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
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.
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).
Part 1. The Levels of the Aesthetic Stage Through Castle Rooms and Colour. Corman’s beautiful excess of colour in the film has already been mentioned but colour plays a vital role within the film’s narrative too. Its narrative focus however does not chime well with the Kierkegaard reading when considering the unevenness and ambiguity as to the death creatures and their colours at the end … Continue reading The Masque of the Red Death (1964) – Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic Phase and Inverted Freudian Pleasure Principle (Part 2).
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.
While writing about a perceived pivoting moment in horror film scores for a research essay last year, I briefly mentioned towards the end of what I termed “a legacy of balance” within horror film music and film scores. With the word limitations on that essay meaning that the point was only vaguely surmised with a handful of explanations, I wanted to go further into what … Continue reading The Shining – Legacy of Balance In Horror Film Scores.
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)
In vampire films of the past, the mere label of the main villain as a vampire or a child of the night, almost justifies and forgives their actions. When Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee have to seduce in order to attain for their nightly fix of blood, the label of vampire forgives their action as a necessity just as if the person was a mere … Continue reading Martin – George A. Romero (1976)
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)
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)