This was good, but it is very dated. He focuses on horror in the thirty year period of the 1950’s to the 1980’s, although he does have a foreword to the latest edition where he brings up more modern movies, but that’s only about thirty pages, and the rest of the 400 pages are still focused on horror that was all released before I was born (and I’ve never liked it enough to seek any of it out). It’s also less interesting to me personally because I hadn’t seen most of the movies he was talking about when he was talking about horror on film. I had a lot more luck with the horror novels. There’s a great section where he talks about the origins of literary horror that I found absolutely fascinating.
Regardless, even though this will never be a favorite, I do really like when Stephen King talks at me about story. He has very definite opinions, and he’s very knowledgeable. It’s always refreshing to hear him take genre seriously, when others refuse to. You can tell he has a real love for this stuff, and I love to hear people talk about things they love, even if I don’t also love them. Especially if, as King does, they have a talent for writing.
If nothing else, I realized I finally need to see Psycho and The Day the Earth Stood Still, and a handful of others. There’s even a helpful horror glossary in the back!