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The development of horror films


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The development of horror films

  1. 1. = Trodovs 8 props = Hybrid/Subgenre =Sound = Camera Work = Binary opposition = Lighting = NarrativeThe first Horror movies (1920):Silent film offered the first typical horror movie in 1920. The visual appearances of the first horror movies were vital in making the movies appearrealistic to the audience as there was no audio. However, important stereotypical features of modern horror, such as darkness and shadows wereimpossible to represent at the time, so most horror movies were filmed in daylight, which would seem surreal to an audience today. Although, somefeatures of the first horror movies would be portrayed as surreal to an audience of today, the early admissions to the genre helped establish many ofthe codes and conventions still recognisable today (e.g. monsters). Rely heavily on the use of lighting as the films were black and white, this portraysa binary opposition. Most of the films also consist of equilibrium and portray the enigma code to tell the narrative as there was no sound.DATE FILM NARRATIVE CHARACTERS TECHNIQUES THEMES AUDIENCE APPEAL1919The Cabinetof DrCaligariSet in a fictional North Germantown. An eerie exploration ofthe mind of a madman, pittingan evil doctor against a herofalsely imprisoned in anoutrageous shelter.Enigmacode- who’s the real hero?Represents equilibrium assomething goes wrong and issolved in the end.False Hero =imprisonedcharacterVillain = Madam/doctorRunning time: 80 minutes. The narrativeis presented through a frame story. Mostof the plot is presented as a flashback.Cutting between scenes. Shadows are useddramatically within the film, so that theaudience doesn’t know which characteris sane.Highly based on the visual to tellthe narrative of the film. As there was nosound at the time of the film. This meansthat the binary opposite of the lightingofthe film was used to help tell the narrativeof who the characters were.HorrorSEE PAGE 10The film was certificatedat a U, this means thatthey film was able to beviewed by anyone, as ithad no age restriction. Itappealed to its targetaudience through the useof the narrative, such asthe equilibrium andenigma.1920The GolemAbundantly symbolic narrativefrom Jewish mythology. A giantclay monster that stood by tosave the Jewish citizens of Praguefrom the anger of the emperorwho accused them of theritualistic murder of children.Represents equilibriumthroughout the film, also portraysenigma as it creates suspense ofwho killed the children.Villain = EmperorHero= Clay monsterFalse Hero =EmperorRunning time: 70 minutes. Binary oppositeof black and white. The contrast of thecolours represented the hero, false heroand villain.Again, it was based on the visualto tell the narrative as there was no sound.Hybrid: Horror/FantasySEE PAGE 10Target audience areaimed at Jewish people asit is apart of Jewishmythology. Certificated ata PG, which means that allages are admittedhowever, some scenesmay not be suitable foryounger children. Appealsto it audience through theenigma code and thechange of equilibrium.
  2. 2. = Trodovs 8 props = Hybrid/Subgenre =Sound = Camera Work = Binary opposition = Lighting = NarrativeHorror movies 1930s:Horror movies were reborn in the 1930s. The arrival of soundhad now been introduced and added into the films. The dreamlike imagery of the 1920s wasnow being made more realistic. Sound added an extra dimension to horror, as the films became more representative. The music used helped to buildsuspense (enigma) to the audience. The film creators emphasised on the use of costume. During the 1930s there were two main actors known as BelaLugosi and Boris Karloff. However, though sound had been introduced characters were still portrayed as over theatrical with the heavy special make-up.Similarly, with the 1920s the horror genre still consisted of the heavy use of enigma and equilibrium to narrate the film. Nonetheless, there was still nocolour within the film so the film still relied heavily in the binary oppositeof black and white.DATE FILM NARRATIVE CHARACTERS TECHNIQUES THEMES AUDIENCE APPEAL1931DraculaA normal citizen and Van Helsingput a vampire preying on theweak and innocent through hispaces.Villain = DraculaHero = VanFalse Hero =JonathanThe movie practically invented the conceptof land of swirling mists, howling wolves,frightened peasants and crumbling castles.Lighting is used in contrast to one another,however, this is done to represent thebinary opposite of night and dayHorrorSEE PAGE 10The film appeals to thosewho enjoy watching thesupernatural and surreal.A sense of enigma asthere’s Trodovs 8 propstheory so the audienceare suspicious of who thehero is.1931FrankensteinDr. Frankenstein is a scientist whopieces together human bodyparts to create the monster‘Frankenstein’s monster’ andafter it accidentally killedsomeone everyone wants rid ofit.Villain =FrankensteinFranketeins monster was made to be ascary terrifying monster through use of ahard suit. When Frankenstein’s monster iscreated the light is specific on thedarkness, this is also done by the type ofcamera movements. The use of binaryopposition is created through the lightingto portray Frankenstein whether its goodor bad.Hybrid: Horror/science fictionSEE PAGE 10Again the film appeals tothough who enjoy the useof using a film forescapism (uses andgratification theory) aswit drags away from thenormality that we live inthrough the use ofcostume and computergenerated images.
