First horror film
S The first sightings of supernatural events appear in
several of the silent shorts created by the film pioneer
Georges Melies in the late 1890s, the best known being
Le Manior du diable, which is sometimes credited as
being the first horror film.
Gothic period 1920s-1940s
S In 1910, Edison studios produced the first film version of
Frankenstein which was lost for many years. F. W.
Murnau created the first vampire themed movie called
Nosferatu which was an unauthorized adaption of Bram
Aliens and Demons 1950s1960s
S With advances in technology, the tone of horror films
shifted from gothic to more contemporary concerns, like
Armageddon, alien invasions, supernatural demons and
zombies. This change in the type of horror meant that it
moved into a period of gore.
The Occult 1970s-1980s
S Horror then began to focus more on the occult and
demons and “evil children”, lot’s of them relating to Satan.
During the mid 1970’s, two types of sub-genres
emerged, one being slasher horror, like The Nightmare
On Elm Street and the other being animal horror, like
The horror continues 1990s2000s
S The horror films continued with these under lining sub
genres for a while, mainly slasher movies as most of the
slasher movies had sequels which were hugely
Modern day horror
S Modern day horror consists of almost all of these sub-
genres, remakes of older movies are made and new
content is being produced all of the time varying from
psychological horror to gore to the occult. Most films
nowadays try to be creepy which involves something that
is not completely scary, just something that is not quit
right and is eerie.
Main conventions in Horror
S Music – Usually a single high pitched violin note or high
pitched piano keys being played.
S Lighting – Usually set in a dark environment with minimal
S Setting – The setting is usually in places where you
would expect something scary to happen, like a forest, or
a secluded house in the middle of nowhere.
S Title – The title would usually be something short and
snappy, usually beginning with “the” with a single word
after it, for example, the ring, the strangers, the
exorcist, the purge. The font of the title is usually sharp
and creepy looking too.
S Narrative – In almost every horror film, someone dies.
Horror films don’t have to end with an equilibrium, they
usually end on a death, or some sort of ending to their
S Characters – The villain is usually someone that can’t be
stopped, like a ghost or a supernatural being of some
sort. Sometimes the villain can be a human, and when it
is, they are usually deranged or insane or they have
some sort of power. The main character isn’t set to
usually being one gender like other genres, in horror, it
could be a male or a female.