By Jennifer Reed and James Rennie. Horror History
What horror creates… Fear Disgust Anxiety Shock Nightmares
General information Horror commonly overlaps with fantasy, science fiction and thriller genres. Often shows scenes of macabre and the supernatural tendencies. Horror films often have an evil character, an event of importance (disease/virus/apocalyptic event) Common day horror is usually defined as gory, jumpy and supernatural. Examples of old: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Phantom Of The Opera and Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Examples of new: Saw series, The Ring, The Tail Of Two Sisters, The Strangers and Session 9.
1890’s - 1920’s Horror Georges Melies was a pioneer of the silent horror film shorts. The most notable being in 1896 – Le Manoir du diable AKA, the house of the devil. Japan made early forays into the horror genre with Bake Izo and Shinin no Sosei, both made in 1898. In 1910, Edison Studios made the first film version of Frankenstein. In the 20th Century the first monster character to appear in a full length horror film was Quasimodo, in the hunchback of Natre-Dame. The first vampire themed film F.W. Murau’s Nosferatu (1922), an adaptation of Dracula.
1930’s – 1940’s Horror This ear was influenced by the German expressionist films of the 1920s. In the early 1930s Universal Pictures Co. Inc. brought about successful Gothic features such as The Invisible Man and Freaks. In the 1940s, Universals The Wolf Man was the most influential film of the time, but not the first. Not an awful lot happened in this decade gap.
1950s – 1960s Horror 1950s brought out ‘new’ Technological Advancements. Horrors shifted from Gothic Horror towards Concerns relevant to the audience, which were fears of Armageddon and Demonic Powers. The audience began to fear Social Alienation and living in the terror of the ‘Atomic Age’, due to films such as The Incredible Shrinking Man. Sometimes controversial productions of the 50s – 60s carved the way for more explicit violence in both horror and mainstream films. Rosemary’s Baby was the first film to put the devil in flesh upon the screen. Low budget films seemed to have more bodily dismemberment and cannibalism, as seen in Two Thousand Maniacs.
1970s – 1980s Horror The success of low budget gore films led to the success of films such as The Exorcist and it made ‘B movies’ become ‘A movies’. Evil children and re-incarnation became most popular subjects in 1977. In the 1970s horror author Stephen King debuted on the film scene with Carrie (1976). Along side with John Carpenters Halloween (1978) and Sean Cunningham’s Friday The 13th (1980) In 1975, Steven Spielberg began his ascension to fame Jaws and it was being one of the first films to use traditionally B movie elements (mild gore). 1979’s Alien combined the naturalistic acting and graphic violence.
1990’s – Present Day Horror The first half of the 90s brought out many sequels from the 1980s films, such as Halloween, Friday the 13thand Nightmare on Elm Street. Two main problems pushed horror backward during this period. Firstly, horror wore itself out with nonstop slasher and gore films. Secondly, the adolescence audience grew up which fiested on the blood and morbidity. In the 2000s, teen-centered horror was quite popular with films such as Final Destination, Wrong Turn and Jeepers Creepers. Asian horror films were successfully Americanized due to them being banned in China. There has been a major return to the Zombie genre such as The Resident Evil Series and The Living Dead series. Which have been helped on by the technological advancements of the present day.