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Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s Paperback – May 10, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“The breadth of opinionated knowledge within these covers is massive...For an overview of modern horror movies you can not improve on this. Unless Newman returns in another couple of decades” ―JT Lindroos; Bookgasm.com

About the Author

Kim Newman is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction includes the Anno Dracula novels, Life's Lottery and Mysteries of the Diogenes Club, and The Vampire Genevieve as Jack Yeovil. His other non-fiction books include Ghastly Beyond Belief (with Neil Gaiman), Horror: 100 Best Books (with Stephen Jones), Wild West Movies, Millennium Movies and BFI Classics studies of Cat People and Doctor Who. He is a contributing editor to Sight & Sound and Empire magazines, has written plays for BBC radio, and directed and written a tiny film Missing Girl. His official web-site, 'Dr Shade's Laboratory' can be found at www.johnnyalucard.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 633 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 2 edition (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408805030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408805039
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,358,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Amazzini on June 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first bought the first edition of Kim Newman's 'NIGHTMARE MOVIES' way back in 1988, I was discovering many different types of Horror films in mom and pop video stores and I only had 3 major books on the genre that I would turn to: Carlos Clarens 'AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE HORROR FILM', David Piries's 'A HERITAGE OF HORROR' and Phil Hardy's 'ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE HORROR FILM'. I thought Kim's book blew them all away by its honesty, incredible perception and above all, his love for the genre. Now , Mr. Newman has updated his book with a section called 'NEW NIGHTMARES' and he's done the unthinkable, he has written the greatest book on the Horror film genre ever. Since his book was first published , I have followed his writings in many periodicals and magazines including Tim Luca's 'VIDEO WATCHDOG' but I never expected this wonderful upgrade of the modern Horror film. Kim was the first to discard the excessive chapters on origins such as the silent film Horrors, Universal Horrors, and the films of the forties and fifties up to Hammer Films of England and decided to start the book with a film which really transformed the face of celluloid Horror forever, George Romero's 'NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD'. Each chapter covers the realms of Horror such as films of Vampires and Werewolves. Mummies,Zombies, Serial Killers, Devils, you name it , its in here and now this new edition expands to the 'HOSTEL' 'SAW' franchises and 'THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE' . He writes in a way that you wish the chapters would not end and makes you go back to re-read each sentence with relish and you'll find yourself chuckling to yourself at his wit and style, something I have not done in years when I read books on film. You don't need to be a film scholar or a stranger to the Horror film to enjoy this new edition.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've had the original edition of Nightmare Movies since I stumbled across it in a used bookstore in the early '90s. I have read that thing to pieces (literally -- chunks of pages have fallen out) -- Newman wrote a classic of film criticism, which makes a great guidebook and a great leisure read alike.

The updated edition takes us up to, pretty much, right this second -- he covers everything right up to movies that were released in 2010 and 2011. To do it, he took the original book and the left the text intact but added footnotes when he had changed an opinion or had something new to say. To this is added essentially a second entire book covering everything released since the first Nightmare Movies went to print. This makes the new Nightmare Movies a big ol' volume indeed, and formatted very differently from the original -- notably the full-page photos are gone, and the movie stills are much smaller and fewer, crammed into two inserts. The proofreading, sadly, sucks -- it's full of inconsistently spelled names, typos, and howlers like "serial" for "cereal." I don't blame Newman for this -- I blame Bloomsbury. For shame!

There's lots of good and interesting stuff here, including Newman's reflections on the "torture porn" genre, the vampire romance phenomenon, and J-horror. The new content is, however, a little less sparkling than the old. Part of it is that he's not starting from scratch to consider, say, vampire films, because he already did that in the original, so some sections feel more like a laundry list of new movies than a fresh appraisal -- and part of it might be that just like the rest of us, Newman's older and more jaded than he was 20-some years ago. However, his appraisals of movies he especially liked or found interesting are as sharp and intelligent as ever.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very repetitive. Not what I expected. He seems to be obsessed with "Night of the Living Dead",and connects every movie back to it. He has entire chapters on this movie. I like it too ,but come on ,enough! He glances over a ton of other films that I would like to hear more about, but nope, back to "NOTLD" . Sorry ,don't waste your money like I did. I want my money back.......!
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Format: Paperback
Now over twenty years old, the original edition of Nightmare Movies has retained its place as a true classic of cult film criticism. In this new edition, Kim Newman brings his seminal work completely up-to-date, both reassessing his earlier evaluations and adding a second part that assess the last two decades of horror films with all the wit, intelligence and insight for which he is known. Since the publication of the first edition, horror has been on a gradual upswing, and taken a new and stronger hold over the film industry. Newman negotiates his way through a vast back-catalogue of horror, charting the on-screen progress of our collective fears and bogeymen from the low budget slasher movies of the 60s, through to the slick releases of the 2000s, in a critical appraisal that doubles up as a genealogical study of contemporary horror and its forebears. Newman invokes the figures that fuel the ongoing demand for horror - the serial killer; the vampire; the werewolf; the zombie - and draws on his remarkable knowledge of the genre to give us a comprehensive overview of the modern myths that have shaped the imagination of multiple generations of cinema-goers. Nightmare Movies is an invaluable companion that not only provides a newly updated history of the darker side of film but a truly entertaining guide with which to discover the less well-trodden paths of horror, and re-discover the classics with a newly instructed eye.

This book focuses mostly on films from 1960-1989 while providing some new coverage for the 1990s to roughly 2005. Despite being originally published over 20 years ago this book has managed to hold its value. Nightmare Movies is very well-researched and provides good critical analysis of the movies covered. The author writes well but doesn't love everything in horror (notably the slasher).
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