History of the Horror Genre

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History of the Horror Genre

  1. 1. History of the Horror Genre http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horror_film
  2. 2. Horror Features and Elements The Horror Genre seeks to bring out a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience‟s primal fears. They usually feature scenes that startle the viewer and sometimes overlap with the fantasy, supernatural and thriller genres. Horror films often deal with the viewers hidden fears, nightmares, revulsions and, terror of the unknown. Many plots within the horror genre often involve the intrusion of an evil force, event or personage, which is commonly a supernatural origin, entering into the everyday world. Characters/elements include things like, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, demons, vicious animals, monsters, zombies and serial killers.
  3. 3. Horror in 1890s-1920s In 1910, the first „monster‟ was made real through a film from Edison Studios, producing the first version of Frankenstein, which was thought lost for many years. The second monster appeared in a horror film which was Quasimodo, who was the hunchback of Notre-Dame. This monster was shown in many films like Esmeralda (1905) and Notre-Dame de Paris (1911). Another monster, a vampire, was shown in the first vampirethemed movie during this time called Nosferatu (1922). This was an unauthorized adaptation of Dracula. Hollywood dramas used horror themes too including versions of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1923) and The Monster (1925).
  4. 4. 1920s Films Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1920) The Phantom Carriage (Sweden, 1920) The Lost World (1925) The Phantom Of The Opera (1925) Waxworks (Germany, 1924) London After Midnight (1927)
  5. 5. Horror in 1930s-1940s During the early period, the American Movie studio Universal Pictures began a successful Gothic Horror film series. This included films like Dracula (1931) and was quickly followed with Frankenstein (1931) and The Old Dark House (1932). Some of theses gothic horror films blended with science fiction such as The Invisible Man (1933). These were created to thrill the audience but to also incorporate more serious elements. Frankenstein was the first series which lasted for many years with films like Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939). Universal Studios influenced other studios to make horrors like Tod Browning who made a film called Freaks (1932) which was about a band of circus freaks. The studio disowned the completed film after cutting about 30 minutes; it remained unreleased in the UK for 30 years.
  6. 6. 1930s-1940s Films Mystery of the Wax Museum (Warner Brothers, 1933) Island of Lost Souls (Paramount, 1932) The Body Snatcher (1945) Cat People (1942) I Walked with a Zombie (1943) The Wolf Man (1941)
  7. 7. Horror in 1950s-1960s A stream of low-budget productions started to feature overcoming threats from the “outside” such as alien invasions and deadly mutations to people, plants and insects. An example of this is the horror film from Japan, Godzilla (1954) and its sequels, which also included effects of nuclear radiation. During the 1950s, Great Britain emerged as a producer of horror films. The Hammer Productions company started to focus on the horror genre for the first time, gaining huge international success as they were involving classic horror characters in colour for the first time. For example, The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958). Peeping Tom (1960) by British Producer Michael Powell was the first “slasher” movie. This film concerns a serial killer who combines his occupation as a photographer with the moments before murdering his victims. Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock was also a “slasher” film but also had examples of natural horror.
  8. 8. 1950s-1960s Films Night of the Living Dead (1968) The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Tarantula! (1955) Black Sunday (1960) The Haunting (1963)
  9. 9. Horror in the 1970s-1980s The Exorcist (1973), made significant commercial success, and was followed by many more films in which the Devil represented the supernatural evil, often by impregnating women or possessing children. “Evil Children” and reincarnation became popular subjects. Audrey Rose (1977) is an example of this, as the film deals with a man who claims that his daughter is the reincarnation of another dead person. A cycle of slasher films were made during the 1970s and early 1980s for example, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). The 1980s saw a wave of gory “B movie” horror films, although most of them were panned by critics, many became cult classics and later saw success with critics with films such as the Evil Dead movies and the classic Fright Night (1985).
  10. 10. 1970s-1980s Films Halloween (1978) Friday the 13th (1980) The Shining (1980) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) Young Frankenstein (1974)
  11. 11. Horror in the 1990s The first half of the 1990s, the genre continued many themes from the 1980s, like the slasher films. Silence of the Lambs (1991) was extremely successful at this time. Horror was pushed backwards during this period by two main problems: - the horror genre wore itself out with the reproduction of nonstop slasher and gore films from the eighties. - the adolescent audience which feasted on the blood and horror of the previous decade grew up, and the replacement audience of films of an imaginative nature were being captured instead. This included an explosion of science-fiction and fantasy films. To re-connect with its audience, horror became more selfmockingly ironic and outright parodic, especially in the later half of the 1990s. Films like Scream started in 1996 and became popular with the usual mix of horror and ironic humour which led to 4 Scream films.
  12. 12. 1990s Films Braindead (1992) Interview with the Vampire (1994) New Nightmare (1994) Candyman (1992) Blade (1998) House on Haunted Hill (1999)
  13. 13. Horror in the 2000s A release of an extended version of The Exorcist in September 2000 was successful despite the film being available on home video for years. The Jeepers Creepers series was also successful. Remakes of the earlier horror movies became routine in the 2000s. They were popular with all audiences. There was a major return of the zombie genre in horror movies made after 2000. The Return of the Living Dead (1985) was inspiration to zombie movies as it had a style of aggressive zombies. Some updated remakes: - Dawn of the Dead (2004) - Shaun of the Dead (2004)  mixed with the comedy genre
  14. 14. 2000s Films Final Destination (2000) The Ring (2002) Hellboy (2004) Silent Hill (2006) Prom Night (2008) Paranormal Activity (2009)
  15. 15. 2010s Films The Wolfman (2010) Piranha 3D (2010) Insidious (2011) Fright Night (2011) The Cabin in the Woods (2012) Evil Dead (2013) The Conjuring (2013)

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