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HORROR 
BY JAMES SCOTT
History 
The first horror film was created in 1896 by George Melies, a 
French film maker. However, the film was only around two 
minutes long. The title of the film was Le Manoir Du Diable, 
which translates to The Devils Castle. 
We have tried to terrify each other with tales that trigger the 
less logical parts of our imaginations for as long as we've told 
stories. From the ballads of the ancient world to modern 
urban myths, audiences willingly offer themselves up to 
sadistic storytellers to be scared witless. The first horror films 
started off as silent shorts. 
Budgets for horror films rose in the 1960s and the publics 
interest in horrors led to a range of serious supernatural-themed 
films, for example, The Exorcist(1973) was and said 
to be the most feared movie to watch from the audience.
Horror Subgenres 
Action Horror: Action horror is a subgenre that combines the intrusion of evil, an 
event or the supernatural in horror films with gun fights and frantic chases. Themes 
associated with action horror are; zombies, demons and gore. 
Body horror: Where horror is generated from the degeneration or the 
deconstruction of the human body. Limbs and human body parts used to create 
monsters, or unnatural body movements and dysfunction to create fear. David 
Cronenberg is a well known director for this genre. 
Comedy horror: Combines elements of horror and comedy fiction. The horror genre 
almost always combines with comedy. The film ‘The legend of the sleepy hollow’ is 
cited to be the first and greatest comedy horror film. 
Gothic horror: Contains both elements of horror and gothic. Some of the earliest 
horror films were this genre. Gothic horror films often include features such as 
castles, dungeons and extreme landscapes. Examples include Dracula and 
Frankenstein. 
Psychological horror: Relies on a characters fears, guilt, belief, emotional instability 
and at times the supernatural to build tension and further the plot. The horror 
comes from the reality of this particular sub-genre. Examples include, The Shinning 
and The Ring.
Horror Conventions 
Characters: 
• The main protagonist, often the victim/hero of the movie. 
• The Villain, usually a monster, mutated freak, alien or serial killer. 
• The stupid/immoral teenagers that always get killed. 
• Creepy children 
• Police officers that can either be good or bad. 
• Ghosts, Zombies, Demons. 
Setting: 
• Small communities or isolated places. Urban environments, dark 
streets, narrow alleyways. Large cities or run down ghost towns. 
Anything that connotes isolation or being alone. 
• Often places with dark history, like abandoned houses and hotels. 
• Locations to film good horror scenes; Lakes, barns, roads and dark 
woods.

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The document discusses the history and development of horror films. It provides details on some of the earliest horror films and stories from the late 1700s. It then lists several prominent horror film production companies and their previous works. Next, it discusses some major awards for horror films. It concludes by outlining some key features of horror genre films and listing the top 5 highest grossing horror movies of all time.

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The document outlines common codes, conventions, and tropes found in zombie horror films including having a tight-knit group of protagonists isolated in an apocalyptic, deserted world. It notes the contrast between slow and fast editing during chase scenes and the use of abandoned, urban locations. Typical ways to kill zombies include shooting them in the head, and mainstream zombie films often follow cliches like the dumb blonde dying first and having a pretty, fit lead girl and heroic, fit lead guy alongside an annoying character that causes problems.

Horror Conventions 
Narrative: 
The main character is always a hero, a protagonist, keeping up with the 
normal conventions of the genre. Usually the hero must embark on a mission 
or quest to kill or solve problems. Some narratives are very formulaic and 
this is practically present in sub-genres, especially slasher films. After some 
event that turns the killer insane or by some childhood memory. It has a 
classic narrative structure largely made applicable to the horror genre, but it 
can either be left for closure or maybe leave room for a sequel. 
Lighting: 
Low key lighting- 
• Lights used create shadows and a dim hue. 
• The lights are often set at eye level or lower to the ground of the subject. 
• Lights will need to be moved every time the actor is placed differently in 
order to gain the correct shadow effect, this means it is a lengthier shoot 
than one with high-key lighting. 
• Uses three point lighting; key light, fill light and back light. 
• Shadows are created by using reflectors and the placing of the lights.
Iconography 
• Visual style: Often dark colours like red or black. 
• Lighting is expressive and non-naturalistic- low key lighting can 
create a dark and shadowy atmosphere. 
• Props can be used to identify the horror genre. Specific props can be 
used to identify certain villains or characters( knives, chainsaws, 
machetes.) 
• Common objects include: weapons, masks, icons of the 
supernatural, religious icons. 
• The iconography of the monsters help to connote extreme fear, 
disgust and terror.
Audience Profile 
Horror films are mainly watched by males between the ages of 15-24. This is 
mainly because females prefer to watch lighter entertainment, such as, 
comedy or romance. Furthermore, the majority of people who visit the cinema 
are aged between 15-24 and males enjoy horror films as they like to seek thrill 
and action. 
Class: 
Horror films are usually aimed at the working class sector as for a relatively low 
price, the thrill and excitement of a horror film is often very high. The upper 
class may watch horror as part of a sub-genre of part of a romance or comedy. 
Audience groups: 
Many young people go to watch a horror film with their friends. However, a 
horror film is a good genre for people to watch who are on there first date. 
They are seen as good conversation starters after the film.
Genre Popularity 
The horror genre is popular amongst the younger audience as they like to 
seek thrill and action, at a cheap price. Horror is a popular genre, with there 
being many films of this type of genre, for example, The Exorcist or The 
Shinning. This genre is mainly popular amongst males, around the ages of 
16-24. Some females don’t find this genre as popular, as they tend to enjoy 
lighter entertainment such as romance or comedy. 
One of the first films, created by George Melies, was a horror film, so horror 
has been a popular genre throughout the years. However, better 
production and stories have developed the horror to a bigger and better 
level. 
Horror genres have become more popular in recent years with the release 
of certain movies like The Exorcist. Since the release of The Exorcist, many 
producers have been inspired to produce scary movies as people show 
great interest. Since the release of The Exorcist, many horror films have 
been produced as directors have seen the great popularity and interest 
they bring.

