same year El ataúd del vampiro / The Vampire’s Coffin, a
sequel also directed by Méndez, went into production, to be released on 28
August of the following year. El vampiro has since been considered a seminal
moment of Mexican post-war horrorcinema. As Doyle Greene put it, ‘El
vampiro’s commercial and critical success in Mexico … provided the impetus for the increased production of Mexican horror films throughout the
next two decades’ (2005: 8). There are problems with Greene’s claim, or,
rather, with his suggestion that Méndez’ film played an industrially
, The Hound of the
Baskervilles , The Mummy and The Gorgon , embody
the Hammer aesthetic in its most accomplished form. These five films
can be seen as centres of gravity within Hammer
horror, in the same way that Hammer horror itself provides a basic
definitional model of British horrorcinema in general.
Consequently, much of what follows will be centred on these films,
although the other nine will also be considered in some detail. (The
Frankenstein and Dracula films will be dealt with at greater
boom in American science-fiction monster movies and the spectacular
success of Britains Hammer studio took horrorcinema into its modern age.
In the 1950s and 1960s, however, French film journals declined to view
horror as a separate genre by continuing to locate it within the category of
the fantastique . As critical writing on horror started to develop, a
strong difference emerged between the anglophone and continental European
), the second is related to the
importance accorded to special effects and make-up art in horrorcinema.
What I propose to do in this chapter is to examine a
recent horror film, Jaume Balagueró’s and Paco
Plaza’s REC ( 2007 ), in order to see how these core genre features
mentioned above work in tandem with other more recent developments,
breaking of the line when Raymond
(Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu) stares directly into the viewer’s eyes
at the end of the film is one of the most arresting moments in European
horrorcinema. George Sluizer remade the film himself for Hollywood in
1993, and his concessions blunt the sharp terror of the ending in his
In choosing to adapt the novel to radio Oliver Emanuel
modern societies have appeared to disavow any necessary connection to
nature, the natural world seems to reject humanity as expendable. Humans
are cast adrift in an alien, hostile environment, encountering monsters
unleashed by the destructive force of a consumerist, solipsistic
society. Tyburski argues that these recent films reflect a growing trend
in ‘eco-horror’ cinema which taps into this growing
Rechnological necromancy and E. Elias Merhige’s Shadow of the Vampire
Carol Margaret Davison
Schreck and the violently assaultive, sadistic camera associated
with patriarchal power and its victimising gaze.
The same camera in horrorcinema that, as Carol J.
Clover argues, ‘plays repeatedly and overtly on the equation
between the plight of the victim and the plight of the viewing
audience’ ( 1995 : 201), also fosters
collusion between the filmmaker and his or her vampire
: Penguin Books ).
Hetherington , K . ( 2000 ), New Age
Travellers ( London : Cassell ).
T . ( 2000 ), Deliver Us from Evil
( London : Abacus ).
L . ( 2002 ), ‘Necromancy in the UK:
witchcraft and the occult in British Horror’ , in Chibnall , S. and Petley , J. (eds), British HorrorCinema (London, Routledge
Finding meaning and identity in the rural Australian landscape
mixes art-cinema style with the materials of
horrorcinema, the incongruity of (British Victorian) culture in the
midst of an antagonistic Australian nature is again the crucial motif.
Picnic ’s suggestion of a sympathetic convergence between
human sexuality and the landscape’s primordial power can be
related backwards to films such as Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg,
1971), which elegises the rape of the