Book Review: Shock Value

Most horror movie aficionados can rattle off the names of the top directors of the genre but know little about the early days of this relative upstart of the movie industry. This fascinating book explains how the likes of John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Roman Polanski and a host of others succeeded in recreating the definition and respectability of horror movies. By exploring where Hitchcock went wrong in his movie The Birds and the groundbreaking though chancy work of Rosemary’s Baby to name a few, Zinoman shows how these works effected the new generation of horror movie directors who have given us the likes of Dawn of the Dead, Shawn of the Dead or Fido.

This is a must read for horror fans, especially those who think they know everything there is to know about the genre’s early years as Zinoman surprises and delights by tying a broad array of influences together into a cohesive, enjoyable book. Frequently using the directors own words to make his point, this savvy read is a rare treat.

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