cover image Cut! Horror Writers

Cut! Horror Writers

Christopher Golden. Berkley Publishing Group, $8.95 (297pp) ISBN 978-0-425-13282-1

Golden, a columnist for the Entertainment News Wire, has assembled an impressive list of writers of horror fiction to offer opinions on horror films. Clive Barker and Peter Atkins engage in a free-flowing dialogue about varieties of horror: movies such as Taxi Driver that are not in the genre but have horror-film structures and sensibilities or The Night Porter , which Barker calls ``touched by a pleasure . . . in horrifying people which is entirely admirable.'' Anne Rice engagingly defines the qualities she admires in her favorite fright flicks (including Frankenstein and Angel Heart ): atmosphere, elegance and characters of tragic dimension. Unfortunately, most of the articles do not meet these standards. Ed Gorman offers a much too brief and bland analysis of filmmaker Wes Craven (he ``makes good use of the desert'' and ``is also good at action scenes''). Nancy Holder asks ``why The Haunting is so damn scary,'' but her ``oh gee' analysis falls short of the answer . The problem is ultimately Golden's, whose introduction exhibits a fan magazine mentality. By his own admission, he gave contributors no guidance. The result is that far too many simply ramble on about movies they like with no discernible direction. (Apr.)