  3. 3. = Trodovs 8 props = Hybrid/Subgenre =Sound = Camera Work = Binary opposition = Lighting = NarrativeHorror movies 1940s:Different countries now had different views on horror. American horror in the late 1940’s started to look at wartime horror whereas this type of horrorwasn’t allowed in Britain. The 1930’s horror market had dealt with well-established fictional characters whereas the 1940’s then dealt with theinternalisation of the horror market. Horror film characters now had people’s primitive animal instincts peeking through, throughout the 1940’s. Thistherefore, created a new aspect of horror with the hint of further escapism (uses and gratification theory) that the audiences were able to attach to as ofthe supernatural features such as a ‘wolf man’.Date Film Narrative Characters Techniques Themes Audience Appeal1941The Wolf ManA practical man returnsto his homeland, isattacked by a creature offolklore, and infectedwith a horrific disease hisdisciplined mind tells himcannot possibly exist.Villain = The creature offolkloreDamsel in distress = Thehelpless manRunning Time: 70 minutes.We don’t see an on screen transformationuntil the last 10 minutes, which is createdby costume and props. He takes off hisshoes and only then do we see the lapdissolve method. Afterwards we do seehim transform back using the standardtechnique. When the wolf man is presentthe film turns darker than before eventhough it was still dark previously. Thisrepresents binary opposition between thelighting.Hybrid: Horror/DramaSEE PAGE 10It appeals to those whoenjoy watching films toescape (uses andgratification theory)from the normality of theworld, as the filmportrays aspects of thesupernatural. The filmwas also certificated at aU, which means that thefilm would be certificatedfor all viewers.1941Cat PeopleThe story is that of awoman named Irena whobelieves she is cursed inthe sense that she willturn into a giant felinecreature if sheconsummates hermarriage.Damsel in distress = IrenaVillain = giantfeline/marriageRunning time: 73 minutesThe story is a narrative telling of Irena’sstory. Heavy use of shadows as this allowspeople to make up their own mind aboutwhat happened in the film, this would alsocause suspense and mystery (enigma code)as the audience question whose shadow iswhose.Hybrid: Horror /mystery / RomanceSEE PAGE 10This film would be forthose who enjoy theescapism (uses andgratification theory) of afilm. It would also be forthose who enjoy amystery and sense ofsuspense as of the heavyuse of shadows.
  4. 4. = Trodovs 8 props = Hybrid/Subgenre =Sound = Camera Work = Binary opposition = Lighting = NarrativeHorror movies 1950s:The 1950’s evolved two eras of horror films. The first was wartime horror with real wartime villains such as the person who developed the atom bomb,death camp leaders and mad scientists developing new weapons. In these times horror films were degraded to B-list as people were too hung up onwidespread colour and trying to diminish the posing threat by television. The second is mutant horror with films such as Godzilla being made.Date Film Narrative Characters Techniques Themes Audience Appeal1954GodzillaAmerican nuclearweapons testing resultsin the creation of aseemingly unstoppable,dinosaur-like beast.Villain = Godzilla Running time: 96 minutesWe see a stuntman in a monster suit forthe most part but there is the stop motiontechnique used in one scene to createsome of the monsters movement scenes.Less lighting used apart from during thestorms mainly around when Godzillaappears. Holds a significant amount ofcomputer generated images (CGI).Hybrid: Drama/Horror/ sciencefictionSEE PAGE 10Again it appeals to thosewho generally enjoy filmsto escape (uses andgratification) as of thecomputer generatedimagery. It would alsoapply to those who maynot enjoy horror butenjoy watching sciencefiction.1959The HauntedHouse on theHillEccentric millionaireFredrick Loren and his4th wife, Annabelle,have invited 5 people tothe house on HauntedHill for a "hauntedHouse" party. Whoeverwill stay in the house forone night will earn tenthousand dollars each.False Hero= Fredrick LorenVillain = Haunted house/Fredrick LorenRunning Time: 93 MinutesThe effects of the house being haunted aswell as the ‘monster’ in the house show apoor form of editing. Lighting is generallyused more at the start of the film. This filmwould also hold computer generatedimagery to bring the ‘monster’ to life.Hybrid: Horror/Mystery/ ThrillerSEE PAGE 10Those who are interestedin watching films with atype of game show sensewill enjoy watching this asof the aspect of winningmoney. The film appealsto a wide range ofaudience as of thedifferent elements ofgenre it has within it.
