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Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s Paperback – 18 Apr 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 2 edition (18 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408805030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408805039
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 4.9 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Nightmare Movies is thrice welcome. As a guide to the current movements in horror cinema, it is indispensable. As a work of analysis, it is insightful and incisive. And as a book of celebration, written by a man who takes a healthy pleasure in his subject, it is a joy.' (Clive Barker)

'Nightmare Movies is indeed a cinematic Encyclopedia of Evil!' (Robert Bloch)

'Nightmare Movies: the widest ranging study of the modern horror film - detailed, incisive, and a great deal of fun - the book that reaches horror films that other books don't reach' (Ramsey Campbell)

Book Description

The classic volume of cult film criticism, now brought completely up-to-date

'Encyclopaedic, insightful, and entertaining - no bookshelf should be without Newman's frighteningly readable Nightmare Movies' Mark Kermode

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is probably the best critical overview of nightmare movies (primarily horror but use of the word 'nightmare' takes it down some unexpected byways) that you're likely to read. It's so extensive that dozens, if not hundreds, of titles get a scant half dozen words about them and as often as not just a mention of the title in a broader look at a subgenre. For major works. however, there may be a couple of thousand words.

If you haven't come across Kim Newman before, he is one of the leading experts on horror movies in the world, not to mention SF, fantasy, and possessing an enviable knowledge of cinema in general. He's also highly knowledgeable in the literary genres of horror, SF, and fantasy, not to mention being an eminent practitioner of them himself. Basically you can't go wrong with any book by this author.

Here he is at his wittiest, most insightful best with half a new book. The first half is basically the previous edition with new (extensive) footnotes in which Newman provides extra information or admits he's changed his mind, and other goodies. As it's thirteen years since it was originally published, Newman has a whole lot more movies to consider but the tone of the second is surprisingly consistent with the first.

If you have a relaxed definition of what constitutes a horror movie, you'll love this book even when you're disagreeing with the author. I did find it sometimes frustrating when he skips casually over movies I've particularly enjoyed but then this is a survey not an encyclopaedia so it would be unfair of me to criticise the book for being something it wasn't intended to be in the first place.

Highly readable and highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I love Kim Newman. He was the man who really got me into horror films when I'd pour over every word of his horror reviews in early editions of Empire magazine.

I discovered the second edition of this book in the early 90s and thumbed through it several times, but this fully updated third edition is an absolute MUST for all fans of genre films.

The first half is a reprint of the earlier edition, except with added footnotes where Kim has revisited his earlier work and re-evaluated certain film reviews. The second half is all brand new though, covering pretty much every horror (or 'nightmare' film) released since the late 80s.

Extremely readable, and written with enormous passion, integrity and wit, you simply cannot call yourself a fan of horror films until you've read this book - more than twice!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's no doubt that Kim Newman knows his subject indecently well. This is a frighteningly thorough trawl through Nightmare Movies in all their incarnations, including sci-fi apocalypse and man-made or natural catastrophes but with a major focus on the Horror genre in all its manifestations. Newman casts his net extraordinarily wide - it truly is a work encompassing its subject matter as part of world cinema, not just some Hollywood vogue.

Sometimes this can be enlightening but often it threatens to turn merely into an extended list of films from around the world that fit the discussion topic at hand.

Whilst at times this makes the book fascinating, at other times it becomes tedious. Greater analysis of fewer films would have benefited the book. The movie lists might have served the reader better confined to the reference section at the back.

The lack of illustrations is a let down too on a book which is not cheap.

A great reference work but it could have been so much more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I should probably preface my remarks by disclosing that the author Kim Newman is a friend and someone I think highly of as a person and as a writer. So if I didn't love this book, I wouldn't say anything, least of all in print.

That said:

I love horror movies. As a kid, I watched a lot of them with my hands over my eyes, peeking between my fingers. I'm slightly older than Kim Newman and I grew up in the US, so I saw my first horror movie at a much younger age than he did (movie admission practices in the US differ from those in the UK, as do TV broadcast rules). It's fascinating to me to compare our experiences but that's not the ony reason I enjoy this book. Back then, I knew nothing about Hammer Studios even as I was shivering through their films. This book fills a lot of gaps and gives me a lot more context.

Kim Newman is an excellent writer but what really makes this book is his affection for his subject. Some people do massive amounts of research so they can write knowledgeably about whatever it is. But the best books are by people with a genuine passion-you can tell they would have tried to find out everything about the subject even if they weren't going to write a book. Reading Nightmare Movies is much like sitting on your sofa with a friend who can tell you just about anything you want to know about horror movies without being the least bit stuffy or boring.

Nightmare Movies has had a couple of previous editions but I was never able to find them. This latest edition has been updated and corrected and I'm delighted it's finally available. I keep it near the (post-1960) horror dvds.

Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s
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