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Now over twenty years old, the original edition of Nightmare Movies has retained its place as a true classic of cult film criticism. In this new edition, Kim Newman brings his seminal work completely up-to-date, both reassessing his earlier evaluations and adding a second part that assess the last two decades of horror films with all the wit, intelligence and insight for w Now over twenty years old, the original edition of Nightmare Movies has retained its place as a true classic of cult film criticism. In this new edition, Kim Newman brings his seminal work completely up-to-date, both reassessing his earlier evaluations and adding a second part that assess the last two decades of horror films with all the wit, intelligence and insight for which he is known. Since the publication of the first edition, horror has been on a gradual upswing, and taken a new and stronger hold over the film industry. Newman negotiates his way through a vast back-catalogue of horror, charting the on-screen progress of our collective fears and bogeymen from the low budget slasher movies of the 60s, through to the slick releases of the 2000s, in a critical appraisal that doubles up as a genealogical study of contemporary horror and its forebears. Newman invokes the figures that fuel the ongoing demand for horror - the serial killer; the vampire; the werewolf; the zombie - and draws on his remarkable knowledge of the genre to give us a comprehensive overview of the modern myths that have shaped the imagination of multiple generations of cinema-goers. Nightmare Movies is an invaluable companion that not only provides a newly updated history of the darker side of film but a truly entertaining guide with which to discover the less well-trodden paths of horror, and re-discover the classics with a newly instructed eye.


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Now over twenty years old, the original edition of Nightmare Movies has retained its place as a true classic of cult film criticism. In this new edition, Kim Newman brings his seminal work completely up-to-date, both reassessing his earlier evaluations and adding a second part that assess the last two decades of horror films with all the wit, intelligence and insight for w Now over twenty years old, the original edition of Nightmare Movies has retained its place as a true classic of cult film criticism. In this new edition, Kim Newman brings his seminal work completely up-to-date, both reassessing his earlier evaluations and adding a second part that assess the last two decades of horror films with all the wit, intelligence and insight for which he is known. Since the publication of the first edition, horror has been on a gradual upswing, and taken a new and stronger hold over the film industry. Newman negotiates his way through a vast back-catalogue of horror, charting the on-screen progress of our collective fears and bogeymen from the low budget slasher movies of the 60s, through to the slick releases of the 2000s, in a critical appraisal that doubles up as a genealogical study of contemporary horror and its forebears. Newman invokes the figures that fuel the ongoing demand for horror - the serial killer; the vampire; the werewolf; the zombie - and draws on his remarkable knowledge of the genre to give us a comprehensive overview of the modern myths that have shaped the imagination of multiple generations of cinema-goers. Nightmare Movies is an invaluable companion that not only provides a newly updated history of the darker side of film but a truly entertaining guide with which to discover the less well-trodden paths of horror, and re-discover the classics with a newly instructed eye.

