic friendship based in shared fantasy, but their forced separation leads the pair to descend into madness and commit matricide. The book turns to feminist/queer theory, postcolonial theory, auteur analysis, apparatus theory, new media studies, and reception studies to unpack the film’s complex portrait of adolescent turmoil and tragedy.

Heavenly Creatures: Queer Fantasy and the Coming-of-Age Film will be part of Routledge's exciting new "Cinema and Youth Cultures" series.


Deftly weaving together similar strands of queer theory, childhood studies, and horror film scholarship, Andrew Scahill argues for the queer pleasures and revolutionary potentials inherent in the figure of the monstrous child. His work makes a significant contribution to the growing scholarship on childhood and monstrosity, offering fresh perspectives on iconic bad kids from Rhoda (The Bad Seed) to Regan (The Exorcist). Informed, informative, and fun-to-read, The Revolting Child in Horror Cinema explores why we love to hate our monstrous offspring.


Harry Benshoff, author of Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and Horror Film

Andrew Scahill knows that childhood can be scary. His new book seeks to explain the real terrors  of The Exorcist and Village of the Damned by using a convincingly sharp, jargon free discussion of queer theory that breathes new life into cinematic texts weighed down by past interpretations. Politically vibrant and thoughtfully subversive, The Revolting Child in Horror Cinema is a welcome addition to the growing number of cultural studies on horror.


W. Scott Poole, author of Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting

Here is an excellent, invigorating collection dealing with children in the cinema, specifically, children who do not seem to fit into the normal family scenario... The book as a whole offers the reader a comprehensive overview of the children who really "don't belong" anywhere, often through no fault of their own. This is meticulously detailed scholarship covering a wide range of topics. A valuable resource for those interested in this aspect of film aesthetics and history. Summing Up: Highly recommended.                                         

American Library Association

The explosion of childhood studies benefits all of us, directing us to see familiar texts in new ways. Why does the figure of the lost or different child affect us? Ambiguous, threatening, pitiful, too familiar...these children wander through our films out of and into our imaginations. Lost and Othered Children in Contemporary Cinema is an excellent and provocative collection that will stimulate further insights, and hopefully more research, into the use and abuse of the figure of the child.

Janet Staiger, author of Media Reception Studies and
Perverse Spectators: The Practices of Film Reception


2012 Outstanding Academic Title (American Library Association)


For a full list and PDFs of Andew Scahill's writing, visit


Dr. Scahill has plans for two further monographs in the future: 
The first, 
Alienated Youth: The Child/Alien Encounter in Science Fiction Cinema, continues his work in childhood studies to examine the child in science fiction cinema—from Cold War victim (Invaders from Mars, Them!) to alien protector (E.T., Explorers).


A second book, entitled Washington, DC: The Movie, is inspired by his time working at Georgetown University in the nation’s capital. This book will examine the District of Columbia as both a cinematic locale and potent symbolic for national turmoil. 


bottom of page