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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2010
This admittedly lightweight book nevertheless manages to function on two levels and I'll get back to this in a moment but first a generalisation about horror movies.

Basically they are mostly intended to be fun. We like the frisson that comes from either the jump shock or the gory gross-out moment creating first fear and then cathartic laughter. I don't want to get into cod-psychology about why we like horror movies but I will suggest that it is the catharsis we get from confronting our worst fear -death- in the face and being able to laugh about it. We diminish the worst thing that can happen to us and thereby deal with it. On another level, a liking for horror movies is a bit like being in a cult in a positive sense rather than a creepy Scientology-Christian-fringe sort of thing. Horror movie fans like to read about and argue about their favourite and least favourite horror movies and they have fun doing it and that's at whom this book is aimed.

It isn't intended as being either comprehensive or a definitive statement on horror movies; it's a celebration of them for their fans. In this case, following some entertaining introductory bumpf, we have a selection of films split into categories. Now the films themselves haven't been selected because they are the best, though many of them are, but because they are representative of a particular category and a good example of it. Of course this allows the reader to become mock-irate when their favourite film isn't included. When browsing through the Asian section imagine me screaming: "How can that idiot not include Tokyo Gore Police!" Or: "Alien might be horror but Aliens is an action movie!" Which is all part of the fun.

Now, as I mentioned above, it also works on two levels. The second level is that the book serves as a readable and accessible introduction to the horror movie genre for newcomers. While you might want to quibble with some of the selections -or go: Yes, he's included Slither, what taste the man has- the book serves as a pretty good primer and the novice can't really go wrong with trying any of them.

It's a colourful book with lots of stills from the movies and mostly not too gory with the worst being the bacteria-eaten face from Cabin Fever.

And there's also a copy of the movie Night of the Living Dead (1968) with a video introduction by the book's author. The print, however, looks like the public domain copy which has been circulating for years and is pretty poor quality.

So, one point nine shakily severed thumbs up from me.

But hey dude, really, I mean how could you NOT have included Re-Animator?
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on 28 December 2014
A really good book - bought for young horror fan but pulled as a gift at the last minute after a quick read through before wrapping. Unfortunately the inclusion of the film I Spit on Your Grave made this inappropriate for the intended recipient.
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on 20 December 2010
Movie Horror Freak by Don Sumner is a fun read. The book is full of fantastic full color images that will bring back great memories of your favorite horror movies. I like how the movies are organized by genre making it easy to find a horror movie depending on my mood. This book also provides a great mix of classic, modern and foreign films giving any horror movie fan satisfaction.

The movie summaries are nice without spoiling twists or endings; which is important for movies you haven't seen yet. Each movie review includes a quote from the movie, which is fun to read. And don't worry no psychobabble or academia talk in this book just fun interesting facts on horror movies.

Includes George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" original version DVD a classic must have film.

I'm glad I added Movie Horror Freak to my book collection.
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on 26 December 2011
This book was huge and the pictures in this was really great. The movie pictures that I loved were: Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, The Exorcist: Regan O Neil, Michael Myers and Carrie. This was great to look at. When I got used to reading this I never took my eyes off of reading it.

Thank you.

Andrew Phillip Tonkin.
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on 13 February 2011
Don't look for any scientific in depth study of the horror film or searching for the meanings and subtexts of the key films of the genre.
This is a fan fun ride for the horror film addict.
The artwork is just awesome. The pictures and stills are presented in very high quality and the choice of these pictures is just great. So it's fun and nothing but fun to walk through the pages and just adore the artwork of your favorite films.
And there's also the suggestion of films to watch with the emphasis on the recent horror film of the last 10 years. And I found many fine films to watch thanks to Don Summers recommendation.
And it is subjective, o yes, and that's what makes it such a pleasure to read this book.
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on 19 January 2013
Great book and lots of info in here and great pictures to,as all the must see horror movies in it.
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on 4 September 2010
From what I'd seen of the short preview, I expected the book to focus on the history and culture surrounding horror movies, instead, I got a list of films which the author (& co) deems to be the best-of-the-best.
These are split into categories, of which there are many. Each of the 100 or so films has some simple information attached, such as the release date, cast & crew, plus a VERY short synopsis/recap which takes up 1 or 2 pages. Each vary in style, the text could be talking about what actually happens in the film, how popular it was commerically, the style of direction, or whether it was well recieved by fans.
Seriously, you could find this information anywhere on the net. Basically, what you are paying for is an assembly of common horror favourites, plus some pretty poster pictures and stills.

What annoyed me the most were the constant and unecessary opinions of the author, such as declaring which films you have to see in order to be some sort of a "true" horror fan, or that CGI is inferior to makeup effects etc. As a student of science, I prefer my books to be unbiased and objective, once someone starts to spew their greater-than-thou opinions in your face it becomes pretty tiresome.

So who exactly would want to read this?
The avid horror fan would instantly recognize every single film presented here. I suppose the recaps might be handy for a little refeshing of memories.
On the other hand, the horror novice/intermediate fan would probably appreciate the awareness brought about by a broad gallery of films. However, the scope is ultimately limited, and therefore, the book can only serve as an introduction. I honestly believe that the text+images could have been smaller, and more research done. One page could have easily depicted 2 or 3 movies. The honourable Resident Evil franchise didn't even get so much of a mention.

On a good note, there is a Night of The Living Dead DVD (1968)attached to the back of the book in a plastic wallet.
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