30 review for Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Kim Newman must have seen about 10,000 movies in his life so far. He must leap out of bed and take in Head Cheerleader Dead Cheerleader (2000) over breakfast before checking the post to see if his contact in Baton Rouge has finally sent the promised copies of Sergio Martino's hard to get Your Vice is a Locked Door and only I Have the Key (1972) and Joel Reed's Bloodsucking Freaks (1978). Speaking of sucking, Kim's book sucks up almost every stupid and every reasonable horror movie from 1960 to n Kim Newman must have seen about 10,000 movies in his life so far. He must leap out of bed and take in Head Cheerleader Dead Cheerleader (2000) over breakfast before checking the post to see if his contact in Baton Rouge has finally sent the promised copies of Sergio Martino's hard to get Your Vice is a Locked Door and only I Have the Key (1972) and Joel Reed's Bloodsucking Freaks (1978). Speaking of sucking, Kim's book sucks up almost every stupid and every reasonable horror movie from 1960 to now and slices and dices them and lists and enlists them and draws lines between them and taxonomises them and explores sub-genres and sub-sub-genres until you feel like your brain has been sucked out of your ear by the brain sucking things in Brain Sucking Things (1997). Here's a typical couple of sentences: After Fight Club, a run of "imaginary friend" or "imaginary fiend" films wore out th device. Ostensible protagonists turned out to be the killers stalking them (and killing their friends) in Session 9 (2001), Switchblade Romance (2003) and Shrooms (2006). Trauma (2004) and Spiral (2007) have neurotics kill people they take for illusions only to find they're real. It became almost mandatory in horror that at least one supporting character should turn out to be imaginary or a ghost or an imaginary ghost. Or take this from page 470 : Organ-harvesting rackets are presented in detail in Dirty Pretty Things (2002), Koma (2004), The Passage (2007) Recycled Parts (2007), The Harvest project (2008), Train (2008) and Staunton Hill (2009). I was shouting at the book by now – "Kim, Kim, you've seen enough organ-harvesting-racket films, you can STOP NOW!" Occasionally, not often enough, Kim snaps – he's finally seen enough! Psycho movies have proliferated like a school of piranha fish, taking bites out of each other until they finally coalesce into one endless film. Any stray ideas are likely to crop up all over the place at once, as filmmakers imitate each other like unbalanced pod creatures from invasion of the Body Snatchers often with results about as graceful as the human-headed dog in the 1978 version. He Knows You're Alone ripped off The Silent partner for a scene where a severed head is discovered in a fish tank. By the time of Night School (1981), a scant four months later, the trope was hackneyed enough for a cop to refer to "the old head in the fish tank bit". There are frequent flashes of amusement amidst the gouts of mulched innards: The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976), a rare movie featuring death-by-knife-attached-to-a-trombone-slide... Jeff Burr's Leatherface : Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) tries to elevate the goonish Leatherface from his cannibal clan to solo stardom the way Berry Gordy put Diana Ross in front of The Supremes. As tied-to-a-chair-and-tortured films go, Hostel is only middling gruelling Having an uncaricatured lesbian as the lead in a horror sequel is a surprisingly progressive touch that's easy to miss among the bloodletting. But – much as I enjoyed Kim's book, I wondered - what makes these horror fans want to see so much of the same thing over and over? Aren't horror movies making the same few points (where there is a discernible point) again and again? Maybe I have to ask myself, as a fan of pop music, what makes the three minute pop song so charming I want to listen to so many of them? Is it the same thing? Are gorehouds actually being comforted by the predictable fifteen murders in Boogeyman II (2002) and lulled into warm cosiness by the familiar cannibals of Don't Look Behind You (1991) as I am by the smart chord changes on Younger Than Yesterday and the looptape sufferings of Diana (Leatherface) Ross? It's a funny old world.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    Whew! It took me a month but I finished it. I must confess that there were moments when I despaired of ever seeing the end - but my love of horror films and plain, bulldog determination allowed me to pull it off. I was a horror movie fan in my teens and early twenties - then slowly moved away from the genre as the terror got more graphic. I am a fan of the the creeping variety (like the The Omen), but grand guignol disgusts me. Then, I did not have access to a VCR for quite some time between the Whew! It took me a month but I finished it. I must confess that there were moments when I despaired of ever seeing the end - but my love of horror films and plain, bulldog determination allowed me to pull it off. I was a horror movie fan in my teens and early twenties - then slowly moved away from the genre as the terror got more graphic. I am a fan of the the creeping variety (like the The Omen), but grand guignol disgusts me. Then, I did not have access to a VCR for quite some time between the middle eighties to the middle nineties, and horror rarely comes uncensored to India - so most of the really frightening movies never made it to Indian theatres. I picked up the horror habit again in the middle of the last decade, and left it again a year ago when torture porn began dominating (torture is really difficult for me to watch). It's like an addiction which I can't quite get rid off. This book allowed me to recall my yesterdays with a sweet nostalgic pain, as I curled up with a coffee in front of the TV on a rainy Friday afternoon with a stack of horror videotapes to get me through the weekend. In 700+ packed pages, Kim Newman has done a stupendous job of compilation: he lists down horror stories from the sixies up to the present - I don't think there're many that he has missed. He touches upon all the subgenres (vampires, ghosts, zombies, torture etc.), as well as the few auteurs. Newman does not restrict himself to conventional horror, but analyses those films which fall outside the conventional horror flick (e.g. David Lynch) also - hence the title, "Nightmare Movies". But all said and done, the book is information overload. In his intention to explore all facets of horror, the author has forsaken any in-depth analyis. Agreed, it may not be possible to any level in a such an ambitious project without proving unmanageable: yet, it limits the usefulness of the book. You will not get any insight into the reason why we frighten ourselves to death by reading this book. At best, it is a geography and history of horror. The ardent fan will find many a familiar face on the journey: but if you are not that into horror, it would be advisable to leave this book alone. Recommended for horror junkies.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    I started this book night before last and it is not what I thought. Way over the top detail on the horror movie industry and who did what behind the scenes along with which producers jumped from one movie to another. The book might be for some people but it is not for me so sticking it on my dnf shelf.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    I've had the original edition of Nightmare Movies since I stumbled across it in a used bookstore in the early '90s. I have read that thing to pieces -- Newman wrote a classic of film criticism, which makes a great guidebook and a great leisure read alike. The updated edition takes us up to, pretty much, right this second -- he covers everything right up to movies that were released in 2010 and 2011. To do it, he took the original book and the left the text intact but added footnotes when he had I've had the original edition of Nightmare Movies since I stumbled across it in a used bookstore in the early '90s. I have read that thing to pieces -- Newman wrote a classic of film criticism, which makes a great guidebook and a great leisure read alike. The updated edition takes us up to, pretty much, right this second -- he covers everything right up to movies that were released in 2010 and 2011. To do it, he took the original book and the left the text intact but added footnotes when he had changed an opinion or had something new to say. To this is added essentially a second entire book covering everything released since the first Nightmare Movies went to print. This makes the new Nightmare Movies a big ol' volume indeed, and formatted very differently from the original -- notably the full-page photos are gone, and the movie stills are much smaller and fewer, crammed into two inserts. The proofreading, sadly, sucks -- it's full of inconsistently spelled names, typos, and howlers like "serial" for "cereal." I don't blame Newman for this -- I blame Bloomsbury. For shame! There's lots of good and interesting stuff here, including Newman's reflections on the "torture porn" genre, the vampire romance phenomenon, and J-horror. The new content is, however, a little less sparkling than the old. Part of it is that he's not starting from scratch to consider, say, vampire films, because he already did that in the original, so some sections feel more like a laundry list of movies than a fresh appraisal -- and part of it might be that just like the rest of us, Newman's older and more jaded than he was 20-some years ago. However, his appraisals of movies he especially liked or found interesting are as sharp and intelligent as ever. Newman is an intelligent and thoughtful watcher and he assumes his audience is as well -- he's refreshingly unwilling to embrace a consensus opinion, and to take "trashy movies" seriously. And he can be very funny. In my opinion, this is THE single indispensable book for anyone even mildly interested in horror cinema.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    If you want a book of film criticism focused on horror, this is the definitive choice, especially in this newer edition. You will not agree with the author on everything, of course, and it glosses over a couple of things, but it is easily the most in-depth and knowledgeable film study of horror in the era (1960-2010). And it's fun. Let me start with what it is and isn't. It is not a book of film theory, like Men, Women and Chainsaws, nor is it a study of horror across media, a la Danse Macabre. I If you want a book of film criticism focused on horror, this is the definitive choice, especially in this newer edition. You will not agree with the author on everything, of course, and it glosses over a couple of things, but it is easily the most in-depth and knowledgeable film study of horror in the era (1960-2010). And it's fun. Let me start with what it is and isn't. It is not a book of film theory, like Men, Women and Chainsaws, nor is it a study of horror across media, a la Danse Macabre. It is not a rating index. It is simply an overview of horror films of the era, covering almost all of the important works and quite a few minor ones, especially those by major genre directors. It is divided into categories, including sections on auteurs. It does make allusions to film theory, of course, but is relatively accessible. It makes no effort to avoid spoilers, however, so tread lightly if that is an issue. This is a fairly academic book, and assumes a fair level of knowledge in the field, so a newcomer could feel swamped rather quickly. Also, the tone is a little dry at times, though not often. You will also get no personal information on the author, like King's inserts in Danse Macabre. It is insightful, and often witty, and will offer a further insight into the field as a whole for most. Basically, it is a reference book, and an enormously useful one. There are splashier, more entertaining books about genre films, but this is probably the widest ranging, and possibly the most informative. You won't get in-depth dissections of special effects or studio gossip, and the earlier sections are lacking for most non-English language works (the author backfills a bit in the later sections), but more specialized works are available for those things. Overall, an experienced student of horror films cannot go wrong with this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matt Midlock

