Shelley O'Brien

Shelley F O'Brien BA Hons, MPhil

Senior Lecturer (Stage and Screen)


I have been teaching Film Studies at SHU for over twenty years. I am interested in all aspects of cinema, but particularly horror cinema, and film music and sound. I have presented papers on these topics at a wide range of conferences. I also teach some performance theory, specifically film performance. My PhD supervisions are all related in some way to the field of horror, and I also supervise the MA by Research.


Department of Humanities

College of Social Sciences and Arts

Stage and Screen

BA Film Studies, BA Film Studies and Screenwriting, BA Performance for Stage and Screen

American Nightmares, Music in Film, Beyond The Mainstream, Performance and the Big Screen


Journal articles

O'Brien, S. (2017). Nobody wants to know: An appreciation of De Palma's Blow out. The Void, SHU Film Magazine, 2 (1), 8-9.

O'Brien, S. (2015). The Devil's in the detail: Musical form and function in Profondo Rosso. The Void - SHU Film Magazine, 10-11.

Conference papers

O'Brien, S. (2015). "God bless your hands!" Rape, Revenge, and resolution in I Spit on Your Grave (1978). In Reflections on Revenge: A conference on the culture and politics of vengeance, Leicester, 4 September 2015.

O'Brien, S. (2014). Scoring violence : the importance of Riz Ortolani's music in Don't Torture A Duckling (1972)and Cannibal Holocaust (1980). In Italian Horror Cinema: An International Film Conference, Luton, 9 May 2014 - 10 May 2014.

O'Brien, S. (2012). Nursery crimes : making a case for The Baby. In Popular Culture Association of Canada 2nd Annual Conference, Sheraton on the Falls, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, 10 May 2012 - 12 May 2012.

O'Brien, S. (2011). Beastly Effects: Soundscapes in Nigel Kneale's Beasts (1976). In Alien Nation: A Conference on British Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Television, Newcastle upon Tyne, 20 July 2011 - 21 July 2011.

O'Brien, S. (2009). The Art of Sound : guest lecture. In Cornwall Film Festival, Falmouth, 12 November 2009 - 15 November 2009.

O'Brien, S., & Carter, M. (2006). Looking for the Blind Dead: The Application of History and Myth in Amando de Ossorio's Horror Quartet. In European Nightmares: An International Conference on European Horror Cinema, Manchester, 1 June 2006 - 2 June 2006.

Book chapters

O'Brien, S. (2016). Herschell Gordon Lewis: the gore auteur. In Berra, J. (Ed.) Directory of world cinema: American independent. Intellect:,id=5239/

O'Brien, S. (2016). Tobe Hooper: one hit wonder? In Berra, J. (Ed.) Directory of world cinema: American Independent. Intellect:,id=5239/

O'Brien, S. (2011). 'Killer priests : the last taboo?'. In Hansen, R. (Ed.) Roman Catholicism in fantastic film : essays on belief, spectacle, ritual and imagery (ed. Regina Hansen). (pp. 256-267). US: McFarland

Theses / Dissertations

Haley, C.J. (2021). The politics of neo-burlesque:an investigation into theperformer–audience relationship. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Bush, S., Abulhawa, D., O'Brien, S., & Pateman, M.

Dixon, E.E. (2017). Done to death? Re-evaluating narrative construction in slasher sequels. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Hall, S., & O'Brien, S.

Earnshaw, A.R. (2017). Taboo : why are real-life British serial killers rarely represented on film? (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by O'Brien, S., & Sanchez-Arce, A.M.


O'Brien, S. (2015). Filmbites presents : Takeshi Kitano. Presented at: Filmbites presents : Takeshi Kitano, Sheffield

Postgraduate supervision



Media work includes Radio Sheffield, Sheffield Live; member of the jury for the Silver Méliés Award at Leeds International Film Festival; member of the jury for Celluloid Screams Film Festival Shorts category.

Guest lecturing on film sound and music at Cornwall Film Festival

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