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How to Survive a Horror Movie Paperback – May 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


“Grahame-Smith’s little volume is just like a horror movie: entertaining and…a fun afternoon’s diversion.”—The Hartford Courant

“If you have snakes on your plane, did something last summer or suspect you’ve been dead since the beginning of the movie, then this is the book for you.”—McClatchy-Tribune

How to Survive a Horror Movie is essential reading for horror movie buffs of all ages.”—Think Geek

About the Author

Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of the New York Times best seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s been dead since the beginning of the movie.
Illustrator Nathan Fox lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife and daughter. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Wired, Print, Spin, and countless other national publications.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594741794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594741791
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Seth Grahame-Smith is the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," and "Unholy Night." In addition to adapting the screenplay for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," Seth also wrote Tim Burton's film "Dark Shadows." He lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Honest George on July 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
While there were attempts at making "self-aware" horror movies before, it could be said that "Scream" was the best attempt at doing so. It is fitting then that Wes Craven writes a short introduction to "How to Survive a Horror Movie," a tongue in cheek manual on doing just that. This is one of those rare books that you could pass by in a book store, start flipping through, and decide then and there you must own it. It starts very strong with chapters on deciding if you are currently in a horror movie, what kind of horror movie you're in, and the unique skills required in surviving the many different genres of horror movies.
There are several laugh-out-loud passages, that I won't spoil here, and the book is filled with decidedly creepy pictures evoking the mood of the old EC comic books. Where the book falters is in the later chapters as the witty, self-aware horror movie depictions give way to simple how-to lists that offer no humor (the worst of which is the snakes on a plane bit that just falls flat).
"How to Survive a Horror Movie" does end with perhaps the funniest tip of the whole book with a "sure fire" way to defeat the devil (do yourself a favor and don't read it until the very end). While not a five star homerun, due to the last third of the book that starts to drag, this is an entertaining and light read that will please any horror fan and even the simple movie buff.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Blake Petit VINE VOICE on July 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book to have something to read on a long car ride. I wound up reading passages out loud to my friends, and we all laughed hysterically. This is a quick, funny read that basically takes the conventions of campy horror movies and turns them into a sort of mock self-defense manual. With sections on everything from alien attacks to slashers to how to tell what sort of horror movie you're trapped in, this book covers almost everything you can think of. Grahame-Smith is obviously someone with a deep affection for horror films, but not so deep that he can't point out the absurdity of them. Recommended for fans of Max Brooks' Zombie Survival Guide.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. Howell on August 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you are out to ensure that you live a long and safe life, there are essentials you must get in order to absolutely ensure that so many dangers stay away or how to avoid them. You'll need "The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead", "How to Survive a Robot Uprising [UNABRIDGED]", and "Field Guide to the Apocalypse: Movie Survival Skills for the End of the World" among others. Now you can realize your safety in terms of finding out that you are part of a horror movie with "How to Survive a Horror Movie". This covers everything from slashers, evil spirits, haunted houses, possessed cars, exorcism, zombies, aliens, demonic dolls, and even animal attacks.

Seth takes you through how to realize if you are in a horror movie and helps to guide you into your continuing existance of fleshy-ness. There are guidelines on where to avoid (cemetaries, cornfields, cabins), rules for babysitting, what to do with your child-infested cornfield, and the sure fire way to defeat Satan himself.

I began reading this text in public, but had to retreat to private due to people staring at me with odd looks as I laughed my way through the book. It fits well into the humor-based survival guides out on the market and you will easily identify loads of horror movies without the author actually mentioning them (copyright loophole). It loses a star for the whole snakes on a plane garbage and really the exorcism chapter pretty much just outlines the movie events. Otherwise, this is a great book and has a pretty good horror-movie-must-see list at the end, I would add "Wrong Turn" and maybe "Turistas" to the list.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Spleenman on October 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
I don't like anything. Despite my best efforts to the contrary, all of my interactions with consumer goods almost invariably end in disappointment. In fact, in all my time here on Amazon, I've only ever written two reviews: one for my Logitech Harmony Remote (which is, and will always be, glorious) and this one, for the most surprisingly funny book of the year.

In addition to not liking anything, I also don't typically buy anything on a whim. But while waiting in an abnormally long line at Barnes & Noble, I picked up "How to Survive a Horror Movie" for no other reason than I couldn't bring myself to look at "Lord of the Rings" bookmarks any longer.

In addition to not liking anything and not buying anything on a whim, I also almost never laugh out loud at things (books, movies) intended to make me laugh. But to my great surprise, this book is funny... I mean really, really funny. I found myself chuckling at the "How To Know You're In a Horror Movie" bit, and by the time I reached the cash register I actually let slip a single, solitary guffaw.

I spent a good hour that night reading passages aloud to my wife, who shared in the silly joy of the thing. I'm in publishing and my wife's in casting, and we like to think of ourselves as pretty up on the whole comedy scene. Thus, we kept asking ourselves: "Who the hell is this guy?" Grahame-Smith, unless he's using a pseudonym, seems to have come out of nowhere. Barring a catastrophic head wound or some such, I think he's here to stay.

Take it from the guy who only likes two things in the world: This book is worth having.
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