Nightmare Fuel: The Science of Horror Films

Nightmare Fuel by Nina Nesseth is a pop-science look at fear, how and why horror films get under our skin, and why we keep coming back for more.

Do you like scary movies?
Have you ever wondered why?

In Nightmare Fuel, Nina Nesseth uses her background in biomedical science to explain the mechanics of what makes what we see on the screen so terrifying and what goes on behind the scenes to create the horror in the first place.

With spotlight features of some of horror’s most popular films—from classics like The Exorcist to modern hits like A Quiet Place—and interviews with producers, film historians, and creature creators, Nightmare Fuel is both an in-depth dive into the science of fear, and a celebration of the genre.


NINA NESSETH is a professional science communicator. Her background is rooted in biomedical sciences and science communication, with a special interest in human biology. She is a staff scientist at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario. In 2017, Nesseth co-authored The Science of Orphan Black: The Official Companion, published by ECW Press. Her work has been featured in The Mary Sue, Gayly Dreadful, Shudder’s The Bite, and more.



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