    Whew. Reading this was like being inside the mind of a scattered lunatic who spent their entire life watching nothing but horror films. I only was able to get through half of this book as every section felt like it was a mildly coherent list of related horror films. Here's the zombie chapter, here's the midnite movies chapter, here's the vampire chapter and all those chapters did was attempt to rattle off as many movies in that subgenere as possible. There's some opinions bandied about, but they Whew. Reading this was like being inside the mind of a scattered lunatic who spent their entire life watching nothing but horror films. I only was able to get through half of this book as every section felt like it was a mildly coherent list of related horror films. Here's the zombie chapter, here's the midnite movies chapter, here's the vampire chapter and all those chapters did was attempt to rattle off as many movies in that subgenere as possible. There's some opinions bandied about, but they are usually a sentence or two at best and there's simply not enough meat to any of them. There was also an overall dismissive tone to too many of the films that was off putting to me. Admittedly, these films will never be considered high-art, but I would have appreciated a bit more respect towards them. I gave up during the Silence of the Lambs chapter. Silence of the Lambs is a great movie, but Newman dives into the crime thriller genre after that and I feel those films are not horror as they rely more on suspense and crime solving than horror. I guess differing opinions and his overall style put me off. I suppose I'll wait a while to read my copy Newman's Anno Dracula.....

