shelf life of milk - meaning?

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Kamila M

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What does the expression in bold mean?

Hitchcock's genre gave him an edge, of course: most humor has the shelf life of milk, but terror never goes out of style.
 

euncu

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***neither a teacher nor a native-speaker***

It suggests that the humour in Hitchcock's movies is out of date, makes nobody even smile these days. (maybe it is because there are too much references to the things which the people were talking about back then).
 

emsr2d2

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What does the expression in bold mean?

Hitchcock's genre gave him an edge, of course: most humor has the shelf life of milk, but terror never goes out of style.

The whole statement means that Hitchcock's genre of film-making (horror/terror) gave him an advantage. Humour/comedy can be very temporary and short-lived (hence the comparison to the fact that milk will only stay fresh and usable for a short length of time), whereas horror/terror is a permanently popular genre of film-making.

Some comedy films made a long (or even a short) time ago start to look dated and old-fashioned and simply aren't funny any more because popular styles of comedy change regularly.

Horror films, like those of Hitchcock, will always remain watchable because, as it says, that genre never goes out of style/out of fashion.
 

Kamila M

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Thank you, great explanation.
 
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