Monsters on the Couch: The Real Psychological Disorders Behind Your Favourite Horror Movies by Brian A. Sharpless Review (Gifted)

Happy Halloween Spooky Readers,

Happy Friday 13th 

Thank you, Edelweiss+ for giving me access to a digital copy of Monsters on the Couch: The Real Psychological Disorders Behind Your Favourite Horror Movies by Brian A. Sharpless for free in exchange for an honest review. The eBook copy I have didn’t have a cover, so I am using a cover image I have found through google I do not own any rights and am using the image purely for review purposes (Fair use under the copyright act sections 29 and 30 under use for a review).

Title: Monsters on the Couch: The Real Psychological Disorders Behind Your Favourite Horror Movies

Author: Brian A. Sharpless

Genre: Films, cinema, Film: styles and genres, Psychology, Abnormal psychology, Cultural studies, Popular culture, Folklore studies, Society and Social Sciences

Movies Discussed in Monsters on the Couch:

  • An American Werewolf in London
  • The Howling
  • Night of the Living Dead
  • Return of the Living Dead
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • The Thing
  • It Follows
  • Mara
  • Cannibal Holocaust
  • Bone Tomahawk
  • The Hills Have Eyes
  • Nekromantic

Pages: 286 

Cover Image:

Synopsis: Horror movies can reveal much more than we realize about psychological disorders—and clinical psychology has a lot to teach us about horror. Our fears—mortality, failure, loneliness—can be just as motivating as our wishes or desires. Horror movie characters uniquely reveal all of these to a wide audience. If explored in an honest and serious manner, our fears have the potential to teach us a great deal about ourselves, our culture, and certainly other people.

From psychologist, researcher, and horror film enthusiast Brian A. Sharpless comes Monsters on the Couch, an exploration into the real-life psychological disorders behind famous horror movies. Accounts of clinical syndromes every bit as dramatic as those on the silver screen are juxtaposed with fascinating forays into the science and folklore behind our favourite movie monsters.
Horror fans may be obsessed with vampires, werewolves, zombies, and the human replacements from Invasion of the Body Snatchers , but even many medical professions may not know about the corresponding conditions of Renfield's syndrome, clinical lycanthropy, Cotard's syndrome, and the misidentification delusions.

Some of these disorders are surprisingly common in the general population. For instance, a number of people experience isolated sleep paralysis, a disorder implicated in ghost and alien abduction beliefs. As these tales unfold, readers not only learn state-of-the-art psychological science but also gain a better understanding of history, folklore, and how Hollywood often—but not always—gets it wrong when tackling these complex topics.


Miniature Review

I have always found psychology fascinating, and I when I saw this book on Edelweiss+ I had to request it, I mean phycology and Horror movies together how could it go wrong. After a light look on aunty google, I discovered that the author Brian Sharpless is a respected clinical psychologist who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of unusual and rare psychological disorders.

Each chapter gradually introduces the reader to one of the themes, however I will mention Brian uses examples of very real people who have experienced these conditions. Don’t be put off about that though, Brian taken a fun approach while writing this book and it perfectly balances his expertise, research and analysis that doesn’t feel too overwhelming.  I know this book isn’t going to be for everyone, but I enjoyed it and can’t wait to out geek my friends on our Halloween movie night.

L x

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