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Horror Cinema

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Horror is both the most perennially popular and geographically diverse of all film genres; arguably, every country that makes movies makes horror movies of one kind or another. Depicting deep-rooted, even archetypal fears, while at the same time exploiting socially and culturally specific anxieties, cinematic horror is at once timeless and utterly of its time and place. Th Horror is both the most perennially popular and geographically diverse of all film genres; arguably, every country that makes movies makes horror movies of one kind or another. Depicting deep-rooted, even archetypal fears, while at the same time exploiting socially and culturally specific anxieties, cinematic horror is at once timeless and utterly of its time and place. This exciting visual history, which includes unique images from the David Del Valle archive, examines the genre in thematic, historical, and aesthetic terms, breaking it down into the following fundamental categories: Slashers & Serial Killers; Cannibals, Freaks & Hillbillys; Revenge of Nature & Environmental Horror; Sci-fi Horror; The Living Dead; Ghosts & Haunted Houses; Possession, Demons & Evil Tricksters; Voodoo, Cults & Satanists; Vampires & Werewolves; and The Monstrous-Feminine. Among the many films featured are classics such as Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien, The Exorcist, Dracula, and The Wicker Man.


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Horror is both the most perennially popular and geographically diverse of all film genres; arguably, every country that makes movies makes horror movies of one kind or another. Depicting deep-rooted, even archetypal fears, while at the same time exploiting socially and culturally specific anxieties, cinematic horror is at once timeless and utterly of its time and place. Th Horror is both the most perennially popular and geographically diverse of all film genres; arguably, every country that makes movies makes horror movies of one kind or another. Depicting deep-rooted, even archetypal fears, while at the same time exploiting socially and culturally specific anxieties, cinematic horror is at once timeless and utterly of its time and place. This exciting visual history, which includes unique images from the David Del Valle archive, examines the genre in thematic, historical, and aesthetic terms, breaking it down into the following fundamental categories: Slashers & Serial Killers; Cannibals, Freaks & Hillbillys; Revenge of Nature & Environmental Horror; Sci-fi Horror; The Living Dead; Ghosts & Haunted Houses; Possession, Demons & Evil Tricksters; Voodoo, Cults & Satanists; Vampires & Werewolves; and The Monstrous-Feminine. Among the many films featured are classics such as Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien, The Exorcist, Dracula, and The Wicker Man.

30 review for Horror Cinema

  1. 4 out of 5

    Aric Cushing

    The visuals are nice as a table book for parties, and the accompanying text is just enough for quick viewing. This is not meant as a book for thorough analysis, but a fun, light reminiscence of those horror movies you grew up with. The pictures are well chosen, and the layout brings back all those old thrills. A fun Halloween night ride that can be flipped through before the trick or treaters reach your door.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Trudi

    This book is a visual, gory feast -- lavishly illustrated -- for horror movie buffs everywhere. Since film is such a visual medium, it makes sense that it's the pictures that make this book worth a look, certainly not the text -- which falls waaaay short. The editors have not offered any new insights or revealed any long held secrets about these iconic films. Most of what the contributors have to say, has been said elsewhere (and better). The films included are popular and mainstream, and mostly This book is a visual, gory feast -- lavishly illustrated -- for horror movie buffs everywhere. Since film is such a visual medium, it makes sense that it's the pictures that make this book worth a look, certainly not the text -- which falls waaaay short. The editors have not offered any new insights or revealed any long held secrets about these iconic films. Most of what the contributors have to say, has been said elsewhere (and better). The films included are popular and mainstream, and mostly American, so if you're looking for foreign or more cultish selections, you will be disappointed. Sam Raimi's Evil Dead franchise is mentioned but briefly and only in passing with no movie stills ... an unforgivable omission in my books. Also, I don't know how any of these reference books get published without an index! Still ... this is a fun book and a scrumptious display of movie images from both old-style Hollywood to the sleek and inventive Asian horror.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Zaccaria

    A good reference book for horror fans with some amazing photographs.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brett

    This is a coffee table by Taschen so you can be sure of two things. First, it will be lavishly illustrated with amazing photos, and secondly, the writing will be generally unremarkable. No knock on authors Penner or Schneider, but their overview of the horror genre shows little complexity and feels like filler, albeit pleasant filler. Any die hard horror fan will scratch their heads at some of the arbitrary chapter groupings, and the particular films associated with them. There are some highligh This is a coffee table by Taschen so you can be sure of two things. First, it will be lavishly illustrated with amazing photos, and secondly, the writing will be generally unremarkable. No knock on authors Penner or Schneider, but their overview of the horror genre shows little complexity and feels like filler, albeit pleasant filler. Any die hard horror fan will scratch their heads at some of the arbitrary chapter groupings, and the particular films associated with them. There are some highlights, like the covering of the films "Ms. 45," "The Brood," and "The Wicker Man." At the end of the day it is of course a coffee table book, and Taschen does an expectedly primo job with the printing, layout, and photographs. This would make an amazing gift any budding middle/high school horror fan.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Splenda

