The Awakening (2011) and Development Practices in the British Film
This article reveals how screenwriter Stephen Volk‘s idea for a sequel to The
Innocents (1961, Jack Clayton) became, over the course of fifteen years, the British
horror film The Awakening (2011, Nick Murphy). It examines practitioner interviews to
reflect on creative labour in the British film industry, while also reorientating the
analysis of British horror film to the practices of pre-production, specifically
development. The research reveals that female protagonist Florence Cathcart was a
major problem for the project and demonstrates how the Florence character changed
throughout the development process. Repeatedly rewritten and ultimately restrained by
successive male personnel, her character reveals persistent, problematic perceptions
of gender in British horror filmmaking.
The Hindi horrorfilms of the Ramsay
In Shaitani ilaaka / Satan’s Circle (Kiran Ramsay, 1990) we are presented
with the murder of a man at the hands of a shape-shifting female. The
barely dressed woman walks into a room where a man is lying on a bed.
The camera, initially positioned behind and at a short distance from the
woman, slowly tracks in to take up her point of view. She hypnotises him,
has sex with him and finally kills him. We witness these actions as if through
the woman’s eyes. This sequence is typical of Hindi horror cinema, which
Horrorfilm, like all Gothic
narratives, 1 is
predominantly concerned with representations and negotiations of the
family, its values and ideologies. In an illuminating generalization,
the film scholar Tony Williams even suggests that ‘all horrorfilms, in one way or the other, are family horrorfilms
While post-war popular cinema has traditionally been excluded from accounts of national cinemas, the last fifteen years have seen the academy’s gradual rediscovery of cult and, more, generally, popular films. Why, many years after their release, do we now deem these films worthy of study? The book situates ‘low’ film genres in their economic and culturally specific contexts (a period of unstable ‘economic miracles’ in different countries and regions) and explores the interconnections between those contexts, the immediate industrial-financial interests sustaining the films, and the films’ aesthetics. It argues that the visibility (or not) of popular genres in a nation’s account of its cinema is an indirect but demonstrable effect of the centrality (or not) of a particular kind of capital in that country’s economy. Through in-depth examination of what may at first appear as different cycles in film production and history – the Italian giallo, the Mexican horror film and Hindi horror cinema – Capital and popular cinema lays the foundations of a comparative approach to film; one capable of accounting for the whole of a national film industry’s production (‘popular’ and ‘canonic’) and applicable to the study of film genres globally.
Discussion of the horror film fanzine culture of the 1980s and early 1990s has been
dominated by an emphasis on questions around the politics of taste, considerations of
subcultural capital and cultism in fan writing, and processes of cultural distinction
and the circulation of forms of capital. Sconce‘s concept of paracinema has come to
shape the conceptual approach to fanzines. The aim of this article is to refocus
attention on other areas of fanzine production, providing a more nuanced and richer
historicisation of these publications and the ways they contributed to the
circulation, reception and consumption of European horror film. Focusing on the
fanzine European Trash Cinema (1988–98) I propose a return to the actual cultural
object – the printed zine – examining the networks of producers converging around,
and writing about, Eurohorror films and related European trash cinematic forms, as
well as the contents within the publication itself.
European horror films have often been characterised by a tendency towards
co-production arrangements. Recent developments within regional European funding
bodies and initiatives have led to a proliferation of films that combine traditional
co-production agreements with the use of both regional and intra-regional funding
sources. This article examines the extent to which the financial structuring of
Creep(Christopher Smith, 2004), Salvage (Lawrence Gough), and Trollhunter (André
Øvredal, 2010) informed the trajectory of their production dynamics, impacting upon
their final form. Sometimes, such European horror films are part of complex
co-production deals with multiple partners or are derived from one-off funding
project. But they can also utilise funding schemes that are distinctly local.
Beginning from a consideration of some ideas on aesthetics deriving from R. G.
Collingwood, this essay sets Dreyer‘s Vampyr beside Fulcis The Beyond. The article
then goes on to suggest something of the nature of the horror film, at least as
exemplified by these two works, by placing them against the background of certain
poetic procedures associated with the post-symbolist poetry of T. S. Eliot.
This article investigates the role of the corridor in Gothic fiction and horror
film from the late eighteenth century to the present day. It seeks to establish
this transitional space as a crucial locus, by tracing the rise of the corridor
as a distinct mode of architectural distribution in domestic and public
buildings since the eighteenth century. The article tracks pivotal appearances
of the corridor in fiction and film, and in the final phase argues that it has
become associated with a specific emotional tenor, less to do with amplified
fear and horror and more with emotions of Angst or dread.
In Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Gothic-horror novel Little
Star (2010) graphic violence has a central function – thematically, but
primarily as an aesthetic device. The plot contains motifs from classical video
nasties, motifs that also have an effect on the text itself. This paper examines
the novel’s use of extremely violent scenes, influenced by violent horror films,
defining them as a kind of remediation. One point being made is that the use of
violent effects, often described as a kind of spectacle, can be interpreted as a
formal play upon the conventions of violent fiction.
The new wave of Korean cinema has presented a series of distinct genre productions, which are influenced by contemporary Japanese horror cinema and traditions of the Gothic. Ahn Byeong-ki is one of Korea‘s most notable horror film directors, having made four Gothic horrors between 2000 and 2006. These transnational horrors, tales of possession and avenging forces, have repeatedly been drawn to issues of modernity, loneliness, identity, gender, and suicide. Focusing on the figure of the ghostly woman, and the horrors of modern city life in Korea, this essay considers the style of filmmaking employed by Ahn Byeong-ki in depicting, in particular, the Gothic revelation.