Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films

Tantor Audio Jul. 2022. 10:02 hrs. ISBN 9798765007860. $19.99. FILM
“Horror is a genre as broad as the range of human fears,” writes Nesseth. Despite a frequent lack of critical acclaim, horror movies have a diverse and devoted audience. Nesseth has a background in human biology and a special interest in the relationship between science and pop culture. Nesseth (coauthor, The Science of “Orphan Black”) makes her solo debut with this thought-provoking analysis of what scares us and why. From slashers to spiders, Nesseth leaves no trope unturned. Though there is a great deal of professional terminology, both scientific and film-related, Nesseth’s explanations are comprehensible and conversational. Owing to the interpretive and analytical nature of the text, spoilers abound, though most of the plot points are largely common knowledge for fear fanatics. Narrator Raquel Beattie expertly brings an intensity and adrenaline that horror readers will appreciate, creating a compelling atmosphere reminiscent of fiction. Some of the content is understandably gory and graphic, but Beattie keeps the tone more captivating than crude.
VERDICT This audio will appeal to listeners seeking an in-depth but accessible analysis of the psychological and biological basis for their favorite frights. Recommended for fans of horror fiction and films.
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