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Horror Europa with Mark Gatiss (2012)

Actor, writer and life-long horror film aficionado Mark Gatiss follows his 'A History of Horror' with this exploration of European horror cinema. Including interviews with directors Dario Argento and Guillermo del Toro amongst others.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself - Presenter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself
Fabrizio Bava ...
Himself - Mario Bava's Grandson (as Roy Bava)
Annette Chaton ...
Herself - Thomas Narcejac's Daughter
...
Himself
Jorge Grau ...
Himself
Narciso Ibáñez Serrador ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Herself
Werner Sudendorf ...
Himself - Chief Curator of Documentation, Deutsche Kinemathek Museum für Film und Fernsehen
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Actor, writer and life-long horror film aficionado Mark Gatiss follows his 'A History of Horror' with this exploration of European horror cinema. Including interviews with directors Dario Argento and Guillermo del Toro amongst others.

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30 October 2012 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
Package-Tour Through the Highlights of European Horror Cinema
14 November 2014 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Dressed in a blue suit, presenter Mark Gatiss tours the capitals of Europe to give us a potted history of European horror cinema. Beginning in Belgium, he thence proceeds to Slovakia, Germany, France, Italy and Spain; along the way he interviews several of the major players in the genre, including Dario Argento, who speaks to him in a mixture of English and Italian, depending on his mood.

Thematically speaking, HORROR EUROPA argues with some justification that horror cinema can be seen as a response to social and economic upheaval. In the aftermath of World War One, the German horror cinema was in the ascendant, as directors and producers alike tried to re-establish the country as an artistic powerhouse after a crippling conflict, as well as responding to the severe economic crisis of the time. Films such as THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920) and NOSFERATU (1922) could be seen as responses to the prevailing socio-cultural conditions, as well as being influenced by artistic movements such as Expressionism. Likewise in the post-1945 period French horror cinema was shaped by the fallout from four years of Nazi occupation as well as the excesses of the Vichy government; films such as LES DIABOLIQUES (1955) dramatized fears of moral and social breakdown.

In the Sixties, Italian horror cinema came into its own as a result of the work of Mario Bava, who developed a style all his own combining thriller and horror elements, all filmed in a lurid color palette in which individual sequences assumed more significance than plot-coherence. Even today these films are quite disturbing to watch for their sheer unexpectedness of content and form.

In more recent years, Spanish horror cinema has set the tone as well as the theme for much Euro-horror - partly this was due to the political situation as the country emerged from years of dictatorship under General Franco into a more democratic style of government.

As a presenter, Gatiss is both knowledgeable yet willing to learn from the insights of his interviewees. Sometimes the film includes irritating reaction shots where he is shown nodding enthusiastically at his interviewee, even though he is speaking a different language to them. On the whole, however, he remains a plausible guide, interspersing his commentary with the occasional moment of wry humor. HORROR EUROPA is an ideal documentary for anyone seeking an overview of the genre, as well as reminding specialists of some of their favorite movies.


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