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Horror: The Definitive Guide to the Cinema of Fear

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Packed with photographs of the most terrifying scenes in cinema history, this unique, definitive, comprehensive guide traces the story of horror over the past century, decade-by-decade, and provides a witty and informative critique of more than 250 films, plus the TV series and literature that informed them. With feature spreads on related themes appearing throughout—from Packed with photographs of the most terrifying scenes in cinema history, this unique, definitive, comprehensive guide traces the story of horror over the past century, decade-by-decade, and provides a witty and informative critique of more than 250 films, plus the TV series and literature that informed them. With feature spreads on related themes appearing throughout—from vampires, ghosts, and comedy horror, to the occult, giallo, cannibalism, and serial killers—this book offers a superb introduction for beginners as well as something new for the die-hard horror fan. Each section has a detailed introduction looking at the development of the genre, followed by an A-Z review listing of key films, with feature spreads on dominant themes.  


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Packed with photographs of the most terrifying scenes in cinema history, this unique, definitive, comprehensive guide traces the story of horror over the past century, decade-by-decade, and provides a witty and informative critique of more than 250 films, plus the TV series and literature that informed them. With feature spreads on related themes appearing throughout—from Packed with photographs of the most terrifying scenes in cinema history, this unique, definitive, comprehensive guide traces the story of horror over the past century, decade-by-decade, and provides a witty and informative critique of more than 250 films, plus the TV series and literature that informed them. With feature spreads on related themes appearing throughout—from vampires, ghosts, and comedy horror, to the occult, giallo, cannibalism, and serial killers—this book offers a superb introduction for beginners as well as something new for the die-hard horror fan. Each section has a detailed introduction looking at the development of the genre, followed by an A-Z review listing of key films, with feature spreads on dominant themes.  

30 review for Horror: The Definitive Guide to the Cinema of Fear

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robert Adam Gilmour

    There are several different editions of this book with different titles, probably updated with each version. If you see a horror film guide with Marriott & Newman, it's probably some iteration of this book. I got the 2006 edition when it came out and it broke my heart at the time because I was let down by the reality that there isn't a plethora of terrifying films of the kind of quality I was hoping for (no fault of the guide of course). But it did introduce me to some of my absolute favorite fi There are several different editions of this book with different titles, probably updated with each version. If you see a horror film guide with Marriott & Newman, it's probably some iteration of this book. I got the 2006 edition when it came out and it broke my heart at the time because I was let down by the reality that there isn't a plethora of terrifying films of the kind of quality I was hoping for (no fault of the guide of course). But it did introduce me to some of my absolute favorite films (Possession, Inferno, The Shout, Lemora, Alucarda, Let's Scare Jessica To Death, Ghost Of Yotsuya and more), directors (Shinya Tsukamoto, Mario Bava, Brothers Quay) and really sent me on my way to discovering more interesting films. Complaints: any of us could quibble forever about choices; the choices of Hong Kong films could have been better. Possibly more understandable absences are a bunch of great 50s-60s-70s Japanese horror films that were very rare at the time. But Murnau's Faust and Salem's Lot really should have had their own entries, considering how many weaker films were included. Some of the qualities of the films are vastly exaggerated and I thought there was a particularly dubious observation about Deliverance. But this was a really great guide for people in the early stages of horror film viewing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    As an avid horror-fan, this book was a quick grab when I found it on a bookshelf in a local used bookstore. This is a solid guide for someone looking for more esoteric titles or someone wanting to expand on the horror titles they know. The chosen selections cover plenty of international releases and subgenera, and I felt that the book offered a healthy range of films, each of which does have an impact on the genre (even if it's a flawed film that led to something monumental). One important note, As an avid horror-fan, this book was a quick grab when I found it on a bookshelf in a local used bookstore. This is a solid guide for someone looking for more esoteric titles or someone wanting to expand on the horror titles they know. The chosen selections cover plenty of international releases and subgenera, and I felt that the book offered a healthy range of films, each of which does have an impact on the genre (even if it's a flawed film that led to something monumental). One important note, there are two main authors, and several guest writers (as indicated by [initials]. It is very clear from the get-go the authors have a wide breadth of knowledge when it comes to horror films, as well as film as a whole, based on references and analysis. Some entries don't provide a clear-cut path of summary to analysis, and reading can be disorienting. There were a number of times I was looking for more in the summary, but then it abruptly shifts to the analysis of the film (and may jump back and forth), with no sentence to cleanly tie analysis and fact (summary, director, history). On the analysis piece, the authors offer 1-2 page entries covering specific topics such as Zombies, Stephen King, Vampires and more, each highlighting notable movies respective to the title. Additionally, the authors shine at drawing connections between films, as evident throughout the book. However, there were multiple times where I felt the author(s) analysis could have gone deeper, while others were clean-cut. In summary, this is a solid book that offers something to avid horror fans and novel fans. Athough the writing may take a bit to get used to, it is worth the trip.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    Good overview of horror cinema, providing some context for the different genres of each era. However, for those seeking more film criticism rather than an overview, I'd recommend Kim Newman's Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s, which is much larger and in-depth, even though it only focuses on post-sixties cinema. Good overview of horror cinema, providing some context for the different genres of each era. However, for those seeking more film criticism rather than an overview, I'd recommend Kim Newman's Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s, which is much larger and in-depth, even though it only focuses on post-sixties cinema.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    This book does write of all the sub genres you can think of in horror, and where it originated from; having a wide variety of many decades. I feel what lacked in this book, was the choice of explanation brought by the author. I don’t think I learned much, even though it is said to be the “definitive” encyclopedia of the genre. As many of these books, before the internet and apps, they were useful to an extent. Now, everything I’ve seen been applied in these books can easily be found on the site: This book does write of all the sub genres you can think of in horror, and where it originated from; having a wide variety of many decades. I feel what lacked in this book, was the choice of explanation brought by the author. I don’t think I learned much, even though it is said to be the “definitive” encyclopedia of the genre. As many of these books, before the internet and apps, they were useful to an extent. Now, everything I’ve seen been applied in these books can easily be found on the site: Letterboxd with a brief description of the film. And not only is it easier, but you also get an opinion/point of view from various cinematic fans and not just exclusive to horror. Save your money, and join the app: Letterboxd. It’s free, unless you need those extra perks and you can pretty much find way more movies you never knew existed there than in these books.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Luke Wright

  6. 4 out of 5

    Phil

  7. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anders

  10. 4 out of 5

    Thinking Horror

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kris Calabrese

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris Jennings

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mr Nicholas Cundill

  14. 5 out of 5

    Antonia

  15. 5 out of 5

    cosmotronic

  16. 4 out of 5

    James

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nick Hopkins

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ronald F. Jedlowski Jr.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matt Ogborn

  23. 5 out of 5

    Adam Aaron

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stephen C. Pannell

  25. 5 out of 5

    Morten Carlsen

  26. 5 out of 5

    ComicNerdSam

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joey King

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jon Y.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zack Long

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