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1) The genre of zombie horror began in the 1920s with films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari featuring sleepwalking characters that displayed zombie-like traits. 2) In the 1930s and 1940s, films like White Zombie and I Walked with a Zombie introduced the concept of voodoo zombies and rituals. 3) George A. Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead defined many of the characteristics that became standard in modern zombie films like slow, shambling zombies and a scientific cause for the outbreak.

Horror Directors 
William Tobe Hooper is an American film director, screenwriter, and 
producer best known for his work in the horror film genre. His 1974 film, The 
Texas Chain Saw Massacre, was described by Stuart Heritage of The 
Guardian as "one of the most influential films ever made“ 
Roman Polanski (born Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański; 18 August 1933) is a 
Polish and, since 1976, naturalized-French[1] film director, producer, writer, 
and actor. Having made films in Poland, the United Kingdom, France and the 
United States, he is considered one of the few "truly international 
filmmakers.“ He produced Cul-de-sac, Repulsion and many other great 
horror films. 
George Romero: He is an American-Canadian film director, film producer, 
screenwriter and editor, best known for his series of gruesome and satirical 
horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night 
of the Living Dead (1968).
Examples of Films 
• The Exorcist 
• The Shining 
• Paranormal Activity 
• Saw 
• Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 
• The Calling 
• Scream 
• The 13th Alley 
• Day of the Dead 
• Count Dracula 
• The Wizard of Gore 
• Alien 
• Zombie Holocaust 
• Insidious 
• Piranha 3-D
BBFC 
Most horror films are only suitable for ages 18 or over. 
This is because if children under this age begin to 
watch a horror film it could have a psychological effect 
on them. 
What sort of issues might I find in an 18 film or video? 
• very strong violence 
• frequent strong language (e.g. 'f***') and / or very 
strong language (e.g. ‘c***’) 
• strong portrayals of sexual activity 
• scenes of sexual violence 
• strong horror 
• strong blood and gore 
• real sex (in some circumstances) 
• discriminatory language and behaviour 
The Exorcist is rated 18. Suitable only for adults.
Typical 3 Act Structure 
The first act in a horror film focuses on central characters beginning a venture into 
a strange and ultimately threatening setting. 
The setting unleashes a wave of violence that leaves many of the protagonists 
dead. Those who fight back against either the monster, zombie or whatever the evil 
character is find themselves in more danger and at greater risk. Other characters 
may warn the community to make them aware of the situation. However, these 
characters are often ignored due to other characters disbelief. 
The climax of the film generally involves a dramatic showdown between the main 
characters. In contemporary horror films the plot leaves open the possibility of the 
monsters return.

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This document discusses the codes and conventions commonly found in horror films. It outlines several examples of popular horror subgenres and the fears they aim to invoke, such as nightmares, vulnerability, and death. Character archetypes are described, with the final girl often surviving and villains having distinguishing murder methods. Unwritten rules are listed, like certain actions guaranteeing a character's death. Locations and weapons typically featured are also provided.

