Hammer Film's output is justly famous for Gothic horror but the company also excelled in the genre of the psychological thriller. Though indebted to the example of Henri-Georges Clouzot and Alfred Hitchcock, Hammer nonetheless created its own style and approach to this genre in a series of often under-rated films that are, in fact, some of the company's very best.
Beginning with an exploration of the key influences from Clouzot and Hitchcock, this book takes a chronological, film-by-film approach to all of Hammer's thrillers. Along the way, well-known classics such as Seth Holt's The Nanny (1965) and Taste of Fear (1961) are discussed, along with less well known but equally brilliant films such as The Full Treatment (dir. Val Guest, 1960) and Michael Carreras' Maniac (1963). Each chapter takes a particular theme around which to approach the films in question, exploring their literary ancestry, their reflection of British society and their relation to a wide range of other references, such as the psychological theories of Freud and Jung, architectural metaphor, sexuality, religion, and even Nazi atrocities.