  5. 5. = Trodovs 8 props = Hybrid/Subgenre =Sound = Camera Work = Binary opposition = Lighting = NarrativeHorror movies 1960s:The 1960s brought about a different kind of horror; psychological horror. As seen before in films such as ‘The Haunted House on the Hill’ psychologicalhorror brings a new thrill to the audience and a new way for the audience to view a horror film. Post war rumblings about females and homosexuals meanthorror films gave them an outlet to vent feelings and visions. This coupled with being more open to on screen nudity, bloody violence and other things thatchallenged social morals gave us 1960s horror.Date Film Narrative Characters Techniques Themes Audience Appeal1960PsychoA young woman steals$40,000 from heremployers client, andsubsequentlyencounters a youngmotel proprietor toolong under thedomination of hismother.Villain = The youngwomanRunning Time: 109 minutesThe film is shot through 50mm and 35mmlens cameras which mimicks the humaneyesight. Helping to further involve theaudience. The lighting is extremely close tothat of normal lighting although it seemsharsher during pivotal scenes such as theshower scene.Hybrid: Horror/mystery/ ThrillerSEE PAGE 10This film would apply tothose who like things lessobvious and where theyare questioning thenarrative throughout thefilm, which gives a senseof enigma, as whathappens is not obvious. Itwould apply to a widerange of people as of thedifferent aspects of othergenres such as mysteryand thriller.1963The BirdsA wealthy San Franciscosocialite pursues apotential boyfriend to asmall Northern Californiatown that slowly takes aturn for the bizarrewhen birds of all kindssuddenly begin to attackpeople there inincreasing numbers andwith increasingviciousness.Villain = birdsDamsel in distress =socialiteRunning time: 119 minutesClever use of photography. Extremelybleak lighting where the children areconcerned. But lighting is increasinglysharp when the birds attack.Hybrid : Horror/ThrillerSEE PAGE 10SEE ABOVE
  6. 6. = Trodovs 8 props = Hybrid/Subgenre =Sound = Camera Work = Binary opposition = Lighting = NarrativeHorror movies 1970s:The 1970s brought back the grim brand of horror movies after the optimistic brand of horror movie, which was the decade of 1960 with its sexual andcultural revolutions. The main feature in the 70s seemed to be childbirth, the gruesome by product of sexual encounters and the contraceptive pill. Childrenare a big feature in horror films from childbirth to developing defects caused by the pill or other sources.Date Film Narrative Characters Techniques Themes Audience Appeal1973The ExorcistWhen a girl is possessedby a mysterious entity,her mother seeks thehelp of two priests tosave her daughter.Helper = MotherVillain = the possessionDamsel in distress = thelittle girlRunning Time: 122 minutesAlthough it was cut out, the contortionistperforming the spider walk scene wasshown to be a great piece of work exceptit showed a few cables when she waswalking down the stairs. Also, life sizepuppets were made for Linda. Very darkand eerie. Left a lot in suspense(enigma).Hybrid: Drama/HorrorSEE PAGE 10This would appeal to anaudience who enjoyaspects of a drama andthe supernatural due tothe possession. It wouldalso appeal to those whoenjoy a sense ofadventure in films as ofthe stages needed to gothrough to overcome thepossession. Due to thefilm being supernaturalan audience who watchfilms to escape (uses andgratification theory) willalso enjoy it.1975Jaws When a gigantic greatwhite shark begins tomenace the small islandcommunity of Amity, apolice chief, a marinescientist and grizzledfisherman set out tostop it.Villain=great white sharkHeroes=marine scientist,fisherman and police chiefRunning time: 122 minutesPoint of view camera angles are usedmaking the movie all that more eerie.Not much specialised lighting used as themovie is partly underwater. The enigmabuilt up when the great white eyes itsprey is the great success of this film andthe 3 setting out to stop the shark areclueless leading them to all the moreeerie and suspenseful moments.Hybrid: Horror/ThrillerSEE PAGE 10This film would interestthose who enjoy lookinginto and thecharacteristics of sharks.There is also a sense ofenigma in the film as theaudience won’t knowwhat to expect, so wouldtherefore find interest inthat.
