Author: Jason Zinoman
Original publication date: July 7, 2011

Even the most casual of horror fans know a lot about the classics Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, and Carrie. There's certainly been no shortage of analytical and historical books written about all of them, not to mention countless TV specials and documentaries. But nothing that came before Jason Zinoman's Shock Value compares to its endlessly revelatory nature. By the time you reach its final pages, you'll reach its finish line with more firsthand filmmaker's anecdotes than ever heard before.

Zinoman, a New York Times critic/reporter, had the privilege of spending hours with directors like Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, George A. Romero, and Brian De Palma. From those recollections, the author creates in the reader new contexts, thematic importance, and historical relevancy for those filmmakers most significant projects.

The book's strongest section covers De Palma's Carrie, delving deep into the reclusive director's previously concealed mommy-and-daddy issues to illuminate his penchant for voyeuristic visuals. —MB