Ignore the price you see for this book. It is worth it at twice that amount. And how does a book about films in the "torture porn" subgenre become so important? Well, author Steve Jones not only understands his subject, he dissects like Noam Chomsky dissects "The New York Times."
Jones has taken a subject that is as misunderstood as it is loathed and puts it under a microscope. He looks at the films, the history of horror film criticism, and the critics themselves, and comes out with one of the most thorough examinations of film I've read in quite some time. Again, the book is worth twice its price.
If you hate "torture porn," you may find your opinion changing if you go into this book with an open mind. If, like me, you hate the term "torture porn," you will find yourself vindicated by Jones. Believe it or not, there is worth to films like "Hostel," and Jones proves it. Think you know everything there is to know about that films and its meaning? Think again. In fact, rethink everything you "know" about "torture porn" films because Jones is going to prove where you went wrong.
I've had the pleasure of interviewing Jones in regards to this book. Besides being a nice guy, I think he'll find my enthusiasm a bit flattering and unwarranted. I will not apologize for it. When I finished this book my only thought was, "I want 300 more pages of this." This has, more than any book since "Nightmare USA," restored my faith in film journalism. Some people really get it, and Jones is one of them.
The book is very useful if all you need is a movie list and a review on publications (which is still helpful). The author does very little studying the genre itself, while focusing mainly on the press outburst on it. James Aston' 'To See the Saw Movies' is much better, although does not speak of the genre in general.