Horror’s Pleasure of Distance

One of my favourite moments from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) is not a typical choice considering the film’s many infamous scenes. Rather than showers, murders and other more memorable images, I particularly love a relatively bland scene later on in the film. It has narrative development in its eerie punch line but has little else on screen in terms of Hitchcock generally: it is perfunctory … Continue reading Horror’s Pleasure of Distance

Interview With Digby Rumsey (BFI Flipside, The Pledge).

Director Digby Rumsey sees his BFI DVD debut this month on the Flipside release of Leslie Megahey’s Schalcken the Painter.  Rumsey is a traditional BFI director, coming from the same ranks as Terence Davies, Bill Douglas and Peter Greenaway.  His work in Gothic short films, especially adaptations of work by Lord Dunsany, places him firmly in the British Gothic traditions of directors such as Jonathan … Continue reading Interview With Digby Rumsey (BFI Flipside, The Pledge).

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.

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)

A Brief History of Occult and Folk 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.