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Horror Actors 
Vincent Price 
Top 5 roles: 
1. Dr. Anton Phibes in The Abominable Dr. Phibes 
2. Nicholas Medina in Pit and the Pendulum 
3. Prince Prospero in The Masque of the Red Death 
4. Roderick Usher in House of Usher [The Fall of the House of Usher] 
5. Robert Morgan in The Last Man on Earth 
Boris Karloff 
Top 5 roles: 
1. The Monster in Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and Son of Frankenstein 
2. Gorca in I tre volti della paura [Black Sabbath] 
3. Cabman John Gray in The Body Snatcher 
4. Byron Orlok in Targets 
5. Ardeth Bey in The Mummy 
Bela Lugosi 
Top 5 roles: 
1. Count Dracula in Dracula 
2. Joseph in The Body Snatcher 
3. Ygor in Son of Frankenstein 
4. "Murder" Legendre in White Zombie 
5. Dr. Vitus Werdegast in The Black Cat
Film Analysis- The Shining 
The Shiningis a 1980 British- 
American psychological horror film produced 
and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The film is 
about a man who is a recovering alcoholic, 
who takes a job of caretaker at a hotel. His 
son has psychic abilities and can see the past 
and look into the future. The family gets 
trapped in the hotel by a snowstorm and the 
father is taken over by a supernatural 
presence and attempts to murder both his 
son and wife. 
The opening scene begins with some aerial shots of the Saint Mary lake. The 
steadicam was used for tracking shots like when the child is riding around in his 
cart. There is a lot of sound that is used to suggest the mood of the film. The 
sound was stylistically modernist art-music.
Paranormal Activity 
Paranormal Activity is a 2007 American 
Supernatural horror film directed by Oren 
Peli. The film is about a couple who are 
disturbed by a demonic presence during 
the night in the suburban home. They set 
up security cameras to find some horrific 
footage. 
The scenes were shot with a home video camera as Peli wanted to create a 
more realistic feeling rather than gore and action. The film uses a lot of low key 
lighting to create a dark and shadowy image, especially when you can see the 
shadow walking across the bedroom door. There is a lot of diegetic and high 
pitched sounds, such as voices and whispering, which creates a tension and a 
frightening atmosphere.
Film Analysis- The Exorcist 
The Exorcist is a 1973 horror film directed by 
William Friedkin. It is about a young 12 year old 
girl who becomes possessed. Her mother asks 
two priests to help her. The film uses a lot of 
special effects and great costume and makeup 
effects. The use of a lot of makeup on the actor 
Max von Sydow was done to make him look 
much older than he really was. Director William 
Friedkin said he wanted lots of detailed close up 
shots of him. 
The use of sound makes the film much more frightening and entertaining. The 
soft buzz of insects cuts to the loud, irritating banging metal of a one-eyed 
blacksmith. The heartbeat tick of the clock when Merrin examines the artifact 
drops to dead silence when the clock suddenly stops. The use of low key and 
top lighting creates a dark and shadowy atmosphere when the statue looms 
over Merrin.

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The document provides an overview of the history and conventions of the horror genre. It discusses the origins of horror films in the early 20th century and the popularity of genres like gothic horror, slasher films, and remakes. The document also covers common conventions like dark settings, innocent victims, monsters/killers, and ambiguous endings. It analyzes the audience profile, theories for why audiences watch horror, different types of horror films, and BBFC ratings. Famous horror actors mentioned include Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

The Desensitisation Theory 
This theory maintains that the more you are exposed to something, the less you 
are affected by it. For example, if you watch or play violent films or games, after 
a while you may think the action in it is no longer violent but normal behaviour. 
Albert Bandura believed that we learn new behaviours by copying the values 
and beliefs of role models. We learn watching or following the example of 
others. 
An example of this in the media world is the film Mad World, which relates very 
much to this theory. A real life example of this is The Columbine High School 
Massacre. In 1999, two students killed 12 students and a teacher.

