"If movies are the dreams of the mass culture... horror movies arethe nightmares" — Stephen King, DanseMacabr
Oxford English Dictionary Definition. . .HORROR • noun1) an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust.2) a thing causing such a feeling.3) intense dismay.4) informal a bad or mischievous person, especially a child. —ORIGIN Latin, from horrere ‘shudder, (of hair) stand on end’.
Horror Conventions On this slide you will see a range of horror conventions you would expect in a horror film/trailer now days, previously majority of these conventions may not have even been recognized. WEAPONS D.I.S.T.I.N.C.T VOICE OVER/COPY EXTREME EDITS Don’t SUPERNATURAL BLOOD Ignore Setting THEME FAST CUTS Technical WEATHER Iconography VIOLENCE SCREAMS Narrative Characterization DARKNESS/DARK COLOURS Themes. EMPATHY ACCOMPANIMENT NON DIAGETIC SOUNDS SUSPENSION/TENSIONISOLATED SETTINGS AND MANY MORE…
The First Horror MoviesEarly horror films are surreal, dark pieces, owingtheirvisual appearance to the expressionist painters andtheir narrative style to the stories played out by the“Grand Guignol Theatre Company.” Darkness andshadows, such important features of modern horror,were impossible to show on the film stock available atthe time therefore back in those days sequencesincluding a vampire for example If the character was tobe running between trees it would be in broad day lightwhich seems surreal to us now.
The Golem (1915/1920)“There were several versions of this, dubbed the first monster movie.Paul Wegener directed and starred in the screen version of the Jewish legend,set in medieval Prague. A Golem (a solidly built clay man) is fashioned to savethe ghetto, but when his job is done he refuses to cease existing, and runsamok through expressionist sets, eventually to be confronted and defeated by alittle girl. The legend influenced Mary Shelley during her creation of a monster acentury earlier, and a decade or so later, the cinematic golem influencedWhales and Karloffs depiction of a false creation lumbering menacinglythrough the streets.” www.filmhistory.co.uk
The cabinet Of Dr Caligari (1919)“Often cited as the granddaddy of all horror films, this is an eerie exploration of the mind of a madman, pitting an evil doctor against a hero falsely incarcerated in a lunatic asylum” www.filmhistory.co.uk
Nosferatu (1922)“Nosferatuis the very first vampire movie, baldly plagiarisingtheDracula story to present Count Orlok, the grotesquely made-up MaxSchreck, curling his long fingernails round the limbs of a series ofhapless victims. Described as the vampire movie that actually believesin vampires, Nosferatu gives us a far more frightening bloodsucker thanany of its successors; Shreck is simply inhuman.”www.filmhistory.co.uk
Horror reborn in the 1930’s!Horror movies were re born in the 1930’s, the advent of sound, as well as changing the whole nature of cinema, had a huge impact on the horror genre. In the 1920’s the films people saw were silent throughout, but around 10 years later, over dramatic facial expressions for example when a victim saw a monster, the facial expression would be replaced with a scream or a grunt from the monster. Most films of the 1930’s were exotic fairytales, usually set in a a different period, horror was still essentially the main genre of this time for moving pictures.
Changes.It is hard to grasp the changes that took place inpopular consciousness between 1940 and 1950. In tenyears the concept of a horrific monster had alteredirrevocably.The 1950s are also the era when horrorfilms get relegated in to the B-movie category.“The studios were wildly over busy incorporatingtechnical changes such as widespread colourproduction and trying to meet the challenge posed byTV to have much truck with making quality horrorpictures.” www.filmhistory.co.uk
Further AdaptationsAfter the 1950’s horror has become furtherdeveloped to what we all know as ‘modernhorror’ which can be categorized into sub genressuch as paranormal, psychological, slasher,thriller, sci-fi, supernatural and many more.Having this change has benefited the horrorgenre in many ways for example, the audiencescan now have wider choices of the types ofhorror films they wish to see. Also its benefittedthe directors and producers giving them a chanceto create a horror of their choice without theworry of repetition.