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TV Review: Eli Roth’s History of Horror (2020)

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SYNOPSIS:

Award-winning horror film director, writer, producer and actor Eli Roth brings together the masters of horror – the storytellers and stars who define the genre – to explore its biggest themes and reveal the inspirations and struggles behind its past and present. Each one-hour episode will take viewers on a chilling exploration of how horror has evolved through the years and examine the genre’s impact on society as well as delving into how horror maintains its fan base and why audiences are addicted to fear. Interviewees include Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino, Linda Blair and many others.

REVIEW:

Award-winning horror film director, writer, producer and actor Eli Roth brings together the masters of horror – the storytellers and stars who define the genre – to explore its biggest themes and reveal the inspirations and struggles behind its past and present. Each one-hour episode will take viewers on a chilling exploration of how horror has evolved through the years and examine the genre’s impact on society as well as delving into how horror maintains its fan base and why audiences are addicted to fear. Interviewees include Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino, Linda Blair and many others.

So you picked up the latest collective titled “Eli Roth’s history of Horror”! Frankly a narrative exploration of horror, by a horror great himself sitting around with a few other horror greats (namely Rob Zombie and Greg Nicotero) is a pretty cool treat!

We’ve all seen the Halloween-season documentaries that cover the gamut of films to arrive every season with renewed vigor (despite the fact that many are really always available for viewing). Though taking us back to film-style documentaries of yesterday like “‘Terror in the Aisles”, we have come to love our screen actors directors and horror centric film icons who talk horror-shop about the genre that inspired them and that they were also a part of are a part of.

It’s always a refreshing discussion to hear Mick Garris or Jamie Lee Curtis talk about how they were inspired by horror and yet central to the work themselves. This is where the series titled “Eli Roth’s History of Horror” really hits the nail of the head. We are brought into their discussions about how they were inspired to go on to create inspiring work themselves. It’s about how the eras and work involved were so important to what was to come.

The series was launched under the AMC visionaries brand and presented in several 1 hour episodes that cover different aspects of the horror genre (Namely slashers,, zombies, demons, killer creatures, vampires, and ghost stories). It all those horror-collective-books wrapped up in 7 1-hour long series. What more could you ask for?

Some of the featured artisans include: Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino, Jordan Peele, Jason Blum, Robert Englund, Linda Blair, Rob Zombie, Jack Black, John Landis and Jamie Lee Curtis

The series is designed to focus on particular facts of the genre. In fact, slashers is such a big target that it’s featured over 2 1-hour episodes. The elements of fear, gore, and terror are discussed in great detail leading us thru the motivations, styles, and products of today and yesterday.

Though while the coverage here spans the gamut of iconic films, eras and icons, the real joy lies in the discussions of films that made impact. We have all experienced, watched, and admired the great horrific figures of film such as: Norman Bates, Jason, Michael Myers, Freddy, and Leatherface. Though to hear how the experiences were shared, studied, and copied by fans (that we became fans of) is another thing in itself.

The attention to detail in how movies were made and presented to induce horror has spawned generations of copy cats, new ideas, and the expansion of trends. This is what “Eli Roth’s History of Horror” is about. The jump from Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece of well placed still-motion collages to the modern day induction of torture porn and its progression of special effects. Really it’s a celebration of all things great horror. While clips, and scenes are a given, it’s the narration along the way and discussions that fill in the blanks.

All in all this is a fantastic series that deserves its place among collectors. If 7 hours of frights, chaos, and analysis is not enough, I don’t know what is? Take it all in stride. While binge-watching is expected, it’s really enough creatively-well-produced content to keep you entered all week. With the Halloween season right ahead of us, this is the perfect way to usher it in.

You can pick up a copy over here!

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