    If you like equal parts analysis and still photographs, this book is for you. Unlike most books that include a ton of photographs, Penner uses them to thoroughly compliment many of the points he makes in each chapter. Another great strength of this book is that it breaks down each type of horror movie (ex. vampires and werewolves, aliens, monstrous feminine, etc.) with both a quick history of the films that make up that sub-genre and some overarching themes that keep popping up in those films. M If you like equal parts analysis and still photographs, this book is for you. Unlike most books that include a ton of photographs, Penner uses them to thoroughly compliment many of the points he makes in each chapter. Another great strength of this book is that it breaks down each type of horror movie (ex. vampires and werewolves, aliens, monstrous feminine, etc.) with both a quick history of the films that make up that sub-genre and some overarching themes that keep popping up in those films. My only criticism is that some of the chapters are lacking in substance compared to the others. Overall, a great analytical and visual read within the horror cinema genre.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erika Schoeps

    An overview of the entirety of horror cinema as organized by subgenres. Each chapter is titled by subgenre (i.e The Living Dead, Vampires and Werewolves) and then moves chronologically through every important (or supremely interesting but overlooked) movie in this genre. There's a focus on building a history and relevance as opposed to telling readers about exciting new movies in the genre. The exciting aspect of this book is its liberal mindset in the reader's ability to interpret horror in a v An overview of the entirety of horror cinema as organized by subgenres. Each chapter is titled by subgenre (i.e The Living Dead, Vampires and Werewolves) and then moves chronologically through every important (or supremely interesting but overlooked) movie in this genre. There's a focus on building a history and relevance as opposed to telling readers about exciting new movies in the genre. The exciting aspect of this book is its liberal mindset in the reader's ability to interpret horror in a variety of ways. This book's authors will apply a critical lens to interpret an entire genre, and hint at the other critical lenses and viewpoints in which these same movies can be interpreted. This book created excitement in me for watching more horror and dissecting it in unconventional ways. But even further than the critical nature of the words within, this is a honking large book with really alluring full page spreads. Iconic horror moments and movie stills are glossy and lovely to behold; in addition, they pull previously behind the scenes moments and images to the forefront. If you don't have the time to read it, just grab it and flip through the pictures.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Spuddy lucklight

    although this is a good book about horror movies that gives interesting facts and history, at times it could get...repetitive...?, it would praise a movie and tell its summary and some facts and a few chapters later it's mentioning the same movie you just read about..?, i found myself skipping some pages, however, the pictures in this book are BEAUTIFUL, and along with these amazing pictures you'd get a small paragraph that gives you some insight on what's happening, overall I've learned about s although this is a good book about horror movies that gives interesting facts and history, at times it could get...repetitive...?, it would praise a movie and tell its summary and some facts and a few chapters later it's mentioning the same movie you just read about..?, i found myself skipping some pages, however, the pictures in this book are BEAUTIFUL, and along with these amazing pictures you'd get a small paragraph that gives you some insight on what's happening, overall I've learned about some good horror movies i'd probably watch soon, i really suggest reading this book in a...superficially type of way, not necessarily reading page to page, word to word, somethings you can just skip over.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    It’s meant to be a coffee table book, but I read it cover to cover. The first half went quick in talking about the different horror genres. I found it interesting, although the authors are a little sexist if you ask me (calling sissy spacek “homely” and saying men want to see women get murdered). I also would have preferred the pictures and text to line up better. The second half is their top 50 horror films. It took me longer to get through that part and I found it less interesting as some of i It’s meant to be a coffee table book, but I read it cover to cover. The first half went quick in talking about the different horror genres. I found it interesting, although the authors are a little sexist if you ask me (calling sissy spacek “homely” and saying men want to see women get murdered). I also would have preferred the pictures and text to line up better. The second half is their top 50 horror films. It took me longer to get through that part and I found it less interesting as some of it was repetitive from the first section.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dominic Howarth

    This gorgeous book has two parts, one more enjoyable than the other - the first 1/3, the team puts together themes and ideas that have scared us for generations, and they use these to weave the tale of monsters and mayhem from the beginning of film. The writing is witty and insightful and entertaining throughout. The rest of the book is a list of 100 best horror movies, but the writing is lackluster, mostly short, and full of more puns than I was interested in reading. But the first 1/3 and the This gorgeous book has two parts, one more enjoyable than the other - the first 1/3, the team puts together themes and ideas that have scared us for generations, and they use these to weave the tale of monsters and mayhem from the beginning of film. The writing is witty and insightful and entertaining throughout. The rest of the book is a list of 100 best horror movies, but the writing is lackluster, mostly short, and full of more puns than I was interested in reading. But the first 1/3 and the pictures is worth the price alone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ale...

