Part 1. Part 2. The Freudian Dream Corman’s Poe films have become famous for their dream sequences. The source literature revels in the possibilities of nightmares taking over the psyche so they seem an apt distraction for a medium that already adores the possibilities of dreams. The Masque of the Red Death perhaps contains Corman’s most effective and disturbing sequence; one of the few to … Continue reading The Masque of the Red Death, Roger Corman (Part 3) – The Freudian Dream.
Though 1968 may best be remembered for Romero’s zombies, another film released that same year had a similar impact to the way horror films in the subsequent decade were scored. Rosemary’s Baby, directed by Polish émigré Roman Polanski, has a legacy of imitators that developed from its scoring techniques. Polanski’s tale of the occult in a Manhattan apartment block primarily employs a classical score but large … Continue reading The Horror Score Rebellion – Part 3 (Rosemary’s Baby And Popular Music In Horror)
Article originally published in New Empress Magazine. Being old and generally more battered, silent horror has the unnerving sense of being a genuine piece of documentation. No doubt unaware of it at the time, Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages (1922) is a film that so embodies this accidental aspect that viewing it perhaps recalls the feeling of Ash’s discovery of The Book of the … Continue reading A Brief History of Occult and Folk Horror.
With its rather ominous opening, the viewer would perhaps be forgiven for thinking that Roger Corman’s adaptation of Poe’s The Raven would be in similar ilk to his other dark Poe films. What at first seems like yet another gothic retelling of a Poe classic turns out to be a swiftly delivered curve ball that has, at its core, a desire for fun and mischief … Continue reading The Raven – Roger Corman (1963)
If Alfred Hitchcock were to have made an occult horror film, it’s not beyond the realms of fantasy to believe that it would look something like Sidney Hayers’ 1962 film Night of the Eagle. Mixing up all sorts of clean cut imagery and marvellously juicy language, the film is one of the more Freudian in the horror canon and a far more subtle affair than … Continue reading Night Of The Eagle – Sidney Hayers (1962)
Following on from Hammer’s The Quatermass Xperiment, the company continued their desire for rating incorporated titles with 1956’s X The Unknown. It may perhaps hold the most unimaginative of Hammer’s titles but the film itself has some surprisingly good moments. The story follows an extremely similar route to its predecessor but certain tweaks allow more paranoia to build specifically around the radiation that clearly obsessed … Continue reading X The Unknown – Leslie Norman (1956)
One of Universal’s best efforts within the gothic tradition, 1941’s The Wolf Man is one of the studio’s best horror films from its golden era. Though its director isn’t well known for his horror, the success of this feature is no doubt down to borrowing certain stylistic elements from Universal’s most innovative horror director, James Whale. George Waggner’s film could easily be a Whale film, … Continue reading The Wolf Man – George Waggner (1941)
Having hit gold with their adaptations of Universal classic horrors Frankenstein (Curse of Frankenstein, 1957) and Dracula (Horror of Dracula, 1958), Hammer delved further into the back catalogue of monsters and villains in its 1959 production, The Mummy. Unlike the previous two adaptations, this one seems relatively similar to its Universal predecessor in tone and feel, making it feel like a necessity for the company … Continue reading The Mummy – Terence Fisher (1959)
One of the most original of Hammer’s Dracula series, Brides of Dracula is easily one of the strongest of the sequels made. Perhaps the lack of Christopher Lee meant that scriptwriter Jimmy Sangster (along with Peter Bryan and Edward Percy) had to be more innovative in making the vampire villain more of a menace but this has lead to it becoming one of the most … Continue reading Brides of Dracula – Terence Fisher (1960)
Moving away from the established ideals of the first two Hammer Quatermass films, 1967’s Quatermass and the Pit has much to praise. Part of this is most definitely down to the change in director to Hammer regular Roy Wood Baker who creates an interestingly claustrophobic London. While excavating renovation for Hobb’s End Tube station, workman come across what appears to be an unexploded bomb. Upon … Continue reading Quatermass and the Pit – Roy Ward Baker (1967)