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on 19 October 2011
This isn't just a bewitching read, it's also quite possibly the most beautiful book about horror films I've ever seen.

Jonathan Rigby has given us the comprehensive history (in the indispensable English Gothic and American Gothic), but now he's taking a more personal approach. Studies in Terror is like a selection-box of his favourite moments from famous and not-so famous films - some that even hardcore horror aficionados may only know by their titles. The result is a book that's a pleasure to dip into, whether to get a new perspective on James Whale's Frankenstein or to discover exactly what La Main du Diable got up to. And where else would you find a book that guides us all the way from Caligari (1919) and Haxan (1921) to Pontypool (2008) and Outcast (2009)?

Of all film scholars, few write with Rigby's love of language - he is an author with a joyous delight in wit and wordplay. There is also a meticulous attention to detail and contemporary reviews are chosen for maximum pith. There are many interlinking themes and a series of concise sidebars provides a helpful overview.

But it's not just about the words. In these days of e-books, it's more important than ever that real books are objects to treasure. This one looks exquisite, with a gorgeous colour section that displays contemporary poster artwork with jewel-like clarity. And in the rest of the book, every picture has been chosen for maximum effect. The atmospheric images from The Cat and the Canary, Operazione Paura and The Thing are highlights among many.

It's a book I'll go back to again and again.
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on 30 October 2011
Jonathan Rigby is the safest pair of hands in the Horror Film book business these days; a witty and erudite writer who never fails to provide a new approach to a hoary old classic, or (in the case of this book) to dig out some long-forgotten treasures of the genre and write so beguilingly about why they should be revered (or at least respected).

This excellent new book does not disappoint; it follows pretty closely the format of his previous books English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema and American Gothic: Sixty Years of Horror Cinema, but this time the criteria for selection is more to do with the author's personal favourites than any particular decade or country. Each film is given a couple of pages of consideration, but it's the quality not the quantity of the words that count here - always there is some fresh angle or fact, always carefully argued and illuminating as all good criticism should be.

Amongst the rediscovered treasures are a host of 1960s Italian gothics, the under-appreciated EXORCIST III, a fine H.P. Lovecraft adaptation THE DUNWICH HORROR and some interesting recent efforts (OUTCAST, LEFT BANK, etc.). I've seen a lot of films in this genre, but this book has given me a list of titles to seek out.
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on 23 January 2012
I had Mr Rigby's earlier books, ENGLISH GOTHIC and AMERICAN GOTHIC, so his new book was a welcome Christmas present. STUDIES IN TERROR is the kind of book you can dip into, which is what I did for the first few days before deciding to read it cover to cover. I've just finished, and I must say it's an amazing read.
Rigby's landmarks are personal choices, but add up to a fascinating alternative history of horror. I had not even heard of some of the films on his list but he writes about them in such a compelling way that I intend to track them down.
This is a worthy successor to the two 'GOTHIC' books, not only because of the incredible amount of information it contains, but because the hardback book itself is so beautifully presented. The title might suggest this is an introduction to the history of films, but that's not really what this book is at all and younger readers might be confused that some of the more obvious films are not included.
So not a book for beginners really, but an essential purchase for anyone with a deeper interest in horror film-making.
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on 13 February 2013
I have read both "American Gothic" and "English Gothic" by Jonathan Rigby previously so I knew roughly what to expect.
Unlike those 2 books this one is more readily accessible in my opinion. Whilst the first two books mentioned were a long narrative with small reviews of films dotted about this book is purely reviews of horror films starting at their inception in the early 20th century right up until the current day (well, since the book was published).
I have seen 90% of the films in this book and yet Rigby still manages to surprise and educate even about films that are well known and have been watched many times.
It's a very readable book that can be picked up and put down and you won't lose the thread. In fact it's probably best read that way. Personally I would read a chapter on a film and then go off and watch that film and by having the benefit of Rigby's 'commentary' if you will the films became that much more enjoyable.
Highly recommended to film lovers, and horror film lovers especially.
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on 21 June 2013
Having seen many classic horror films and having read many books on the topic I would say I have quite a knowledge on the subject, so wondered if buying this book would be worthwhile or not. I didn't want to feel I had read it all before, On purchase though I have to give it a positive thumbs up! The book is well laid out, informative and a great enjoyable read. Just when I thought the only improvement would be the addition of film posters on the page I noticed there is a glossy photo section of lobby cards and film posters section included. Both common and rarer films are examined using a double page each, with illustrations and further points of interest in box outs, getting the point across without the need of too much over detail making this a pleasurable read as opposed to a chore to read.
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on 22 January 2012
I'm a great fan of horror movies and have a large collection of books on the subject. Jonathan Rigby is a true expert on horror movies and his 3 previous books on the subject (American Gothic, English Gothic and Christopher Lee) are essential reading for horror fans.

But, rather sadly, I must admit to being somewhat disappointed with his latest book. It is sub-titled Landmarks of Horror Cinema and covers 130 films which Rigby considers as landmarks. Clearly, what constitutes a landmark film is a subjective judgement. I have seen many of the films described in this book, though not many of the foreign films discussed.

I was disappointed on two fronts. Firstly, I would have liked a lot more detail aboit the films, especially the more obscure ones. But my main problem concerns the basic premise of the book. As I have already said, it is sub-titled Landmarks of Horror Cinema but Rigby does not really explain just why he considers the films as landmarks. Just as one example, the 1943 b-picture The Mad Ghoul is discussed. Whilst it is a bit unusual and includes a nasty death, just why is a wartime b movie (which formed a double-feature with Son of Dracula) a landmark?
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on 18 October 2011
Jonathan Rigby is such a good writer on Horror Films that even when I don't agree with his views on a certain film, his comments are still very interesting. After his two previous landmark surveys of ENGLISH GOTHIC and AMERICAN GOTHIC [both now scandalously out of print], I was so eagerly anticipating this latest work which provides us with his views on some American horror films, post 1955, and some European and Japanese horror films [as well as some American and English films he has already commented on]

Sadly the 130 Landmarks of Horror selected for this tome are each assigned only a couple of pages with illustrations leaving only a brief text by Rigby on the film. It barely scratches the surface of each film-the literary equivalent of a video soundbite.

The book is still a welcome addition to my library but is so frustratingly only a small glimpse into Rigby's views on European, Japanese and modern American horror films.
A full length EUROPEAN GOTHIC or AMERICAN GOTHIC VOL.2 [1956-present]would so make up for it!
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on 2 March 2013
This book looks at horror films from their very beginnings to the modern day.

The passages are good but some of them seem to go on and on but for a film student like me this is a good thing.

Recomended to fans of horror films.

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on 16 November 2014
A very good and informative book , by a great author . Very Pleased with the purchase . A must for horror film buffs .
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on 16 February 2016
Excellent condition!
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