  7. 7. = Trodovs 8 props = Hybrid/Subgenre =Sound = Camera Work = Binary opposition = Lighting = NarrativeHorror movies 1980s:In the 1980s the special effects finally caught up with the violent and gory scenes horror films had been using. Technical advances in the field ofanimatronics, and liquid and foam latex meant that the human frame could be distorted to an entirely new dimension, onscreen, in realistic close up.Wolves made another appearance in the early 1980s.Date Film Narrative Characters Techniques Themes Audience Appeal1980The ShiningA family heads to anisolated hotel for thewinter where an eviland spiritual presenceinfluences the fatherinto violence, while hispsychic son sees horrificforebodings from thepast and of the future.Damsel in distress = familyVillain = evil presence/fatherRunning Time: 142 minutesThe film has multiple flashbacks anduses them to foreshadow events. Thelighting is bright and then suddenlyturns dark a lot of the time. Thisportrays a binary opposition within thelighting.Hybrid: Horror/MysterySEE PAGE 10This would appeal to atype of audience thatenjoy the supernaturaland psychological aspectof horror films. Theenigma of the film iscaused by the evil spirit,which means theaudience are able tointeract with the filmbeing an active audienceas they try to figure outwhy it had happened.1982The ThingA shape-shifting alienthat assumes theappearance of thepeople that it killsconfronts scientists inthe Antarctic.Villain = alien Running Time: 109 minutesTook about 3 months to shoot on 6artificially frozen sound stages. Thething is always shown as dark becausethey aren’t truly his form.Hybrid: Sciencefiction/ Mystery/HorrorSEE PAGE 10 SEE ABOVE
  8. 8. = Trodovs 8 props = Hybrid/Subgenre =Sound = Camera Work = Binary opposition = Lighting = NarrativeHorror movies 1990s:In the 1990shorror had seemingly got tame and amused people rather than scared them. In the 90s we go back to psychological horror and big budgetremakes of classics such as Frankenstein and Dracula.Date Film Narrative Characters Techniques Themes Audience Appeal1991Silence of theLambsFledgling FBI agent triesto track down trophyhunting serial killer withthe aid of jailedpsychopath.Villain = serial killerHero= Jailed psychopathDonor = FBI agentFalse Hero = FBI agentRunning Time: 118 minutesA serial killer being tracked by apsychopath means psychological horrorbut for the viewers they connect withwhy he kills them.Hybrid: Thriller/HorrorSEE PAGE 10This would appeal to anaudience who enjoy asense of action andmystery within their filmsas they are active withinthe film to find who theserial killer, which alsobrings the sense ofenigma. However, it istargeted at those who are18 and over, which couldpotentially lessenviewers.1995 Se7en Two detectives, a rookieand a veteran, hunt aserial killer who usesthe seven deadly sins ashis modus operandi.Villain = Serial KillerHeroes = detectives, rookieand veteranRunning Time: 127 minutesMore psychological horror thananything and employs use of modusoperandi. Not much lighting techniqueused although shadow is used heavilytoward the end of the movie.Hybrid: Crime/Mystery/ Thriller/HorrorSEE PAGE 10SEE ABOVE
  9. 9. = Trodovs 8 props = Hybrid/Subgenre =Sound = Camera Work = Binary opposition = Lighting = NarrativeHorror movies 2000s:In 2000 the publics opinion had changed. The new century brought a warm fuzzy horror. The monsters have had to change. Gone were the lonepsychopaths of the 1990s, far too reminiscent of media portrayals of bin Laden, the madman in his cave. As the shock and awe of twenty first centurywarfare spread across TV screens, cinematic horror had to offer an alternative, whilst still tapping into the prevailing cultural mood.Date Film Narrative Characters Techniques Themes Audience Appeal2000The FinalDestinationAfter a teenager has aterrifying vision of himand his friends dying ina plane crash, heprevents the accidentonly to have death huntthem down, one by one.Hero = young teenagerwith the visionRunning Time: 98 minutesThe film has multiple flashbacks andvisions. There are a lot of sharp changesin the lighting, contrasting from light todark. This also portrays binaryopposition. The teenagers in this moviecan relate with the audience but insteadof being hunted by anything that can beseen heard or felt, they are hunted bydeath.HorrorSEE PAGE 10This film would appeal tothose who again enjoythe supernatural aspectof visions. It will alsoappeal to those whoenjoy a sense of enigmathroughout their films asof the constantquestioning they willhave about whether thepeople survive. This filmwould be used to escapeand entertain (uses andgratification).200228 days laterFour weeks after amysterious, incurablevirus spreadsthroughout the UK, ahandful of survivors tryto find sanctuary.Villain=Virus Running Time: 113 minutesNo flashbacks but dreams do take placeas he is in a coma and these show pastevents. Use of lighting is limited. Jimgoes through many different phases asfirst his psychological horror is that allof the UK is dead, then seeing the lastremaining people turn on him or die.Hybrid: Horror/Science fiction/ThrillerSEE PAGE 10This film would appeal toall who enjoy sciencefiction, thriller as well ashorror. As it is rated an 18it isn’t suitable for thoseunder that age as of thecontent. However, anaudience wouldpotentially use it toescape and entertain(uses and gratificationtheory).