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ian White

    The best and most comprehensive account of the modern horror film (i.e. post-1968, from Night of the Living Dead onwards) I've ever read and could ever hope for, covering in detail all the major trends and movements from around the world in the last 50 years (up to 2011). This volume consists of the original book from 1988, extensively annotated to provide updates or revised opinions where he has changed his mind in the interim (but leaving the original intact), followed by another 300 pages or s The best and most comprehensive account of the modern horror film (i.e. post-1968, from Night of the Living Dead onwards) I've ever read and could ever hope for, covering in detail all the major trends and movements from around the world in the last 50 years (up to 2011). This volume consists of the original book from 1988, extensively annotated to provide updates or revised opinions where he has changed his mind in the interim (but leaving the original intact), followed by another 300 pages or so covering everything from 1988 onwards. There is a very neat structure whereby the original book starts with Romero's Night of The Living Dead in '68 and ends with his Day of the Dead in '85, and the new half starts with the Night... remake in 1990 and ends with Romero's second Dead trilogy (Land of, Diary of and Survival of the Dead) from 2005-2009. Individual chapters cover in enormous detail such topics as Italian horror (the giallo, the zombie cycle and the cannibal film - Argento gets a section to himself in the 'Auteurs' chapter), the 'Indian Summer of the British Horror Film' (late period Hammer, Amicus, Michael Reeves, Pete Walker etc.), Classical Gothic, devil films, slasher films, ghost stories etc. The new section covers more recent trends such as the post-Scream postmodern 90s horror film, the Ring-inspired J-horror boom and the unfortunate development of torture porn. Films and directors are assessed and contextualised and vast amounts of detail are given and yet it still all reads very easily and entertainingly, never descending into just listing films. All in all this book provides a brilliant survey of an enormously varied genre with incredibly impressive knowledge and authority, and works equally well to dip in and out of or read cover-to-cover. His novels are great too.

  8. 5 out of 5

    William

    Very well researched and sourced. Thorough, and Newman's knowledge is unrivaled. My only issue is he doesn't seem to like much of anything. He's unduly hard on (or just plain wrong) on films like ALIEN, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and THE RE-ANIMATOR, all acknowledged classics. His pithy asides are annoying. That being said I'd rather he be opinionated than sycophantic. Recognizing Tim Burton as an "auteur" is a pleasing move, and the section on David Lynch is wonderful as well. A good read for se Very well researched and sourced. Thorough, and Newman's knowledge is unrivaled. My only issue is he doesn't seem to like much of anything. He's unduly hard on (or just plain wrong) on films like ALIEN, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and THE RE-ANIMATOR, all acknowledged classics. His pithy asides are annoying. That being said I'd rather he be opinionated than sycophantic. Recognizing Tim Burton as an "auteur" is a pleasing move, and the section on David Lynch is wonderful as well. A good read for serious horror film fans.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Murray Ewing

