Shaun of the Dead and the Construction of Cult Space in Millennial London

Paul Newland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Chapter 14 examines the representation of contemporary London in the British film Shaun of the Dead (2004). By focussing on two sequences in the film depicting short walks taken by the main protagonist, Shaun (Simon Pegg), from the front door of his shared, rented, Victorian north-London terraced house to a local shop, Newland argues that this film very effectively represents changes that have occurred to the socio-cultural fabric of non-central, ‘undistinctive’ parts of the city. By drawing on spatial theory and the insights of cultural geography, the author argues that the ‘zombie’ aspect of the narrative allows the filmmakers to explore, in a light-hearted way, the development of this richly historical, inner-suburban zone of the city into a highly complex, liminal space of stasis and transition; ennui and enterprise, which becomes evocative—in spatial terms—of the wider socio-cultural malaise of millennial London. Drawing on fan studies and work on cult films Newland further argues that the film facilitates the constriction of ‘cult space’, not least through its encouragement of fan pilgrimages
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLondon on Film
Subtitle of host publicationThe City and Social Change
EditorsPam Hirsch, Chris O'Rourke
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-64979-5
ISBN (Print)978-3319649788, 3319649787
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameScreening Spaces


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