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Studying Hammer Horror$
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Victoria Walden

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733322

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733322.001.0001

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Hammer Horror as Genre Film

Hammer Horror as Genre Film

Chapter:
(p.35) Chapter Three: Hammer Horror as Genre Film
Source:
Studying Hammer Horror
Author(s):

Victoria Grace Walden

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781906733322.003.0004

This chapter evaluates Hammer horror as genre films. Hammer is renowned for its horror films, despite its breadth of productions including comedies, war films, action-adventures, and thrillers. Its specific brand of horror has often been considered to be a particularly English Gothic, Gothicism with its interest in the liminal, transcending traditional genre categories. It is poignant, then, that Hammer's Gothic style can be seen in some of its non-horror productions. One might question the usefulness of genre for understanding a range of the studio's films, despite the label 'Hammer horror'. Hammer brought something incredibly new to the 1950s cinema screen and it was the studio's juxtaposition of traditional fairy-tale storytelling and a return to a primitive cinema of attraction interested in spectacle and experience which has arguably earned the studio such a prominent place in the history of British film.

Keywords:   Hammer horror, genre films, horror films, English Gothic, Gothicism, British film

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