History of the genre


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History of the genre

  1. 1. The History of Horror Films By Matthew Simpson
  2. 2. History of Horror 1890-1929: European Films • 1890 – Films were amateur and made little or no profit from the screenings. • 1890 – George Mêlées’ the French film maker made silent ‘Monster Movies’. • 1922 – German ‘Vampire Films emerge. • 1925 – ‘Phantom of the Opera’ a film where the audience is drawn into looking at a creature, even though the shouldn’t. • 1929 – Wall Street crash effected movie making internationally and many movies were put on hold.
  3. 3. History of Horror in the early 1930’s: Hollywood Films • 1930’s – Universal Studios create Gothic Horror Films (Dracula and Frankenstein). • Universals ‘Dracula’ was the first movie with sound but some might argue that this film wasn’t gothic enough. • August 1931 – ‘Frankenstein’ produced one of the greatest make-up monsters of all time. • 1931 – Paramount film ‘DR Jekyll and MR Hyde’ used the mamoulian filter for the first time. • 1930’s – Warner Brothers did gangster movies and waxworks horror.
  4. 4. History of Horror: Late 1930’s • Late 1930’s – Sadistic films were made. • Universal Studios produce ‘The old dark house’ directed by James Whale. • James Whale had full control over the production of ‘Frankenstein's Wife’. • German film ‘Freaks’, was the first film to cast real circus people. • 1939 – ‘Son of Frankenstein’ was made.
  5. 5. History of Horror: 1940 - 1950 • 1940 – Sequels to popular early horror movies were produced. • Val Luton became head of horror at RKO Studios. • 1942 – the film ‘Cat People’ was produced. • ‘Luton Bus’ technique used in movies at this time to build up tension when something harmless comes. • 1945 – Bela Lugosi stars in ‘The Return of the Vampire’. • 1951 – Dracula stage play on Broadway. • Early 1950’s – Horror cinema production ceased in Hollywood after barely two decades. • 1950 – Alien Invasions (Body Snatchers) movies start to be made.
  6. 6. History of Horror: Mid-Late 1950’s • Mid 1950’s – Horror came to Britain, commonly known as Hammer Horror and commonly associated as being camp. • Many were filmed in and around the home counties. • Many films used Bray Film Studios which included an atmospheric late 18th century house. • 1954 – The popular film ‘The Quartermass Experiment’ was made. • 1957 – ‘The Curse of Frankenstein’ was made. This film was the first film in colour and included shocking violence and gore. Terrence Fisher was the director. • 1957 – ‘Night of the Demon’ was a supernatural and Psychological thriller by Jack Dunure. • 1958 – Another version of ‘Dracula’ was filmed. This was the first film were vampires had fangs and the film contained sexual elements. The opening scene was dramatic because Dracula’s tomb had blood dripping from it.
  7. 7. History of Horror: 1960’s • In the 1960’s Hammer Films continues to be popular from British film Studios. • 1960’s – Hollywood start to produce Psychological Horror. • Directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Michael Powell lead the way making psychological Horror movies. • 1960 – Psycho was directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and the film was made cheaply and resourcefully, great tension is created even without showing any gore. • Alfred Hitchcock went on to direct films such as ‘The Birds’ (1963). • 1960 – Michael Powell directed ‘Sleeping Tom’. • 1968 – ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ was considered one of the scariest movies. It is about a young couple who move to a New York flat. Unaware that their neighbours are Satanists. • This began the move to Occult Horror which continued into the 1970’s.
  8. 8. History of Horror: 1970’s • Early 1970’s – Occult Horror became popular such as ‘The Exorcist’ (1973) Written by William Peter Blatty and directed by William Friedkin. • 1973 – ‘The Wicker Man’ was set on a remote island in Scotland. • 1976 – ‘The Omen’ was written by David Seltzer and directed by Richard Donner. These movies were so popular that several sequels were made. • 1979 – ‘The Amityville Horror’ one family’s allegedly true-life escape from a house haunted by demons, updated the haunted house story.
  9. 9. History of Horror: 1980 – 2000+ • 1980 & 90’s – Post modern self aware horror from directors Wes Craven and kevin Williamson films such as ‘Scream’ (1996) and ‘Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). • Typically in post modern horror movies no-one ever gets a mobile phone signal and the killer never dies (you think they have, but they always come back). • 1999 - A new rare genre of mockumentary horror film emerged starting with the ground breaking ‘Blair witch Project’. • Made cheaply using handheld cameras it showed a very realistic style of filming which blurred the sense of reality and fiction. • From 2000 onwards American remaking of old horror films ‘Halloween’ has happened. • Now films can make millions when they come out in the cinema due to all of the CGI and special effects that are used. • The quality of the films of today are so high that millions and millions of people go to see them everyday.