    If there is a Necronomicon, this is surely it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    My understanding is that Kim Newman is widely regarded as an authority on the subject of horror films. Unfortunately, I found his tone throughout to be rather snide--he use a footnote at one point to denigrate by name a critic whose opinion he disagrees with. He also has a way of presenting his opinions as though they were objective fact, which becomes an unintentional source of amusement: I was reading the updated version of the book, which presents the original 1988 text with updated footnotes My understanding is that Kim Newman is widely regarded as an authority on the subject of horror films. Unfortunately, I found his tone throughout to be rather snide--he use a footnote at one point to denigrate by name a critic whose opinion he disagrees with. He also has a way of presenting his opinions as though they were objective fact, which becomes an unintentional source of amusement: I was reading the updated version of the book, which presents the original 1988 text with updated footnotes and a new chapter covering horror 1988-2009. This means that, when 1988 Newman says something like how 'Alien' is too schlocky, or how 'The Exorcist' probably won't hold up over time, the reader gets to enjoy seeing Newman eat crow ('Well, I guess I was wrong about this one,'). This happens at least once per chapter, and it became something I awaited eagerly. Additionally, frequent stretches of the text are simply lists of films, which I don't find particularly useful or informative. There were enough factual errors that even a casual fan could catch them (a few I noticed: 'Independence Day' was not released in 1999; Shaun does not say "we're coming to get you, Barbara," in 'Shaun of the Dead'; the 1983 disco film with John Travolta is 'Staying Alive,' not 'Tony Manero.') And Newman for some reason feels compelled to include soft core porn flicks, which is his prerogative, but I doubt it's what the typical horror fan is looking for.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nick Spacek

    for every masterful stroke -- the comparison between the portrayal of hannibal lecter in manhunter and silence of the lambs is perhaps the book's highlight -- there's another 50 pages of dense lists or derogatory comments about actors, subgenres, and even musicians. newman manages to work in a potshot at michael jackson's music in a discussion of john landis' work (two, if you count the footnotes), and like most of the author's negative opinions, it seems more nasty than critical. essentially, yo for every masterful stroke -- the comparison between the portrayal of hannibal lecter in manhunter and silence of the lambs is perhaps the book's highlight -- there's another 50 pages of dense lists or derogatory comments about actors, subgenres, and even musicians. newman manages to work in a potshot at michael jackson's music in a discussion of john landis' work (two, if you count the footnotes), and like most of the author's negative opinions, it seems more nasty than critical. essentially, you'll come away from nightmare movies with a strong list of films you've likely never heard of, and the author's international scope means that he's drawing in influences and repeatedly discussing cinematic trends in other countries most other books gloss over, at best. if you can get past the fact that newman essentially vaunts or disdains, and doesn't really comment but briefly on everything in the vast in between, this is a great resource, but you will definitely find yourself yelling at it on a regular basis.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Barnett

    Newman is one of those people who clearly knows every horror movie that's ever been made and could probably quote you scenes by heart. The knowledge is endless, the writing is witty and clever and draws you in and the sheer number of horror films in this book is mind-boggling. It's a great book for fans and covers every corner of the horror film world. On the personal side: if you read about horror movies often, there's a good chance you probably know Kim Newman and know if you like his critiques Newman is one of those people who clearly knows every horror movie that's ever been made and could probably quote you scenes by heart. The knowledge is endless, the writing is witty and clever and draws you in and the sheer number of horror films in this book is mind-boggling. It's a great book for fans and covers every corner of the horror film world. On the personal side: if you read about horror movies often, there's a good chance you probably know Kim Newman and know if you like his critiques of horror movies or not. So, if you tend to agree with his writing on film, you'll like this book; and if you tend to disagree with his critiques you probably won't. That being said, if you don't know him, but like horror movies, this is a great book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    This book is bizarrely disappointing. It has good information. But with the amount of references that makes to movies without necessarily giving enough focus a trend setting series or a couple seminal works from the different decades between the 1960s and the present, the book is largely directionless. There are areas where you can see the potential of the book and its project, namely the two sections on auteurs and their works as well as the sections of chapters that slow down with the referenc This book is bizarrely disappointing. It has good information. But with the amount of references that makes to movies without necessarily giving enough focus a trend setting series or a couple seminal works from the different decades between the 1960s and the present, the book is largely directionless. There are areas where you can see the potential of the book and its project, namely the two sections on auteurs and their works as well as the sections of chapters that slow down with the references and do a deeper dive on a couple of films or a series rather than trying to reference anything that remotely references a horror trope or entity.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debra Manskey

    One of the most thorough books on the subject. Well set out and a "must have" for any student of film or fan of the genre

