This chapter investigates how seeming opposites—‘fairy tale’ and ‘gothic’—react against each other, share properties and merge as they create horror in film. Fairytale elements can universalize the historically specific, offering an alternative vision beyond time and place, or enhance the horror, as the full force of the film’s terrors or atrocities leak in. Gothic illuminates the wild sensations that drive us, the pull between rational and irrational forces, questioning the securities of home, self and belief. This chapter outlines how the more conceptual chapters provide a broader cultural foundation for the close analyses that follow in the case study chapters. This chapter concludes that the films selected for analysis create a lasting shudder that persists, and is likely to return.
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