    The photos are ok, and I understand the desire to keep things simple for the new reader, but in the text there are errors about the movies description and history (italian edition). Le foto sono ok, e posso comprendere il desiderio di semplificare e riassumere per il neofita, ma nel testo ci sono errori grossolani persino nella descrizione dei film o della storia del genere...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rahul Jain

    While the print and the selection of photos is brilliant, the writing often seems incomplete. The chapter division is inconsistent (often excluding films that don't fall in the defined structure), and the book ends on an incomplete note, without offering any form of summary on horror films or our wish to watch horror films. While the print and the selection of photos is brilliant, the writing often seems incomplete. The chapter division is inconsistent (often excluding films that don't fall in the defined structure), and the book ends on an incomplete note, without offering any form of summary on horror films or our wish to watch horror films.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Millicent Haggard

    A very cool book! It starts off with the general history of horror cinema, then goes into a short synopsis and small facts about several horror films throughout history. Glossy beautiful photos are strewn throughout the book, along with bold movie quotes and reviews. It’s super interactive and interesting. I’m excited to read more Taschen books!

  13. 4 out of 5

    TJ

    Great pictures, solid synopses of some of cinema’s best horror films and a breakdown of horror movies by categories such as, The Living Dead, Slashers and Serial Killers, Ghosts and Haunted Houses, and Voodoo, Cults, & Satanists, just to mention a few, are all part of this beautiful coffee table book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael McManus

    I believe that the version of this book I've just finished was an updated version as it has over 600 pages and not 191. It is a hard back version with the Creature from the Black Lagoon on the front cover. It's had the same chapters but has a section of the authors top 50 horror films. A very good read with great photos in colour and black and white. Easy to read and very informative. I believe that the version of this book I've just finished was an updated version as it has over 600 pages and not 191. It is a hard back version with the Creature from the Black Lagoon on the front cover. It's had the same chapters but has a section of the authors top 50 horror films. A very good read with great photos in colour and black and white. Easy to read and very informative.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    I don't agree with their 50 best horror movies film list. They include The Thing from Another World (1951) but not The Thing (1982). They include the odious Flesh for Frankenstein (1973) but not Frankenstein (1931). Now THAT'S scary! I don't agree with their 50 best horror movies film list. They include The Thing from Another World (1951) but not The Thing (1982). They include the odious Flesh for Frankenstein (1973) but not Frankenstein (1931). Now THAT'S scary!

  16. 4 out of 5

    James Carter

    Horror Cinema is a visual book that's simply a listing of many horror films as possible with nice pictures. Because the text is white against black background, it's very hard to read them, so I mostly skipped that. All in all, Horror Cinema is nothing special really. Horror Cinema is a visual book that's simply a listing of many horror films as possible with nice pictures. Because the text is white against black background, it's very hard to read them, so I mostly skipped that. All in all, Horror Cinema is nothing special really.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Natalia

    The writing felt quite pretentious at times.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    I loved this book. goes over hundred of movies with great pictures and inside stories. great coffee table book to have

  19. 5 out of 5

    Seth Steele

    If you’re already a huge horror fan, you’ve probably heard of 90% of the films mentioned. I did find a few new recommendations, and I learned a few things about old favorites.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nerita

    The authors did a tremendous job writing about these horror movies but yet there were some inconsistencies like the year of release or even the movie title but despite that, everything else is great.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shalah Collins

    I purchased this book while seeing some art exhibits at the Museum of Moving Images in New York City. I have an extensive horror collection of movies, and appreciate a good scare, unfortunately so does my son. This book takes you into the the minds of the Film producers, Film Director's, the writers and more. It is broken into categories such as Slashers &a Serial Killers, Cannibals, Freaks $ Hillbillies, Monsters, Science-Fiction horror and much more. You get pictures of the magic in action. I purchased this book while seeing some art exhibits at the Museum of Moving Images in New York City. I have an extensive horror collection of movies, and appreciate a good scare, unfortunately so does my son. This book takes you into the the minds of the Film producers, Film Director's, the writers and more. It is broken into categories such as Slashers &a Serial Killers, Cannibals, Freaks $ Hillbillies, Monsters, Science-Fiction horror and much more. You get pictures of the magic in action.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brian Moloney

