fantastic Cinema : 10 british films to discover

If I’ve already shouted my love of fantastic cinema Italian in a previous article, I couldn’t decently mention the United Kingdom, the other european nation to have purchased their most beautiful emotions to the film fans of the genre. If the productions Hammer or The Innocents by Jack Clayton guaranteed in the cinema british its a Crude picture of horror gothic, there are many pearls come from productions and from different eras. So back on ten films, made between the years of forty and the 2000s-a decade which has seen it surge to a new wave of fantasy films of the most exciting.


Released in 1945, directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer

The guests of a tranquil cottage happy each an extraordinary story that they have experienced.

Today regarded as the precursor of the fantastic cinema uk, in The Heart of the night was in his time a project is atypical in a production system that left little room for genre films. With its six stories, blending the registers and degrees of strangeness, this masterpiece has strongly inspired the films to sketches of the firm’s Amicus, a rival in the sixties of the Hammer. Special Mention to the segment where a puppeteer, loses command over his puppet ; an archetype of the horror is born.


Released in 1960, directed by Wolf Rilla, with George Sanders, Barbara Shelley and Martin Stephens

A village is the victim of a supernatural phenomenon. A few months later, the twelve little darlings are born at the same moment with intentions particularly hostile.

Monument of the cinema of terror of the sixties, the figure of the child of the demon of the Village of the Damned is now one of the most emblematic of the popular culture. Remaké by in 1994 by John Carpenter, who had seen this story a potential as promising as that of the classic Invasion of the profaners of tombs , or The Thing from another world ; the insidious threat is all the more distressing that it adopts a face of innocence, and takes place in the scenery of a peaceful village English.


Released in 1973, directed by Freddie Francis, with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Lorna Heilbron

A strange skeleton was found in New Guinea. In London, a scientific study and discovered that by reversing of the water, the flesh is recomposed.

Directed by Freddie Francis, the cinematographer renowned having worked for Lynch and Scorcese, The Flesh of the devil, sees the meeting on the screen of the duo’s most famous horror films : Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. But attention, this film is not a Hammer production but a pearl, forgotten for a rival studio, Tigon Pictures. Lee and Cushing are encamped here two brothers, opposites in their point of view and their profession as to the definition of Evil ; the first being a psychiatrist, the other a biologist. Fascinating idea, therefore, that to conceive of Evil in a tangible form that can find a virus. In the genre film of the mad scientist, The Flesh of the devil is distinguished by the performance of Peter Cushing, melancholic and haunted by the death of the human.


Released in 1973, directed by Nicolas Roich, with Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland and Hilary Mason

Laura and John Baxter lose their little girl who drowns accidentally. Later, the couple travelled to Venice for professional reasons. Visions and encounters strange spark in the couple, the memory of their little girl disappeared.

Based on a novel by Daphne du Maurier, the film of Nicolas Roich does not simply unfold a plot vicious, to bring up the psychological tension. Atypical project as only the seventies could give birth, Don’t look Back is a kinship evident with the experiments of the Italian a Dario Argento, through his editing effects and deformations of the temporality (it should be noted one of the most beautiful erotic scenes in cinema, mixing flashbacks and flashforwards). In this nightmare awake in a Venice complex (as far as the spirit of his characters), Roich infuses the fantastic by subtle touches until the twist end of the most surprising, leaving room for interpretations by the viewer.


Released in 1984, directed by Neil Jordan, with Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury and David Warner

Rocked by the legendary stories that he relates his grand-mother, Rosaleen is a teenager with a wild imagination. Once asleep, her dreams take her always to the same small medieval village populated by mysterious and dangerous creatures, half-men, half-wolves.

Dreamlike journey of a rare visual quality, the film by Neil Jordan (who will, ten years later, Interview with a vampire) sees twist together several levels of narrative as dreams overlapping each other. The scenario being a rewriting of the Little red riding Hood, it is logical, therefore, to find a multitude of symbols, sex in the nightmare poetic that goes through the young heroine. Nightmare made all the more memorable for the spectators, that it is in every frame of a feat of art direction as art ; every transformation of a human into a wolf is so different, but they are all traumatic.


