Horror films revel in taking viewers into shadowy places where the evil resides, whether it is a house, a graveyard or a dark forest. These mysterious spaces foment the terror at the heart of horror movies, empowering the ghastly creatures that emerge to kill and torment. With Dark Places, Barry Curtis leads us deep inside these haunted spaces to explore them - and the monstrous antagonists who dwell there.
Cinema is ideally suited to the world of psychic phenomena. A technique as simple as a voice-over can simulate mental telepathy, while unusual lighting, set design, or creative digital manipulation can conjure clairvoyant visions, precognition, or even psychokinesis. This book analyzes the depiction of paranormal powers in film, examining how movies like Star Wars, Independence Day, The Green Mile, and dozens of others both reflect and influence the way modern society thinks about psychic abilities. The theme is explored in nearly 100 films from a variety of genres including drama, comedy, horror, science fiction, crime melodrama, and children's films, providing a concise review of the history and concepts of mainstream cinematic parapsychology.
Publication Date: 2017-12-15
The popular and critical successes of films like The Sixth Sense and the Ring film and its sequels in the late 1990s led to an impressive international explosion of scary films dealing with ghosts. This book takes a close look at a number of those films from different countries, including the United States, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and Great Britain. Making a crucial distinction between these atmospheric films and conventional horror, Michael Walker argues that they are most productively seen as ghost melodramas, which opens them up to a powerful range of analytic tools from the study of melodrama, including, crucially, psychoanalysis.
Publication Date: 2015-09-10
In 1896, Maxim Gorky declared cinema "the Kingdom of Shadows." In its silent, ashen-grey world, he saw a land of spectral, and ever since then cinema has had a special relationship with the haunted and the ghostly. Cinematic Ghosts is the first collection devoted to this subject, including fourteen new essays, dedicated to exploring the many permutations of the movies' phantoms.Cinematic Ghosts contains essays revisiting some classic ghost films within the genres of horror (The Haunting, 1963), romance (Portrait of Jennie, 1948), comedy (Beetlejuice, 1988) and the art film (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, 2010), as well as essays dealing with a number of films from around the world, from Sweden to China. Cinematic Ghosts traces the archetype of the cinematic ghost from the silent era until today, offering analyses from a range of historical, aesthetic and theoretical dimensions.
The success of The Ring and many related motion pictures surrounding it are easy to demonstrate. However, it is substantially harder for fans of the genre to navigate their way through the confusing tangle of movies flooding video shop shelves or local multiplexes. There are 10 Ring movies in different formats from 3 different countries, 7 versions of The Grudge all with essentially the same title and all by the same creator - 2 competing versions of which were released simultaneously in American theatres. Where do you start? With this book.
The second edition of Mark Kermode's Exorcist volume has now been updated and expanded; its publication completes a journey of discovery begun by the author in 1997. The new edition documents the deletion and recovery of key scenes that have now been re-integrated into the film to create The Exorcist: the Version You've Never Seen. Candid interviews with director William Friedkin and writer/producer William Peter Blatty reveal the behind-the-scenes battles which took place during the production. In addition, exclusive stills reveal the truth about the legendary 'subliminal images' allegedly lurking withim the celluloid.
From the Gothic imagination behind Cronos, Mimic, Blade II, Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Crimson Peak, and Trollhunters arises a ghost story and a fairy tale unlike any other... During the 2000s, Guillermo del Toro directed, wrote, and produced two films held by secrets of the past, The Devil's Backbone (2001) and Pan's Labyrinth (2006), both of which garnered international acclaim and broke records for Spanish features. Exploring "childhood fears of mortality and abandonment in the same way the brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen might" (The New York Times), The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth ranked among the best films of the decade. For the first time, editor Danel Olson approaches these movies as cinematic siblings whose quests are bound together, revealing how each questions and answers the other in over 400 lavish pages.
Released in 1976, Brian DePalma's adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie was marketed as a low-budget schlock film that garnered two Academy Award nominations and has become a much-studied and much-imitated classic. Joe Aisenberg's dissection of Carrie is, amazingly, the first book-length critical study on this film ever released. In fact, so little has been written on Carrie in a critical fashion that Joe found, to his delight and horror, that he had the field pretty much all to himself. He has conducted new interviews with Brian DePalma, screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen, and cast members, including cult legend P.J. Soles, with an in-depth analysis of plot and influence.
Lavik discusses the narrative structure and twist ending in "The Sixth Sense." He examines the way the movie's story is constructed in order to understand how it surprised audiences. He also compares the movie's narrative strategies in a historical context of other pictures that have surprise endings to consider whether "The Sixth Sense" represents something new in the twist ending genre.
This article argues for a revision of conceptual and historical mappings of the American road film through a rereading of Herk Harvey’s cult classic Carnival of Souls (1962) and the era’s slew of highway safety productions, related literature, and institutional practice. It suggests that the genre of the road film began with a trio of movies in the early 1960s, including Psycho (1960) and The Haunting (1963), as well as Harvey’s film, which exposed and dramatized historical anxieties about the “dangers” of women appropriating the freedoms and pleasures of the open road connected to car culture.
Looking back at three films (The Night of the Hunter, House, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), this essay proposes a new way to read horror politically, moving away from allegories of "horrible content" in favor of an attention to the horrors of form and how "secondary" background details assert themselves.
Superimposition was long a popular technique for showing ghosts in films. Through the example of Victor Sjöström's film Körkarlen (The Phantom Carriage, 1921), this article examines the technique and its critical reception. André Bazin wrote an important essay on superimposition (first published in 1945) where he dismissed the use of double exposure to depict ghosts in films. The article examines Bazin's remarks in detail. The credibility-and the fraudulent associations-of multiple-exposure effects may derive from their similarity to spirit photography, but the article also argues that our understanding of superimposed phantoms may be enhanced if we draw on the cognitive study of religion.