Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grimm Pictures: Fairy Tale Archetypes in Eight Horror and Suspense Films by Walter Rankin

Grimm Pictures: Fairy Tale Archetypes in Eight Horror and Suspense Films by Walter Rankin is another book I received for a review a while back. I thought I had already posted about it and planned to repost it for film month, but apparently I haven't since I couldn't find the post. But enough about my inadequacies!

Book description from the publisher:

Though Grimm's Fairy Tales was published about 200 years ago, the revered collection of folk stories remains one of the most iconic pieces of children's literature and has had significant influence in modern pop culture. This work examines the many ways that recent films have employed archetypal images, themes, symbols, and structural elements that originated in the most well-known Grimm fairy tales. The author draws similarities between the cannibalistic symbolism of the Grimm brothers' Little Red Cap and the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs and reveals Faustian parallels between Rumpelstiltskin and the 1968 film Rosemary's Baby. Each of eight chapters reveals a similar pairing, and film stills and illustrations are featured throughout the work.

About the Author

Walter Rankin is Deputy Associate Dean and an affiliate associate professor of English and German at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He lives in Broadlands, Virginia.

Table of Contents:

Table of Contents

Preface 7


Branding the Grimm Brothers
From the Black Forest to the Hollywood Hills 11

1. The Path of Beast Resistance
“Little Red Cap” and The Silence of the Lambs 17

2. A Rose by Any Other Name
“Brier Rose” and Scream 40

3. The Hand That Hawks the Cradle
“Rapunzel” and The Ring 60

4. The Object of My Reflection
“Little Snow White” and The Talented Mr. Ripley 81

5. Mother of the Pride
“Cinderella” and Aliens 100

6. The Devil in the Details
“Rumpelstiltskin” and Rosemary’s Baby 118

7. Off the Eaten Path
“Hansel and Gretel” and What Lies Beneath 142

The Writhing on the Wall
“Mother Holle” and Misery 168

Notes 193
Bibliography 203
Index 211

Now, isn't that fascinating? Those are some unexpected films. As we all know, I am a wimp when it comes to film horror, so I haven't seen many of the movies discussed which makes it hard for me to fully evaluate the arguments for the inclusion of fairy tale archetypes. I admit I thought Mother Holle and Misery would be a stretch, but I can see the basis for argument. And, really, Silence of the Lambs and Little Red Cap is quite understandable if one sets one's imagination to it. In the end, Rankin makes some interesting comparisons and this book would be EXCELLENT for students looking for ways to tie horror film to fairy tales. I can just imagine the papers...

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