1900’s1900sIn the early 1900s German filmmakers created the firsthorror-themed feature films, and director Paul Wegener enjoyedgreat success with his version of the old Jewish folk tale DerGolem in 1913 (which he remade -- to even greater success -- in1920). This fable about an enormous clay figure, which is broughtto life by an antiquarian and then fights against its forcedservitude, was a clear precursor to the many monster movies thatflourished in Hollywood during the Thirties.
1920’s1920sThe most enduring early German horror film is probably F.W.MurnausNosferatu (1922), the first feature-length vampiremovie. But one movie paved the way for the "serious" horror film -- and art cinema in general -- Robert Wienes work of genius TheCabinet of Dr. Caligari, still held up as an model of the potentcreativity of cinema even to this day. Early Hollywood dramadabbles in horror themes including versions of The Hunchback ofNotre Dame (1923) starring Lon Chaney, the first Americanhorror-film movie star.
1930’s1930sIt was in the early 1930s that Universal Studios, createdthe modern horror film genre, bringing to the screen a series ofsuccessful gothic-steeped features including Dracula, Frankenstein(both 1931) and The Mummy (1932) -- all of which spawnednumerous sequels. No other studio had as much success with thegenre (even if some of the films made at Paramount and MGMwere better).
1950’s1950sIn the nuclear-charged atmosphere of the 1950s the tone ofhorror films shifted away from the gothic and towards the modern.Aliens took over the local cinema, if not the world, and they were notat all interested in extending the tentacle of friendship. Humanity hadto overcome endless threats from Outside: alien invasions, and deadlymutations to people, plants, and insects. Two of the most popular filmsof the period were The Thing From Another World (1951) andInvasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Horror movies became a lotmore lurid -- and gorier -- in the late Fifties as the technical side ofcinematography became easier and cheaper.
1960’s1960sThe early 1960s saw the release of two films that sought toclose the gap between the subject matter and the viewer, andinvolve the latter in the reprehensible deeds shown on screen. Onewas Michael Powells Peeping Tom, the other was a very low-budget film called Psycho, both using all-too-human monstersrather than supernatural ones to scare the audience.
1970’s1970sWhen Rosemarys Baby began ringing tills in the late Sixties,horror film budgets rose significantly, and many top names jumped atthe chance to show off their theatrical skills in a horror pic. By thattime, a public fascination with the occult led to a series of serious,supernatural-themed, often explicitly gruesome horror movies. TheExorcist (1973) broke all records for a horror film, and led to thecommercial success of The Omen. In 1975, Jaws, directed by a youngSteven Spielberg, became the highest grossing film ever. The genrefractured somewhat in the late 1970s, with mainstream Hollywoodfocusing on disaster movies such as The Towering Inferno, whileindependent filmmakers came up with disturbing and explicit gore-festssuch as Tobe Hoopers The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
1980’s1980 - 1990John Carpenters Halloween introduced the teens-threatened-by-superhuman-evil theme that would be copied in dozens of increasinglyviolent movies throughout the 1980s including the long running Friday the13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street series. Horror movies turned to self-mocking irony and downright parody in the 1990s -- the teenagers in Screamoften made reference to the history of horror movies. Only 1999s surpriseindependent hit The Blair Witch Project attempted regular scares. So goahead, take a stroll through these favourite horror movies of all time. But pickyour way very carefully, this walk is not for the faint of heart. And if youhappen to hear what sounds like some subdued whispering or soft creepy gratingsounds, just pay no attention to it. Its probably only the wind.
2000’s 2000’sThe Exorcist is given a cinema release The US looks to Japanfor inspiration, resulting in The Ring Freddy Vs Jason sees the 2 mainprotagonists of Friday 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street in a monstermash The Grudge is the next Japanese horror to be Americanised TheSaw franchise is launched Sub-genre ‘torture porn’ is born Remakes arereleased, including The Hills Have Eyes and Halloween. Monsters andpsychopaths were gone as it was thought they were too reminiscent ofbin laden and reminders of 9/11/12. Horror films now are mixtures ofthings from gore, psychological thrillers, the ending of the world andmonsters.