The first depictions of supernatural events are pictured in
shorts created by Georges Melies in the late 1890s.
Two horror films were made in 1898. ‘Bake Jizo’ and Shinin
no Sosei’from Japan.
In 1910,Edison Studios produced the first film version
In 1922, the first vampire movie was made ‘Nosferatu’
The Haunted Castle – 3 minute short film known as the
first horror film to be shown with some features that
were meant to amuse the audience but ended up scaring
them. This also became known as the first vampire movie
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari becomes one of the most
influential films in German expressionist films,
critically exclaimed as the best horror film of the
The monster known as the first mad scientist film,
shows the first cowardly hero in a horror film but
people class the supposedly tense and horror scenes as
Universal Pictures began a successful line of horror films
starting with Tom Browning’s ‘Dracula’ (1931)
With the progression of the genre actors were starting to
make careers in just Horror films, especially Brois Karloff
and Bela Lugosi
The Mummy (1932) introduced Egyptology as a theme for the
Sound adds an extra dimension to terror, whether it be music
used to build suspense or signal the presence of a threat.
Sound and dialogue was introduced to Horror movies. Sounds
such as monsters grunting, groaning and also howling helped
indicate to the audience the music used was to build
The hunchback of Notre-Dame becomes the first horror film
that had a visual monster.
The Invisible Man considered one of the greatest films from
universal pictures in the horror genre.
Two sub-genres were introduced, Armageddon films and demonic
films, featuring humanity overcoming ‘outside’ threats like
aliens, mutations and bugs were made.
Filmmakers continued to merge elements of science fiction and
horror over the following decades.
Films involving classic horror characters which were shown in
colour for the first time.
Great Britain became a main producer of horror films. Alfred
Hitchcock’s ‘psycho’ was the first ‘slasher’ film.
The masque of the red death and the tomb of ligeia known to
some as being both films that paved the way for films to
illustrate explicit violence horror films.
Frankenstein was first released in colour.
The first Dracula film was released where Dracula actually
had fangs. Some sexual content was involved in the film.
There was lots of blood and gore in this decade and the light
hearted horror soon turned into a distressing watch
More films with the Occult theme were released, starting with
the Exorcist and followed by a series of films involving the
Alien combined the naturalistic acting and graphic violence
of the 1970s with the monster movie plots of earlier decades
and used science fiction.
The 1980s saw a wave of gory films like Sam Raimi’s Evil
John Carpenter created ‘Halloween’ in 1978 and Wes Craven
directed ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’. They were followed by
increasingly violent ‘Slasher’ Films over the following
Horror films began to get better and so the films were
reflecting the rim moods of the decade.
The Exorcist was banned from being published from 1973 until
1999 because it was deemed as the most shocking, sick-making
and soul destroying work ever to emerge from filmland.
Jaws is released becomes the highest grossing film in history
at the time, also called an iconic film with an iconic
To reconnect with the audience the horror genre became
parodic and self-mocking.
Wes Craven’s ‘Scream’ films started in the 90s and made
fun of the typical conventions of ‘slasher’ films.
New Nightmare, The dark Half, The Candy man, were part of a
mini-movement of self-reflexive or metafictional horror
films. Each film touched upon the relationship between
fictional horror and real-world horror.
The horror genre wore itself out with the proliferation of
nonstop slasher and gore films in the 80s
The early 2000s were quiet for the genre and mainly consisted
of remakes of classic horror films,
Zombie films made a return, with films like ‘resident Evil’
and ‘28 Days Later’ playing a big part in the return.
Torture films like ‘Saw’ have also become very popular
because of the massive amount of gore involved.
Final Destination marked a successful revival of teen-
centered horror and spawned four sequels.
Asian horror movies which have been remade into American
versions such as The Ring and The Grudge. Also there was an
increase in the Zombie horror such as Dawn of the Dead,
Resident evil as well zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead.
Another trend is the emergence of psychology to scare
audience, rather than gore. ‘The Others’ proved to be a
successful example of psychological horror film, particularly
in the emergence of Asian horror movies which have been
remade into successful Americanized versions, such as The
Ring, and The Grudge.
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