Fifties , London : Secker & Warburg .
Hutchings , Peter ( 2001 a), ‘ The Amicus House of Horror ’, in Chibnall , Steve and Petley , Julian (eds.) British HorrorCinema , London : Routledge .
Hutchings , Peter ( 2001 b), Terence Fisher: British Film Makers , Manchester : Manchester University Press .
Jones , Matthew ( 2017 ), Science Fiction Cinema and 1950s Britain: Recontextualizing Cultural Anxiety , London : Bloomsbury .
King , Barry ( 1991 ), ‘Articulating Stardom’ , in Butler Jeremy G. (ed
critics here coincide.
As Willis comments: ‘Critically, then, Spanish horror seems, increasingly, to be becoming assimilated into the world of serious cinema, or
rather, one strand of Spanish horrorcinema, the one that maintains
the values of the critics who write about them’ (249). He concludes
his discussion by claiming the parodies to be more subversive (249).
Willis highlights here the role of the critic in making some versions
of horror more acceptable than others although other factors also
come into play in their critique, such as the perennial longing on
horrorcinema with a more serious feel). Amenábar admires a film like
Medak’s which relies on atmosphere not blood, conveys a strong sense
of traditional suspense and horror, especially through its performances, the
interactions of the gazes, the reactions to offscreen sounds and a
sophisticated use of music and soundscapes. And even though the film
exploits a supernatural element, ‘lo hace de forma muy seria’
Leonora Carrington’s cinematic adventures in Mexico
and it was definitely full of references to the film makers who had influenced me: directors from the golden age of American horrorcinema, Buñuel, and of course the silent masters … Mansion of Madness puts one in mind of the kind of things that they used to show in Paris. I’ve seen some of the Grand Guignol shows and I loved them. 41
Aspects of surrealism, silent cinema, and horror are deployed in the film to explore connections between eroticism and madness; it is in ‘the domain of the erotic that reality and the fantastic really come together’. 42
the anthology to be filmed. Aside from interiors at the studios, the locations included Stoke Poges golf course and the village and church of picturesque Turville in Buckinghamshire, which, three years earlier, had been used rather differently as the site for a Nazi incursion in Went the Day Well?
What then was to be made of this comic intrusion, and generally of a film, which has now achieved the kind of stature that it is included in reverential terms in every important anthology of horrorcinema? In the autumn of 1945, reviews were decidedly mixed. The Times
horrorcinema of the mid-twentieth century, the word ‘blob’ will conjure the eponymously titled 1958 teen film in which a human-devouring amoeba-like alien organism, which has fallen to earth in a meteorite, terrorises a small town and threatens to eventually engulf the entire planet but for the valiant efforts of two quick-thinking teenagers. 29 Eventually flash frozen and transported to the north pole, the blob is left there to hibernate for ‘as long as the arctic stays cold’ – a chillingly prescient cliff-hanger if ever there was one. But putting aside the
There is no reason to suppose that what was new and unsettling
for the critics was not also going to be new and unsettling for the
film-makers as well. So far as Fisher’s career was concerned, The
Curse of Frankenstein saw him breaking new ground in several ways. It
was his first colour film, his first horror film, and also his first period
costume drama since Colonel Bogey , his 1947 directorial debut. Much
European sources, by
1994–95 Amenábar had seen very little European cinema, let alone
European horrorcinema (such as the Italian ‘giallo’) and,
perhaps surprisingly, was even unacquainted with local Spanish
‘auteurs maudits’ such as Villaronga and Zulueta (Rodríguez
Marchante 2002 : 97). It was only after Tesis
and Abre los ojos , for example, that Amenábar began to
acknowledge the works of European
films for Hammer, these changes would be
manifested more clearly and more self-consciously.
The Baron and the Devil
David Pirie has observed that British
horrorcinema had by 1966 ‘lost some of its original rigidity and was
beginning to hunt for new talent and new ideas’. 20 In particular, the brilliant young
director Michael Reeves was about to introduce both a psychological
intensity and an emphasis on
his film-making: as Vialle puts it, Franjus films are miroirs de
linsolite, perturbateurs de nos perceptions du réel (Vialle 1968 : 176). 22 Jean Cocteau observed
of Les Yeux sans visage that Franju had not forgotten the important
rule in horrorcinema about treating the unreal with the maximum of realism
(175), while Jean-Luc Godards response to La Tête contre les murs
was a more enthusiastic and nuanced discovery of the same