  10. 10. = Trodovs 8 props = Hybrid/Subgenre =Sound = Camera Work = Binary opposition = Lighting = NarrativeSTEREOTYPICAL THEMES/CONVENTIONS OF;- Horror = Good vs. Bad (e.g. monster vs. Human) portrays binary opposition within the themes of a horror film. There almost certainly seems tobe revenge of something, such as one being possessed and their friends/family undertake revenge on that given person/object. From the 1960sfilms took an edge on psychological horror, from this the sense of belief and religion was introduced, most of the time to cure those of thepossession. There is always an aspect of the supernatural, for instance, those with visions or ghosts or a dimensional world etc. The themes ofthe horror genre mainly give of logic of suspense, which would represent the theory of enigma. The horror theme also relies heavily on thecharacters explaining and representing feeling so the audience are a aware of what to feel, for example, if the character was frightened it wouldbe portrayed clearly and evidently at that given time, being the main object, this gives the horror genre more realism as its the normality to bescared of someone with a gun for instance.- Mystery = The hero is generally someone who has a very high authority, for instance, one who is policeman, contrastingly the villain is someonewho may be of the same authority but is not revealed until the end of the film. Most of the time there are false heroes, to get the audienceactive and involved within the film. The film is mainly based around a sense of enigma (suspense). There is also always a victim, someone whois generally killed by the villain. Mystery films tend to stay as close to realism as possible so that the audience are able to relate to the film.However, the genre is almost certainly mixed with another genre, such as horror. The films always start with an established equilibrium.- Science-Fiction = The theme of science-fiction generally tell something about the future of technology, it generally involves true fiction laws andthings that are currently being researched within science. Mainly set in a different dimension/world/space. Some films use science-fiction tohelp inform (uses and gratification theory) the audience of what the world could possibly turn out to be. The genre doesn’t focus heavily oncharacters as much as the focus is on situations and specific events.- Thriller = The aim is to create suspense (enigma) and make the audience active within the film. Violence is almost certainly involved within thetheme of thriller. It most of the time reveals the work of the police or fire brigade. The resolution will be rational than through a supernaturalsense. The hero and the villain both share some of the same characteristics.- Drama = Drama has a theme of interacting mostly with the characters emotions; they rely heavily on this to tell the narrative of the film. Inmost drama films the audience are able to identify (uses and gratification theory) in some way with the characters. Some drama films try to bevery theatrical and over exaggerated to involve the audience further with the characters and to lead them through the emotions that theaudience are feeling.- Crime = Crime is seen as a highly dramatic film, it mainly focuses on the life of prison and those involved within it. Most crime films try to tellthe narrative of the prisoner and portray vivid images of violence. A lot of the time crime films have sub-genres or a hybrids with other films.
  11. 11. = Trodovs 8 props = Hybrid/Subgenre =Sound = Camera Work = Binary opposition = Lighting = NarrativeCONCLUSION;Overall as represented above horror films have significantly changed over the years, from no sound to sound, from dramatic characters to hidden villains.Horror is a genre that is portrayed as very popular in the film industry, with over thousands of films going back to the 1920s, considering there was nosound horror was one of the few genres able to conduct a narrative that was able to entertain (uses and gratification theory) the audience without theconfusion of what was happening. During this time the use of lighting was heavily significant as it was used to distinguish between the good and the bad(binary opposition). Nonetheless when sound was introduced it brought a new dimension to the horror industry, lighting was less focused on andcharacters were being ever more important to tell the narrative. More hybrids and sub-genres were therefore being introduced within the horror films togive it an entire new outlook. From the 1960s psychological horror came into films a lot more, such as the ones represented above. This would give theaudience even more entertainment (uses and gratification theory) as they were always through a sense of suspense (enigma) throughout the film, most ofthe time until the end; this introduced numerous flashbacks and various camera movements. It also relied heavily on what the audience were able to feelfrom the characters, if they were able to identify (uses and gratification theory) with them then the film was going to be a success. Every film that has beenmentioned uses the narrative theory of equilibrium and enigma, by doing this the films are a lot more entertaining (uses and gratification theory).BIBLIOGRAPY;-