Saturday, October 03, 2020

31 Days of Halloween - Day 3 - Book

Horror Cinema edited by Paul Duncan & Jürgen Müller. Taschen. 2018.

I wasn't really looking for another general book on the history of horror cinema, but Taschen has such a good track record with other books that I picked up this hefty volume anyway. Beginning with the silent era and strangely ending over ten years before the book's publication date, Horror Cinema, offers up an overview of what's generally considered to be the most significant films in the genre.  Broken down into categories such as The Living Dead, Slashers and Serial Killers, Ghosts and Haunted Houses, etc., rather than a chronological examination, the authors still manage to present an insightful look at why these films are so important and how they fit into the larger scheme of things. The book also includes a longer series of essays on single genre films, considered to be the most crucial, which is presented in chronological order. There are more surprises for what is left out than what is included.

The book is a real mixed bag of thoughtful examination marred by some really horrendous errors. Character names are incorrect, photos used are often from a completely different movie from the one they are attributed to, etc., and not just a couple of times, but with regularity throughout. This book, which is 633 pages in length, is chockfull of illustrations (I was able to casually read the entire book in about 2 days. While the movie stills and poster reproductions are welcome, whoever was tasked with captioning them chose to do so in an inane humorous manner that would have had punster, Forry  Ackerman of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine, cringing. Not only were the captions not funny, but more often than not they did not inform the reader what the image was actually about.

In the end, if you are just finding your way to this film genre, the essays are worth reading. For everyone else, you may want to skip this.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that John Rozum receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!


Caffeinated Joe said...

Thanks for the honest review.

Cerpts said...

That's hilarious because I just bought this book a couple months ago, knowing full well it was surely light-weight, but it was on sale and I thought what the hey. You've confirmed my suspicions!