The essay focuses on Peter Sasdy's Hands of the Ripper and Tom McLoughlin's thriller The Unsaid, showing how they represent thematically and stylistically a revisiting and reworking of classical Freudian concepts such as the Oedipus complex, the death drive, and primal scenes. Starting from the basic Freudian premise that there is something "uncanny" about the compulsion-to-repeat, it shows how both Hands of the Ripper and The Unsaid, in their repetitive figurations and reconstructions of the Oedipal schema inevitably usher in or foreshadow the most repetitive process of all: death, and specifically the death of the mother. The essay draws on Laplanche's general theory of seduction and focuses on the primal Oedipal scene as both reconstructed fantasy and horrendous actuality, together with its several renderings throughout both films.


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pp. 699-709
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