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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

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

Victoria Grace Walden

Liverpool University Press

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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