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Horror finished

  • 2. History The first horror film was created in 1896 by George Melies, a French film maker. However, the film was only around two minutes long. The title of the film was Le Manoir Du Diable, which translates to The Devils Castle. We have tried to terrify each other with tales that trigger the less logical parts of our imaginations for as long as we've told stories. From the ballads of the ancient world to modern urban myths, audiences willingly offer themselves up to sadistic storytellers to be scared witless. The first horror films started off as silent shorts. Budgets for horror films rose in the 1960s and the publics interest in horrors led to a range of serious supernatural-themed films, for example, The Exorcist(1973) was and said to be the most feared movie to watch from the audience.
  • 3. Horror Subgenres Action Horror: Action horror is a subgenre that combines the intrusion of evil, an event or the supernatural in horror films with gun fights and frantic chases. Themes associated with action horror are; zombies, demons and gore. Body horror: Where horror is generated from the degeneration or the deconstruction of the human body. Limbs and human body parts used to create monsters, or unnatural body movements and dysfunction to create fear. David Cronenberg is a well known director for this genre. Comedy horror: Combines elements of horror and comedy fiction. The horror genre almost always combines with comedy. The film ‘The legend of the sleepy hollow’ is cited to be the first and greatest comedy horror film. Gothic horror: Contains both elements of horror and gothic. Some of the earliest horror films were this genre. Gothic horror films often include features such as castles, dungeons and extreme landscapes. Examples include Dracula and Frankenstein. Psychological horror: Relies on a characters fears, guilt, belief, emotional instability and at times the supernatural to build tension and further the plot. The horror comes from the reality of this particular sub-genre. Examples include, The Shinning and The Ring.
  • 4. Horror Conventions Characters: • The main protagonist, often the victim/hero of the movie. • The Villain, usually a monster, mutated freak, alien or serial killer. • The stupid/immoral teenagers that always get killed. • Creepy children • Police officers that can either be good or bad. • Ghosts, Zombies, Demons. Setting: • Small communities or isolated places. Urban environments, dark streets, narrow alleyways. Large cities or run down ghost towns. Anything that connotes isolation or being alone. • Often places with dark history, like abandoned houses and hotels. • Locations to film good horror scenes; Lakes, barns, roads and dark woods.
  • 5. Horror Conventions Narrative: The main character is always a hero, a protagonist, keeping up with the normal conventions of the genre. Usually the hero must embark on a mission or quest to kill or solve problems. Some narratives are very formulaic and this is practically present in sub-genres, especially slasher films. After some event that turns the killer insane or by some childhood memory. It has a classic narrative structure largely made applicable to the horror genre, but it can either be left for closure or maybe leave room for a sequel. Lighting: Low key lighting- • Lights used create shadows and a dim hue. • The lights are often set at eye level or lower to the ground of the subject. • Lights will need to be moved every time the actor is placed differently in order to gain the correct shadow effect, this means it is a lengthier shoot than one with high-key lighting. • Uses three point lighting; key light, fill light and back light. • Shadows are created by using reflectors and the placing of the lights.
  • 6. Iconography • Visual style: Often dark colours like red or black. • Lighting is expressive and non-naturalistic- low key lighting can create a dark and shadowy atmosphere. • Props can be used to identify the horror genre. Specific props can be used to identify certain villains or characters( knives, chainsaws, machetes.) • Common objects include: weapons, masks, icons of the supernatural, religious icons. • The iconography of the monsters help to connote extreme fear, disgust and terror.
  • 7. Audience Profile Horror films are mainly watched by males between the ages of 15-24. This is mainly because females prefer to watch lighter entertainment, such as, comedy or romance. Furthermore, the majority of people who visit the cinema are aged between 15-24 and males enjoy horror films as they like to seek thrill and action. Class: Horror films are usually aimed at the working class sector as for a relatively low price, the thrill and excitement of a horror film is often very high. The upper class may watch horror as part of a sub-genre of part of a romance or comedy. Audience groups: Many young people go to watch a horror film with their friends. However, a horror film is a good genre for people to watch who are on there first date. They are seen as good conversation starters after the film.
  • 8. Genre Popularity The horror genre is popular amongst the younger audience as they like to seek thrill and action, at a cheap price. Horror is a popular genre, with there being many films of this type of genre, for example, The Exorcist or The Shinning. This genre is mainly popular amongst males, around the ages of 16-24. Some females don’t find this genre as popular, as they tend to enjoy lighter entertainment such as romance or comedy. One of the first films, created by George Melies, was a horror film, so horror has been a popular genre throughout the years. However, better production and stories have developed the horror to a bigger and better level. Horror genres have become more popular in recent years with the release of certain movies like The Exorcist. Since the release of The Exorcist, many producers have been inspired to produce scary movies as people show great interest. Since the release of The Exorcist, many horror films have been produced as directors have seen the great popularity and interest they bring.
  • 9. Horror Directors William Tobe Hooper is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer best known for his work in the horror film genre. His 1974 film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, was described by Stuart Heritage of The Guardian as "one of the most influential films ever made“ Roman Polanski (born Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański; 18 August 1933) is a Polish and, since 1976, naturalized-French[1] film director, producer, writer, and actor. Having made films in Poland, the United Kingdom, France and the United States, he is considered one of the few "truly international filmmakers.“ He produced Cul-de-sac, Repulsion and many other great horror films. George Romero: He is an American-Canadian film director, film producer, screenwriter and editor, best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night of the Living Dead (1968).
  • 10. Examples of Films • The Exorcist • The Shining • Paranormal Activity • Saw • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde • The Calling • Scream • The 13th Alley • Day of the Dead • Count Dracula • The Wizard of Gore • Alien • