Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films by Nina Nesseth
Tor Nightfire (July 2022)
304 pages; $20.49 hardcover, $13.99 ebook
Reviewed by Haley Newlin
“Do you like scary movies?”
Ghostface asks this as he stands outside an unsuspecting Casey Becker’s (Drew Barrymore) house. Becker entertains the raspy voice on the other end of the line and plays horror movie trivia. But the game turns deadly when she wrongfully answers Jason Vorhees as the killer in the 1980 slasher film Friday the 13th instead of Mrs. Vorhees.
Cut to Barrymore strung up on a tree in her front yard, disemboweled. And to make it worse, the killer escaped.
Sounds intense, maybe even offensive to some. So that leaves the question: why do we like scary movies? Why subject ourselves to this kind of distress?