Released in 1986, directed by Ken Russellwith Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands and Natasha Richardson

The film is inspired by fancy way of the holiday spent at the villa Diodati, on lake Geneva, during the summer of 1816, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Claire Clairmont and Gaetano Polidori.

This summer night in 1816 is probably the night the most famous in English literature. During his sleep feverish, Mary Shelley was a nightmare that gave him the idea to write Frankenstein. We often forget that this monument of the literature of the fantastic was developed in the middle of the romantic period, of which the writer was an enfant terrible. The filmmaker Ken Russell replace so this dream hallucinated in a setting rich in candelabra and jabots, where the jousting verbal between the poets will bring the beginnings of the philosophical and religious to the myth of the monster ; but also that of an illustrious creature, thirsty for blood.


Released in 1988, directed by Bernard Rose, with Charlotte Burke, Glenne Headly and Gemma Jones

Little girl lonely and dreamy, Anna discovers that she can enter in a parallel world, more specifically in a house she has drawn on a sheet of paper.

With Paperhouse, remain in the revisiting of the tale, in the murky waters between the dream and the nightmare. Bernard Rose is a silversmith from the fantastic cinema which will provide the public with the fascinating Candyman, thus providing a new approach to fantasy, more urban and social. We find a psychoanalytic approach to trauma of the childhood in Paperhouse, as if it were a less fanciful and more rude ofAlice in Wonderland. With its blend of the delusions of a child from his visions unhealthy aspects of the adult world, the film has certainly inspired the Tideland from Terry Gilliam and The Child Mirror of Philip Ridley, the filmmaker hinted at the end of this article.


Released in 2005, directed by Dave McKean, with Stephanie Leonidas, Jason Barry and Rob Brydon

Helena 15 years old, works in the circus his family. She dreams of escape and being able to start a new life. But she finds herself dragged into a strange journey to the Dark Lands, a fantastic world populated by giants, birds, monkeys, and dangerous sphinxes.

Remain in the fairy-tale and fantasy, but, let us now reflect on a work less stressful and more accessible to a younger audience. To understand the beauty of Mirrormask, it must be remembered that the film is the result of a collaboration between the studio , the Jim Henson Company (the great Dark Crystal and Labyrinth), and one of the writers the most talented of fantasy literature, Neil Gaiman. Once more, it would seem that the material of the matrix or Alice in wonderland as suggested by its young heroine stubborn and the parallel world in which it is lost. Mixture of computer images and live action, the charm is also by this awkwardness, this hybrid form of imagier, which contributes to the disorientation of the spectator.


Released in 2009, directed by Christopher Smithwith Melissa George, Joshua McIvor and Michael Dorman

Jess, a young single mother, joined a group of friends for a trip at sea on a sailboat. But a climate phenomenon strange plunges the boat into the heart of a storm, tumultuous. Clinging to the wreck of the sailing ship, the survivors see hope reborn with the appearance of an ocean liner out of nowhere.

Difficult to recall this little gem without the risk of spoiling its surprising rebondissants, as the hidden meaning of his story which does not appear until the finale. Directed by one of the new british masters of the genre, Christopher Smith, who surprises the audience each time it renews a sub-genre or type of story (Creep, Severance, Black Death). Don’t get me wrong, in spite of its storm at sea and his ship, perdition, Triangle does not speak of the region of Bermuda. Its title is explained by the repetition in three parts of his narrative, forming a time loop, and returning at the end to its starting point.


Released in 2010, directed by Philip Ridleywith Jim Sturgess, Clemence Poesy and Luke Treadaway

Jamie, a young man disfigured from birth by a spot that covers a portion of the body, decides to sign a pact with the Devil to gain access to the exterior beauty.

We conclude this selection with a more contemporary fantasy, with this revisit the pact with the devil in the backdrop of hostile a suburb of London, impoverished and decaying, but magnified at times by the atmosphere of the supernatural that gives Philip Ridley, a maker of rare and therefore valuable. The director of the magnificent The Child Mirror (parent in its approach to the childhood of Paperhouse) chooses an urban and social close to that of Bernard Rose’s Candyman, and more widely some of the stories of his compatriots Ramsey Campbell and Clive Barker. Heartless is a departure from the heritage of anglo-saxon, gothic, and fantasy to address the fears of our time (assault on a street corner, the lack of a father figure, rejection of the individual difference in the society…)


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