This Devil’s Advocate explores the cinematic wonders of Brian Desmond Hurst’s much loved 1951 adaptation of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge, through the prism of horror cinema, arguing that the film has less in common with cosy festive tradition than it does with terror cinema like James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein, Robert Weine’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and F.W. Murnau’s Faust. Beginning with Charles Dickens himself, a prolific writer of ghost stories, with A Christmas Carol being but one of many, Colin Fleming then considers earlier cinematic adaptations including 1935’s folk-horror-like Scrooge, before offering a full account of the Hurst/Sim version, stressing what must always be kept at the forefront of our minds: this is a ghost story.
Colin Fleming’s fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Atlantic, USA Today, ARTnews, TLS, The Guardian, Film Comment, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, JazzTimes, Cineaste, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New Statesman, Vanity Fair, Esquire, MOJO, the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated, LA Times, Harper’s, and many other publications. He’s the author of eight books, including Dark March: Stories for When the Rest of the World Is Asleep, Meatheads Say the Realest Things: A Satirical (Short) Novel of the Last Bro, If You [ ]: Fantasy, Fabula, F**kery, Hope, and a volume in the 33 1/3 series on Sam Cooke’s Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963. Find him on the web at colinfleminglit.com, where he maintains the Many Moments More blog about music, film, art, literature, sports, endurance, and one artist’s quest.