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on December 5, 2011
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. Newman is an intelligent and thoughtful watcher and he assumes his audience is as well -- he's refreshingly unwilling to embrace a consensus opinion, and to take "trashy movies" seriously. And he can be very funny.

In my opinion, this is THE single indispensable book for anyone even mildly interested in horror cinema.
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on June 17, 2011
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. So click the add to cart button and enjoy this masterpiece by Kim Newman who reinforces the idea that the Horror genre is here to stay in all of its incarnations and although Mr. Clarens, Mr. Pirie, and Mr. Hardy's books helped pave the way, Mr. Newman definitely has the last say on what its all about. I salute you, Mr. Newman, on a job well done. This book is incredible and deserves to be on every film lovers book shelf.
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on May 23, 2016
Serious film criticism of horror movies.
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on May 15, 2015
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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on August 28, 2013
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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on September 12, 2011
Mr. Newman has written an exhaustive study on the horror genre, providing some very interesting information throughout. The first half of the book is pretty much the original material from the first publication with added current footnotes by the author clarifying information he wrote earlier. The second half of the book is the updated portion, consisting of all new material where the author picks up the narrative on directors and films that have been released since the first publication of the book. It's clear that Mr. Newman has put in many many hours of research putting this book together and I found it an enjoyable read for the most part. I did, however, find some parts of the book to be overly analytical and somewhat boring. Ironically, most of these sections seemed to be in the updated second half of the book. In fairness, I will say that most of the areas I thought dragged and lost my interest were sections that covered topics I was not particularly interested in. I skipped most of the chapter on vampires as that was never my subgenre of choice. The portion on Asian ghost stories was a bit of a struggle to get through as I've only seen one or two of these types of films that I actually liked, but hey, we all have different tastes and the parts where I lost interest may be completely fascinating to another reader. In any case, Mr. Newman has put forth a strong, well informed, knowledgeable critique of an often maligned genre.
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on December 14, 2012
I think I was hoping for more emphasis on American horror movies and fewer lists of obscure Korean and Japanese titles. The author is obviously well-versed in the genre but he sometimes goes down rabbit holes and spends more time deconstructing than relating. Overall, though, it was a good read.
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