The Horror of It All

One Moviegoer’s Love Affair with Masked Maniacs, Frightened Virgins, and the Living Dead...

Rockoff, Adam
Adam Rockoff

Scribner (publisher)

Pop culture history meets blood-soaked memoir as Adam Rockoff, “a passionate fan of the horror genre in all its forms,” (The New York Times) recalls a life spent watching blockbuster slasher films, cult classics, and everything in between.Horror films have simultaneously captivated and terrified audiences for generations, racking up millions of dollars at the box office and infusing our nightmares with chainsaws, goblins, and blood-spattered machetes. Today’s hottest television shows feature classic horror elements, from marauding zombies and sexy vampires to myriad incarnations of the devil himself. Yet the horror genre and its controversial offshoots continue to occupy a nebulous space in our critical dialogue. The Horror of It All is a memoir from the front lines of the horror industry that dissects (and occasionally defends) the massively popular phenomenon of scary movies. Author Adam Rockoff delivers “the sharpest pop culture criticism you’ll find in any medium today,” (Rue Morgue) as he traces the highs and lows of the genre through the lens of his own obsessive fandom, which began in the horror aisles of his childhood video store and continued with a steady diet of cable trash. From the convergence of horror and heavy metal, to Siskel and Ebert’s crusade against the slasher flick, to the legacy of the Scream franchise, and the behind-the-scenes work of horror directors and make-up artists, Rockoff mines the rich history of the genre, braiding critical analysis with his own firsthand experiences as a horror writer and producer. Filled with mordant wit and sharp insight, The Horror of It All “is an amiable and often amusing guide” (Kirkus Reviews) that explains why horror films not only endure, but continue to prosper. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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