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Tag Archives: Nightmare Fuel

A while back, Tor Nightfire reached out to me after I reviewed one of their horror titles. They asked if I was interested in an upcoming non-fiction book about horror, and why people like it. I, naturally, said yes. So I was sent a copy of Nina Nesseth’s Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films, and reader, I loved it.

Nightmare Fuel digs deep into the reasons that people like me enjoy horror movies. A breakdown of the techniques used in horror, like jump scares and repetition, sheds light on the false assumption that horror movies are “switch your brain off” entertainment. Nesseth covers the definitions of fear, horror, terror, and various other terms that tie in to the film watching experience. The book examines the physiological structures in the human brain that respond to particular aspects of horror movies, explaining why our bodies respond the way they do (and consequently, how we create a barrier in our minds to help us understand the difference between a real threat situation and one that’s being shown to us in film).

As I’ve said before, I’m not much of a non-fiction reader under normal circumstances. However, Nina Nesseth has knocked this one out of the park. Nightmare Fuel is a must-read for horror movie fans, combining the science of fear with the history of the genre into a beautiful, quick read. It’s out in the world as of yesterday, so go check it out.

My utmost gratitude to Tor Nightfire and NetGalley for an eARC of the book in exchange for a fair review.