Review: How to Make a Horror Movie and Survive by Craig DiLouie

How to Make a Horror Movie and SurviveHow to Make a Horror Movie and Survive by Craig DiLouie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**2.5-stars rounded up**

This hurts my heart to not be giving this a higher rating. While I truly appreciate the topics explored here by the author, I can’t say I enjoyed my time with it and I have to be honest. Otherwise, what are we even doing here?

This just had way more of a Literary-feel than I am interested in, and for me, it lacked my number one desire, atmosphere. Overall, I was bored; really bored.

It didn’t start out that way though. For the first 25%, I was definitely intrigued. We had met Max, the Horror director, and Sally, the actress with dreams of playing a Final Girl on the big screen. I did enjoy meeting them and was pulled in by the beginning of their stories.

Max ends up with an old camera that once belong to a deceased Horror director, who gained the level of a cult-like status. Max hatches a plan to utilize that camera to make his own infamous movie, pushing the limits of the genre.

As Max begins to use the camera though, a dangerous power is revealed. Will he continue using it, in pursuit of his goal, no matter the risks? And will Sally get her dream of becoming the Final Girl?

Unfortunately, for me, the longer the story went on, the less interested I became. The devil is in the details, and IMHO, the details of this killed the story. It was slow-moving, bogged down by endless things I didn’t care about.

This is clearly a love letter to the Horror genre, and for that, I give it full props. I am, first and foremost, a Horror Lover, Reader and Reviewer. It’s my roots.

I appreciate how DiLouie examined the genre, specifically its place within the movie industry, and how it is treated, viewed, etc., in comparison to other, for lack of a better term, more mainstream, genres.

I could see this working very well for a niche market of film buffs, or even film students, as it does explore the industry deeply. For me it was just too subtle, slow, and by the time we got to the final showdown, too little, too late.

With this being said, the writing is strong, the characters are well-developed and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this story. It just sadly wasn’t a story that was a good fit for my tastes.

I would still encourage absolutely anyone interested in this synopsis to give it a try. I know a lot of Readers are going to love this, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if I end up in the minority opinion on it. Please take everything I have said with a grain of salt. It is just my personal experience.

Thank you to the publisher, Redhook, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Even though this wasn’t a great fit for me, I will absolutely be picking up more from this author!

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