1890s-1920s• The first depictions of supernatural events are pictured in shorts created by Georges Méliès in the late 1890s. The most well known being ‘Le Manoir du diable’ (1896)• Japan made two horror films in 1898, ‘Bake Jizo’ and ’Shinin no Sosei’.• In the early 20th century Quasimodo the hunchback of Notre-Dame was the first monster to appear in a horror film.• ‘Nosferatu’ the first vampire movie was made in 1922.
1930s-1940s• Universal Pictures began a successful line of Horror films starting with Tom Browning’s ‘Dracula’ (1931) starring Bela Lugosi.• James Whale’s ‘Frankenstein’ (1931) followed soon after, and continued in a series of films about Frankenstein.• In 1932 Tom Browning made the once controversial film ‘Freaks’ about a group of circus freaks.• With the progression of the genre actors were starting to make careers in just Horrors films, especially Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.
1950s-1960s• With advancements in technology the genre began to shift in the direction of two sub-genres, Armageddon films and Demonic films. Lots of films featuring humanity overcoming ‘outside’ threats like aliens, mutations and bugs were made.• During the late 1950s Great Britain became a main producer of horror films. Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ (1960) was the first ‘slasher’ film. ‘The Birds’ (1963) was also made by Alfred Hitchcock and shows the horror of nature going mad.• The massively influential film ‘Night of the Living Dead’ (1968) Directed and produced by George A. Romero was released and brought horror into the real life.
1970s-1980s• More films with the Occult theme were released, starting with The Exorcist (1973) and followed by a series of films involving the Devil.• The ideas of the 1960s began to influences films with ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ and ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ Recalling the Vietnam war.• John Carpenter created ‘Halloween’ in 1978 and Wes Craven directed ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ in 1980. They were followed by increasingly violent ‘slasher’ films over the following decades.• The 1980s saw a wave of gory films like Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead films.
1990s• Due to number of ‘slasher’ films being released in the 1980s the Horror genre was in decline, however classic films like ‘Silence of the Lambs’ were still being created.• 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.• Along with the films ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ and ‘Urban Legend’, the ‘Scream’ films re-ignited the ‘slasher’ genre.
2000s• 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.
I have researched the history of the Horror genre to learnhow it evolved and what the conventions of it were in eachperiod of it’s change. This will help me when I plan my filmopening as I will know what to conventions to use as it is amodern horror film.