The 1970s and 1980s of horror In the 1950s and the 1960s horror films mainly focused on the hammer horror genre. This evolved from the first horror genre known as Gothic horror. Many of these films relied on fear of the unknown and the atmosphere to frighten its audience. Two of the most iconic hammer horror films of the 50s were The Mummy, and the horror of Dracula.
Hammer horror started to die out in the late 60s, as it had become a bit of a cliché. Bring on the 70s, where horror changed completely. As Gothic horror had been done so many times, many directors were keen to expand and try out new ideas, to attract their audiences. Some of these ideas were the Occult genre, which had films like The Exorcist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDGw1MTEe9kn and The Wickerman.
The supernatural genre, which contained films such as the Legend of Hell House http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MDF9vZVd_s and Audrey Rose.
Thirdly there was the Psychological genre, which featured such films like The Last House on the Left http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8W9KPhmYYtg and Duel.
Lastly there were the films which focused on nature or Armageddon. Such examples are
Prophecy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zLb9UtQhy8 and Jaws.
A famous genre in the seventies was the Slasher and Splatter genre. Before this time many films were shown in black and white.
In the seventies many movies were filmed in Technicolor, which meant that gore and graphical violence could start being used. Some of the biggest slasher films were The Hills have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. These films were the first of their type and dawned a new age of horror.
A very popular genre back in the seventies were B grade horror films and these were a variation on hammer horror films. These were films that were made by independent film companies and didn’t have a lot of money, because of this many films had to use really cheap makeup. As well as the makeup, the narratives and the acting was really cheesy. I made my own slasher B grade film, and like some of the B grade films back then, it is just as bad.
In 1973 this chilling classic was released. Many people say this film set the benchmark for all other horror films. This film was one of the most famous of its time and is still held in high recognition today. Even though it was gory in places, it still had elements of the Gothic genre, which preceded it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDi319HFSTY&feature=related An interview with the actress who played the possessed girl.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy1j1DZNws8&feature=related Interviews with cast and crew.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsA3nxzgK-M&feature=related How the American audience reacted to this film
At the end of the seventies, filming budgets were cut and age limits were imposed on films. As of this reason many horror films went straight to VHS meaning that directors could add in a lot more gore. By this time C.G.I, make up and costume had improved too. If you thought the seventies were gory, you haven’t seen anything yet. Four of the most goriest films back then were
the Bride of Reanimator
The Evil Dead, which was so gory that it had to be withdrawn from cinema.
Nightmares in the Damaged Brain, this film was banned in the UK and its distributor was sent to prison, for refusing to edit out a particularly gory sequence.
Another very popular horror franchise which started in the 80s, was the Child’s Play one, which focused on the toy Chucky, which had been possessed by the spirit of a killer. It is not as gory, as films were in the 80s and more focused on psychological scares. This film is a good mix of the genres, shown in the two previous decades. It has elements of gore and of mental horror. It combined two genres of horror which dawned the age of the hybrid films of the 90s.