The Wicker Man (1973) – Defining Of The Folk Horror.

Its geography is stark, rugged and eerily inviting, its characters are sickly happy and lying through their teeth and its narrative is immersive and questioning to the point where its finale is deeply affecting and horrifying. It’s a crying shame that viewers of The Wicker Man (1973) will never fully see the film as its director intended. Having been slashed to bits by the studio … Continue reading The Wicker Man (1973) – Defining Of The Folk Horror.

Berberian Sound Studio – Part 2 (The Sound of the Giallo and Narrative Sounds)

Part 1. The Sound of the Giallo There are certain facts about the Giallo sub-genre that critics enjoy repeating over and over again.  It seems unlikely that viewers approaching Berberian will not know at least something basic about the genre yet it is still something that takes up such a large chunk of the analysis surrounding the film, there could be an argument for them … Continue reading Berberian Sound Studio – Part 2 (The Sound of the Giallo and Narrative Sounds)

Cry Of The Banshee – Gordon Hessler (1970)

Cry of the Banshee (1970) makes no qualms as to what its aims are.  Looking at its promotional poster, it would be natural to associate it with Roger Corman’s Poe films; it’s emblazoned with Edgar Allen Poe references, its main star is Vincent Price and its design is a technocolour nightmare.  The film itself is about as far from Corman’s dreamlike fantasies as possible in … Continue reading Cry Of The Banshee – Gordon Hessler (1970)

The Horror Score Rebellion – Part 3 (Rosemary’s Baby And Popular Music In Horror)

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)

Rasputin The Mad Monk – Don Sharp (1966)

Hammer’s historical films aren’t famed for their period accuracies or epic expanses, yet for all their faults, there is something extremely watchable about them.  Though the pre-historic films have the obvious draw of a scantily clad cast and dinosaurs, 1966’s Rasputin The Mad Monk appears to have little to bring in the crowds other than the presence of Christopher Lee.  Yet behind its confused genre … Continue reading Rasputin The Mad Monk – Don Sharp (1966)

The Mummy – Terence Fisher (1959)

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)

Plague of the Zombies – John Gilling (1966)

Hammer’s output from 1958 can roughly be categorised into three separate entities.  The first two are relatively obvious with Frankenstein and general vampire action but the third seems to cover a multitude of different themes and monsters.  Plague of the Zombies (1966) is one of these films that veered away from the usual Hammer tropes in an aim to create something slightly different and is … Continue reading Plague of the Zombies – John Gilling (1966)

The Wicker Man – Robin Hardy (1973)

The sub-genre of Folk Horror is possibly the oddest mixture of ideals and ideas ever to join in the world of cinema.  Trying to envision a genre taking best aspects from Folk tradition and mix it with the scary and disturbing edges of Horror can be difficult to imagine. However, amongst this small group of films, all of which are brilliant, sits one that transcends the … Continue reading The Wicker Man – Robin Hardy (1973)

Kwaidan – Masaki Kobayashi – (1964)

Thanks to films like Nakata’s Ringu and Shimizu’s Ju-On (The Grudge), Japanese horror is part of the popular pantheon of horrific cinema.  Many ghost films of the West borrow heavily from these two films but because of their enormous success, it seems that Kaiden (Japanese ghost stories) of the past are often overlooked for their more thrillingly modern counterparts. Looking past this injustice, it can be stated that Masaki … Continue reading Kwaidan – Masaki Kobayashi – (1964)