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Combs

    Mr. Newman has written an exhaustive study on the horror genre, providing some very interesting information throughout. The first half of the book is pretty much the original material from the first publication with added current footnotes by the author clarifying information he wrote earlier. The second half of the book is the updated portion, consisting of all new material where the author picks up the narrative on directors and films that have been released since the first publication of the Mr. Newman has written an exhaustive study on the horror genre, providing some very interesting information throughout. The first half of the book is pretty much the original material from the first publication with added current footnotes by the author clarifying information he wrote earlier. The second half of the book is the updated portion, consisting of all new material where the author picks up the narrative on directors and films that have been released since the first publication of the book. It's clear that Mr. Newman has put in many hours of research putting this book together and I found it an enjoyable read for the most part. I did find some parts of the book to be overly analytically and somewhat boring. Most of these sections seemed to be in the updated second half of the book. I will say that most of the areas I thought dragged and lost my interest were sections that covered topics I was not particularly interested in. I skipped most of the chapter on vampires as that was never my sub genre of choice. The portion on Asian ghost stories was a bit of a struggle to get through as I've only seen one or two of these types of films that I liked, but we all have different tastes and the parts where I lost interest may be completely fascinating to another reader. In any case, Mr. Newman has put forth a strong, well informed, knowledgeable critique of an often maligned genre.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Roland

    An exhaustive overview of horror genres and trends since the 1960s. While nearly every film he describes gets spoiled, it's still fascinating to learn how every decade added something unique to the mix. For example, I completely forgot about the reemergence of Gothic horror in the 90s after the success of Dracula, and how the slasher mutated into the serial killer film after The Silence of the Lambs came out. Also, I had no idea that Hopkins modeled Hannibal on Lugosi's Dracula, which ties the t An exhaustive overview of horror genres and trends since the 1960s. While nearly every film he describes gets spoiled, it's still fascinating to learn how every decade added something unique to the mix. For example, I completely forgot about the reemergence of Gothic horror in the 90s after the success of Dracula, and how the slasher mutated into the serial killer film after The Silence of the Lambs came out. Also, I had no idea that Hopkins modeled Hannibal on Lugosi's Dracula, which ties the two major 90s horror trends together in a way that I never knew beforehand. The writing is frequently hilarious, even if I disagree with some of his arguments (he HATED Ridley Scott's Alien, for example). Overall, great book and highly recommended.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Darren Gore

    Nightmare Movies is an exhaustive, fun and thought-provoking look at horror movies since the 1960s. You may not agree with everything that Kim Newman says - I was genuinely astounded by his praise for that '80s Aussie schlocker Razorback - and at times his prose clunks, but most of the time Nightmare Movies will bring back fond memories, make you reconsider faves and hates in different lights, and get yourself thinking about hosting another movie night.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne (winterscribbler) Cole

    Probably only one for die hard fans of the genre, but something every horror fan should clear shelf space for. Written with clearness and evident passion, it serves as guided tour through the history and development of horror movies from all cultures, delving into some previously unknown places, and taking some surprising detours along the way. A little subjective at times, but presented with a fondness and familiarity of voice. An encyclopedia for the depraved!!!!!

  19. 4 out of 5

    MacDara Conroy

    A bloody excellent survey of the dark side of cinema over the past 40-odd years. Horror films are just one aspect: Newman's broad scope takes in films and filmmakers from all genres that play with our fears, whether for entertaining or harrowing effect. Newman really knows his stuff, too, and even if I disagree with him about many things, his opinions are genuinely held.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Simon Hutchinson

    This is a fantastic read. From Night of the living dead through to torture porn Kim Newman kept me enthralled with his horror anthology. I haven't seen many of the films that he discusses but this took nothing away - I just noted down endless titles to watch in the future. Highly recommend this.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liam Underwood

    Kim Newman is undoubtedly the authority on horror cinema, and here is the evidence. Quite possibly the most comprehensive reference book on horror cinema you could wish for - and the additional footnotes ensure that even passages written decades ago remain relevant.

  22. 5 out of 5

    f

    An epic work split into two parts - part one is the original 1988 book with new footnotes, whilst the second part takes us up to 2011 - covering every genre of horror in addition to films outwith the traditional horror genres, this will have you filling up pages with titles to track down and watch.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Burley

    An enjoyable and almost too comprehensive overview of modern horror cinema. Too many digressions into non-horror material in my opinion, but author Kim Newman's infectious, enthusiastic style makes sure it's always fun to read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Updated edition, picking up from the late 1980's to current day (2010). Still remains an invaluable guide to horror films.

  25. 4 out of 5

    K. Burnett

    4.5 out of 5. A fascinating romp through the world of horror cinema of the last few decades. Read with a notebook to jot down films to find later...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Descends into list writing. No real memorable views or commentary. Enthusiastic writing but little else

  27. 4 out of 5

    Juliet Farmer

    DNF dnf DNF dnf holy shit DNF it's endless

  28. 5 out of 5

    Donnie

    Wonderful history book! It helps that Kim Newman is a gifted and witty writer.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lee Teasdale

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bob

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