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Fright Favorites Book Review

“Fright Favorites” is the perfect book for October.

Written by David J. Skal, “Fright Favorites” (AKA “Fright Favorites: 31 Movies To Haunt Your Halloween And Beyond”) is the latest TCM presents film book this time centered around horror films. As the full title suggests, the book focuses on 31 films listed in chronological order (although there are technically 62 titles listed here). You see, each of the film entries is accompanied by a “You might also like” film suggestion which is in a similar vein. For example, 1982’s “The Thing” remake is accompanied by another great remake with 1986’s “The Fly.”

In terms of what you can expect within these pages,  each film entry is accompanied by credits and a written piece that covers the film’s history, legacy, production, plot, iconic moments, notes about the director or cast or what have you. It varies from film to film. Readers can expect to see poster art, stills, neat Halloween themed publicity photos with everyone from Alfred Hitchcock to Judy Garland, and even some behind-the-scenes photos. An introduction about Halloween cinema history is also included.

With the Halloween season fast approaching (whatever that means this year), interest in the horror genre shall soon begin to spike as it does every year. With “Fright Favorites,” the intention is that people will find something to watch that they may or may not have heard of before. Granted, anyone well versed in the horror genre won’t find much in the way of surprises here in terms of the 31 films listed as it is primarily comprised of horror classics such as the Universal Monster movies (ala “Frankenstein” and “Dracula”), slashers (“Halloween” and “A Nightmare On Elm Street”), Hammer films, a dash of horror comedy (“Young Frankenstein” and “Beetlejuice”) and genre greats like “The Exorcist,” “The Shining,” and so on (I’m not going to spoil everything!). There are a few lesser known titles like “Mystery of the Wax Museum,” but, for the most part, the other 31 films listed is where you’ll find deeper cuts such as “The Hands of Orlac,” 1980’s “The Awakening,” and “The Devil Rides Out.” 

As for the written content here, David J. Skal provides a decidedly well researched and thorough book that offers up some interesting trivia, factoids, and reads about the 2 actors who played Gill Man in “The Creature From The Black Lagoon,” facts about Kubrick’s “The Shining” shoot, the approach to the ending of “The Haunting,” the make-up work in 1931’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and so much more.


September 26, 2020 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , ,

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