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Horror Movie A Day: The Book Paperback – March 31, 2016
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About the Author
Brian W. Collins was born and raised in Massachusetts. He moved to Los Angeles in 2005 and shortly thereafter began writing for various horror outlets as well as running his own site, Horror Movie A Day. A frequent guest on horror-themed podcasts, Collins has appeared in several documentaries and television specials focused on the genre, and often hosts repertory screenings of classic (and not-so-classic) horror films in the Los Angeles area. He lives with his family in the San Fernando Valley.
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For any longtime horror fan, Brian's reviews are a valuable resource. Horror fans are all well aware of the "The Horror Canon" (Halloween, The Thing, The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist et al), and so many sites and articles have been written about why they're great, why they're important, why they’re great movies. (We know.) Then we get, usually around Halloween, lists of "obscure" horror films that we’re also already aware of (e.g. Candyman, or Event Horizon, or High Tension, or...) — and these are interesting if you’ve already seen The Omen & Rosemary Baby but wouldn’t consider yourself a ‘horror fan.' But we who are deep into the genre, in all its various permutations, we are curious about those movies we remember from the back shelves of mom ’n’ pop video stores w/ the lurid covers, from deep diving into the Netflix & Prime offerings. While BC may cover some of secondary group of films (not everyone’s a jaded horror junkie like some of us), he uses the blog, and now this book, to dive deep into the depths of the genre and give you 365 horror films that are absolutely worth tracking down and judging on your own.
Let’s face it, a lot of the weird movies you remember from the bottom shelves of video stores, or 4 pages deep in Amazon’s streaming lists, are often not worth the time it would take to watch them. After watching 2500 horror movies, Brian is good gauge as to what is worth your time, even if it’s not a lost masterpiece.
What really makes this book shine though are not just the selection of the films (though it is a fascinating collection) but the care that Brian has put into the writing. Read his introduction and you see, he didn’t just pull a bunch of reviews off the blog, write said intro, and call it a day. The bulk of the prose is entirely new. He truly looked back at his time watching one horror movie a day for 5 plus years, and figured out how to make his experience entertaining to newbies and old hacks alike. He’s a strong, thoughtful writer, a funny dude, who has a readable, relatable prose style and is insightful without being pretentious.
This is already one of my favorite books about movies. I will refer to it often.
As a long time film and horror fan, I admit that I haven't watched all of these films, which is not particular helpful in a review except to say I have watched about 15,000 films and still have not seen all the ones in the book. My experience with watching that many films is I tend to wind up jaded so Collins makes me want to watch more films to experience the agony and ecstasy he went through (or Meh for some of them) when watching them. It's a great film writer that can make me want to watch another movie in a genre, any genre not just horror, that I feel supersaturated in.
So, one dives into this book with the proper expectation that it's NOT a "365 Horror Movies to See Before You Die!" kind of thing. We don't need yet another writer telling us how great Texas Chainsaw Massacre is. But horror nuts who find themselves beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel can use this as a reference map to going a level (or a few) deeper.
But it's not ONLY obscure, impenetrable curiosities within. As you flip through, you're bound to see several titles you recognize, which is nice. The write ups on each film are chock full of comparisons and references to OTHER films, some covered in the book, some not. Taking all that into account, Horror Movie a Day is like a lifetime's worth of homework (in a good way) for any serious horror fan. Buy it. Enjoy.