• In 1922 the first Horror film Nosferatu came out.
• Nosferatu is a gothic film.
• The films in this era featured dark, gloomy scenes and
• In the 1920’s the audience at that time were very
scared and terrified of vampires and darkness because
that is what people feared in those times.
• The women featured in films at this time were weak
• The films didn’t have any dialogue, they mainly
featured music to create tension and dramatic
• The horrors that featured in the 1930’s were still in the
• In the 1930’s sound was first used in horror films.
• Many of the films featured monsters and were inspired by
the 19th century novels.
• Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi were the stars to feature in
• Dracula was the first talking horror which was released in
• The bride of Frankenstein was the first horror to feature a
female monster, this was released in 1935. However they
did not represent the tradition of females very well.
• This was the time of world war two, this was the time
Britain banned horror films and this was the
opportunity for America to take over.
• The Americans started making films recreating the
style that was presented in the 1930’s. They started
making characters that were half human, half beast.
This was horrifying for the audience as they featured
the unknown. For example ‘The Wolf Man’.
• The film ‘Cat people’ which was released in 1942
featured a beautiful, secretive women who prowled
the street as a cat, killing and terrorising people.
• After World War Two the audience weren’t very scared
about fake deaths on a big screen because they had
witnessed it all during the second World War.
• The audiences fear had now moved onto nuclear
war, technological change and radiation.
• The main audience in this decade were teenagers.
• Films that were released during this time were ‘The
Fly’ which was shown in 1958, which was all about a
mutated animal that was effected by radiation. ‘The
Blob’ which was released in 1958 also about a creature
that terrorises a town.
• After the 1950’s were over and the audience have now
realised that there were going to be no nuclear explosions
or destruction, so they have now over come there fear.
• This decade is all about social change, sex, drugs, funky
fashion and freedom.
• The main characters featured in the film were now humans
instead of unrealistic monsters or animals.
• Alfred Hitchcock produced ‘Psycho’ in 1960. The main
character was called Norman to show that on the outside
to the audience he looked normal but inside and in the
mind he was a psycho which links in with the name of the
• The 1970’s was the end of the social change and people were
becoming more depressed but horrors were becoming more
technical and the quality and realism of films were starting to grow.
• This was the decade where the ‘pill’ was created and birth defects
were happening, the audience now started to fear children.
• This was the decade where the sub-genre slasher was introduced
and the final girl.
• Some horror critics see the 1970’s as the ‘golden age’ of the horror
• ‘The Shining’ which was released in the 1970’s featured a devious
father who aim was to try and kill his wife and son.
• ‘The Exorcist’ which featured a possessed evil child, which reflect
the fears of the society at that time.
• This was the decade of technological change and
an increase in the use of SFX.
• VCR’s are now available for the audience so they
are now able to watch films in the comfort of
• The monsters were still in the form of a human
body and the society was become more
• ‘Nightmare in Elmstreet’ was released in 1984, it
was about a man who had knifes as fingers on his
right hand and went around killing teenagers.
• In this decade people were now becoming familiarised with
all the gore and guts that were featured in the 1980’s. The
common conventions that kept cropping were becoming
very predictable for the audience.
• The film industries now moved on to more intelligent
• Films such as ‘Silence of the Lambs’ which featured a serial
killer and a cannibal Hannibal Lecter.
• A well known, common film that was released in this
decade was ‘Scream’ which was shown in 1996. created by
Wes Craven, this film featured the characters who are
aware of horror conventions and mocked them but still
died in the process.
2000’s and onwards
The catastrophe of 9/11 changed the audiences views of what they found frightening.
Remakes of films were now becoming popular.
The sub-genres which the audience started to enjoy were psychological, supernatural and zombie.
Horrors started to experiment this different styles of footage. ‘Found footage’ became a very
popular style, which is shown in horror films such as ‘Paranormal Activity’ and ‘Grave Encounters’
this helps the audience connect more with the film as they will find it more realistic and therefore
more chilling and creepy for them to watch.
Possession and psychological films became more popular to watch, for example ‘ The devil inside’
and ‘The last exorcism’.
Horrors are now available on HD and 3D for the audience to watch and enjoy more. Horror films are
transportable and accessible on different platforms and media.
In 2008 ‘One Missed Call’ which was relevant to the technological change that was happening at
those times, it featured a murder that couldn’t be seen but used mobile phones as a channel to
communicate evil messages through.
‘Saw’ which was a series of films, it was all about a twisted murderous game, which the victims
were forced to be a part of.
‘Grave encounters’ which was a ‘found footage’ style film to create realism to the audience and
help them fear the unknown.
Possession and exorcism films are now more popular with the younger generation and have been
proven to be a hit with the box office.