Horror Cinema from Taschen is a book that all cinefiles must own. This is often said, but it’s really true this time around. It’s imperative that this 640 page book has a place on your book-shelf. The volume is a wonderful overview of the genre, filled with detail and information that covers everything from the silent era to the present day, across all countries. On top of that, you gotta love the cover!
At times horror is seen as an exploitation genre, it’s over-looked and rarely given an honest critical appraisal. However, this book is rich, covering the genre and looking at how certain fads ebb and flow with whatever is happening at a particular time. It’s no coincidence that Universal Pictures hit pay dirt with Dracula and Frankenstein around the time of the Great Depression or that the likes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Last House On The Left were released during the Vietnam era.
Over the course of 10 chapters, the book examines various sub-genres and how they fit into the world of horror and…just when you think it’s all over you get Tachen’s top 50 horror films. This offers up mini-essays on each title, looking at plot along with some added analysis. The usual films are present and correct but it also includes a few interesting movies to make it a surprising read.
The words are great, but as always with Taschen, the pictures are phenomenal. You get stills and behind the scenes imagery from a huge selection of film, meaning that Horror Cinema is as pleasant to flick through as it is to read.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you need to own this book!