On first sight, it might seem weird to release a tad odd to release an
encyclopedia in book form in times when internet has long taken over that
function by and large, and especially if this encyclopedia is about horror
movies since 2000, especially since the horror community is especially
strong in the internet - which goes so far as the author of The New
Flesh is actually a frequent contributor to
that though is not to say that The New Flesh hasn't been worth all
the effort that went into writing it and will be worth every Penny you'll
(hopefully) be spending on it. Point is, author Stuart Willis has a deep
understanding of the horror genre, as will already be witnessed in the
historical introduction, that goes far deeper than just knowing a few very
obscure slashers from the 1980's and watching a few too many Quentin
Tarantino movies but really gives one the idea of the key influences on
the genre today, and why it exploded with roughly the advent of the new
What further distinguishes this book is that it's
not a snobbish piece of work that takes sides and only covers certain
aspects of the genre, like choosing obscure indie horror over
studio-produced blockbusters, or putting an emphasis on foreign horror and
ignoring US entries - The New Flesh sees everything under one roof,
not even shying away from hardcore porn, should it be horror-themed. So
yes, the man has really done his job researching and compiling his horror
encyclopedia, it's really extensive ... but is it complete I hear you say?
That unfortunately it is not, but as pointed out in the introduction, the
horror genre has grown at an exponential rate thanks to cheap moviemaking
technology and the internet as a great source for distribution that it has
become virtually impossible to keep track with every new release (and I
should know, facing the same issues with this website here), plus in
regards to foreign releases it's often a question of mere availability.
Anyways, it's probably easy to find maybe even some of your favourite
titles not included, especially if you're into that incredibly vast field
of indie horror, and Willis hasn't even covered all the remakes that have
cropped up in recent years (but I can't blame him for not wanting to watch
all his favourite horrors destroyed), but one can't help but marvel about
all the films he actually has tracked down, many of them unknown to
me (and that's a feat), and at the end of the day I'm only a bit
disappointed that he hasn't included a review of Twilight,
a movie he often alludes to in other reviews, so it would have been fun to
read his take on that one.
Feeling lucky ?
Want to search for books by
The New Flesh: 21st Century Horror Films A-Z
The links below
will take you
just there !!!
As for the writing, Stuart Willis
really knows film and film history beyond mere horror and beyond what's
the dish of the day, which many references to the likes of Michael Haneke,
Ingmar Bergman and Richard Kern prove, and he goes far beyond judging
movies by their gore score and nastiness, and he manages to keep his
writing light, making this a pageturner for at least the interested genre
So even in this day and age, money well-spent, really!
the way, the book includes two forewords, one by filmmaker Jason Figgis,
the other by Alan Simpson, owner of SexGoreMutants.