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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A discussion of the strong presence of religion in horror films, March 13, 2009
This review is from: Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen (Hardcover)
Demonic creatures, the undead, and evil are all vaguely religious concepts. "Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen" is a discussion of the strong presence of religion in horror films. Saying that horror films tend to prey on the religious sense that exists in most people, even those who are not exactly weekly church goers, author Douglas Cowan discusses many examples of popular movies and the most common fears used in these films. "Sacred Terror" is a key volume to better understanding horror and why it's frightening.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent examination of the topics., November 30, 2008
This review is from: Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen (Hardcover)
Dr Cowan has written a lucid and interesting book that takes a good look at the presence and use of religion in horror movies. From the time-worn classics of the early days of cinema to the modern FX infused extravaganzas, Dr Cowan shows us that time and again, movie-makers tap into a number of religious themes to thrill audiences.

From from the fear of an eternity of undeath to the horrors of Satanist cults, "Sacred Terror" is an entertaining look at post-modern religious ambivalences that will leave you wanting to pick up a stack of old B-movies and watch through the night. Though Dr Cowan's knowledge of religions is clear throughout, so to is his near spotless grasp of the horror genre. You come away from each chapter feeling like you've learned something about a movie you've probably seen a dozen times.

Keep an eye out for the proposed follow up books dealing with religion in sci-fi ("Sacred Space") and fantasy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Hellraiser, April 30, 2010
This review is from: Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen (Hardcover)
As a sometime religion professor with a penchant for fright flicks, I eagerly purchased Cowan's book when it was first announced. I was intrigued by Cowan's contention that religion lies at the heart of horror. Indeed, one may think of them as fellow ventricles in the anatomy of fear. Perhaps ancient religionists were on to something when one of them penned "the Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him" (Ps 147.11). Religion may be a response to fear, or to a world that for us has become natural and upon which we wish to project a human (or divine) face. Cowan's book is not preachy or proselytizing, but rather a sensible approach to how horror movies utilize religious images, themes, and concepts. Even without having seen many of the films he discusses, I was impressed by the case he builds. An additional benefit to the book is that it provides a substantial filmography that has provided material to keep me awake on many a moonless night!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, June 30, 2014
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This review is from: Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen (Hardcover)
VERY good book!
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Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen
Sacred Terror: Religion and Horror on the Silver Screen by Douglas E. Cowan (Hardcover - October 1, 2008)
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