Horror Films Of The 1990s

Author: John Kenneth Muir

John Kenneth Muir has put pen to paper on many an issue related to film. This time round he’s focused on the 90s and horror for the best part.

There’s a large preface and opening chapter to this book where the author contextualises the scene. The book then looks at a selection of films from each year in the decade. This could range from 24–40 different titles. Hardcore fans will puzzle over some omissions, and perhaps even some insertions (Kathryn Bigelow’s Blue Steel was surely much more a psychological serial killer thriller?).

Each year is also prefaced with a list of news events that were happening around the world from disasters to political appointments. Each film has cast and crew credits listed, a brief non-spoiler synopsis and then a more lengthy commentary by the author. Muir has a good feel for each film (whether they were big releases or straight to video trash). He also gives them a star rating.

There’s no arguing the effort put into the text itself – and at almost 700 pages there’s clearly a wealth of author input. The book could have been spruced up perhaps with better stills rather than random B/W images on selected pages – but then that would have made this a very different book altogether.

This works well as a reference book as it has enough decent writing to help you delve deeper into a film’s subtext, and perhaps even encourage you to watch some of the films you may have missed over the years. And with the title in mind, we won’t be surprised if Muir follows with a book focused on the 00s.

Steven Hurst

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