    Despite the text, which really doesn't tell you anything new if you have an interest in the matter, the book gets 4 stars from me due to the quality and layout of the accompanying pictures. It's split into 10 chapters by subject matter ("slashers and serial killers", "the living dead" etc.) giving a brief history of each sub genre and page after page of pictures. A few stand out for me, such as a full page reproduction of a publicity still from Silence of the Lambs, a full page head shot of Leat Despite the text, which really doesn't tell you anything new if you have an interest in the matter, the book gets 4 stars from me due to the quality and layout of the accompanying pictures. It's split into 10 chapters by subject matter ("slashers and serial killers", "the living dead" etc.) giving a brief history of each sub genre and page after page of pictures. A few stand out for me, such as a full page reproduction of a publicity still from Silence of the Lambs, a full page head shot of Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a 2 page spread of the iconic arrival by the street lamp from The Exorcist. Not much more to be said really, if you like the aesthetics of horror movies or the history of cinema, yeah, I'd recommend it. There's worse ways to pass a few hours. If you're not a fan then there's not much here for you.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susannah

    This is a great book about the horror genre by Taschen. Treating horror seriously as a genre, this book contains essays that explore horror's enduring and universal appeal as one of the most consistently viewed genres. There are also essays on different types of horror film genre, and what aspects of society they represent. The essays are interspersed between beautiful images from some of horror's most notable film entries. A great read for fans of horror cinema. This is a great book about the horror genre by Taschen. Treating horror seriously as a genre, this book contains essays that explore horror's enduring and universal appeal as one of the most consistently viewed genres. There are also essays on different types of horror film genre, and what aspects of society they represent. The essays are interspersed between beautiful images from some of horror's most notable film entries. A great read for fans of horror cinema.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Horror Cinema highlights all things horror related in films. There are lots of pictures and screen shots from horror films old and new. Horror Cinema is organized and categorized according to monster such as vampires, living dead, montrous-feminine and even slashers/serial killers. I could go through this book for hours and hours on end it was so enjoyable.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Morbus Iff

    Purdy pictures, but text utterly ignorable. A waste.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Azem

    Beautifully produced book. I love horror films and this book is a great way to find out about films to check out.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hernán

    The images of the book are excellent (large print, best resolution). While reading, I had issues with the Spanish translation of the movie titles. I would have preferred the original titles instead.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Phinehas

    My rating is based only on the photos. If it was only the text I would have given it two stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Really good but was a bit disappointed with the fact there's more pictures than words. Which is fine but the chapters were short as a result. Still a fine sample of the many subgenres of horror. Really good but was a bit disappointed with the fact there's more pictures than words. Which is fine but the chapters were short as a result. Still a fine sample of the many subgenres of horror.

  30. 5 out of 5

    James Perkins

    I was very disappointed by this book. Although the writer is clearly knowledgeable in his subject, he has produced a volume with only the bare bones of a text that is so superficial, it reads like it was whipped up in a couple of weeks. I realise it's not meant to be an academic treatise, and it's more about the pictures than the text, but some films are given far too much explanation about their narrative analogies and production, with several pages of description and photos, while others are g I was very disappointed by this book. Although the writer is clearly knowledgeable in his subject, he has produced a volume with only the bare bones of a text that is so superficial, it reads like it was whipped up in a couple of weeks. I realise it's not meant to be an academic treatise, and it's more about the pictures than the text, but some films are given far too much explanation about their narrative analogies and production, with several pages of description and photos, while others are given one picture and a bare mention, and there are still others shown in a promotional photo or production still but not even referenced in the text. While the author cites a lot of movies, he still manages to omit quite a few landmark films, especially if they are not American or British, or were made after 2000. There is a very incomplete "chronology" at the end that lists only a few of the movies mentioned, and even introduces some that have not been referenced at all in the main text - so it's hardly the summary that you would expect from a professionally-produced book. This dog's breakfast is accompanied by a pathetic "filmography" that only lists a dozen of the hundreds of films mentioned throughout the book. I get the feeling that it was only ever intended as a coffee table amusement that the publisher did not expect to be read from cover to cover. Despite its pretensions to analyse its subject and use horror films as a metaphor for society, the book does not present as even a half-serious study of horror cinema, trying instead to shock the reader with the more monstrous images and gore of the genre. I really wasn't shocked or impressed.

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