1900’s 1900sIn the early 1900s Germanfilmmakers created the first horror-themed feature films, anddirector Paul Wegener enjoyed great success with his version ofthe old Jewish folk tale Der Golem in 1913 (which he remade --to even greater success -- in 1920). This fable about anenormous clay figure, which is brought to life by an antiquarian andthen fights against its forced servitude, was a clear precursor tothe many monster movies that flourished in Hollywood during theThirties.
1920’s1920sThe most enduring early German] horror film is probably F.W.MurnausNosferatu (1922), the first feature-length vampire movie.But one movie paved the way for the "serious" horror film -- and artcinema in general -- Robert Wienes work of genius The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari, still held up as an model of the potent creativity of cinemaeven to this day. Early Hollywood drama dabbles in horror themesincluding versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) starringLon Chaney, the first American horror-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’sThe early 1960s saw the release of two films that sought to close thegap between the subject matter andthe viewer, and involve the latter inthe reprehensible deeds shown on screen. One was MichaelPowells Peeping Tom, the other was a very low-budget film calledPsycho, both using all-too-human monsters rather thansupernatural ones to scare the audience.
1970’s1970sWhen Rosemarys Baby began ringing tills in the late Sixties, horror film budgets rose significantly, and many top namesjumped atthe chance to show off their theatrical skills in a horror pic.By that time, a public fascination with the occult led to a series of serious,supernatural-themed, often explicitly gruesome horror movies. The Exorcist (1973) broke all records for a horror film, and ledto the commercial success of The Omen. In 1975, Jaws, directed bya young Steven Spielberg, became the highest grossing film ever. The genre fractured somewhat in the late 1970s, with mainstream Hollywood focusing on disaster movies such as The Towering Inferno, while independent filmmakers came up with disturbing and explicit gore-fests such as Tobe Hoopers TheTexas 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 Japan forinspiration, resulting in The Ring Freddy Vs Jason sees the 2 mainprotagonists of Friday 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street in a monster mashThe Grudge is the next Japanese horror to be Americanised The Sawfranchise 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 of binladen and reminders of 9/11/12. Horror films now are mixtures of thingsfrom gore, psychological thrillers, the ending of the world and monsters.