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Related: horror film - encyclopedia
- Horror (1996) - Phil Hardy [Amazon.com]
The fact that this encyclopedia has not been updated since its last reprinting in 1995 borders on the offensive. That's because it is simply the best reference of the genre I've ever encountered. The book is filled with short to medium length reviews of horror films from every period in film history (up to 1992) and every nation which dabbles in the genre.
The fact that the encyclopedia is that complete is not necessarily its biggest asset. The reviews which compose the book do not simply provide summary, a quick line or two of evaluation, and a useless star rating a la Leonard Martin. Instead, each review examines its subject in relation to other similar works by subject, studio, director, actor, etc. It refuses to provide star ratings, favoring a more detailed explanation of a film's strengths and weaknesses. Also, and this pleases me the most, many films are examined through a critical lense, looking at how the film explores gender, culture, politics, economics, etc.
Combine these strengths with the inclusion of just about every horror film ever made and you have a book horror fans will leave by their bedside.
This encyclopedia treats the horror film genre as it should be treated, an important and vital field of art with a history and voice to be heard. Any causal or serious student of horror films must own this book. It will deepen and enlive their enjoyment of horror, from the absurd and esoteric, to the classic and mainstream. --Alexander Clarkson for amazon.com
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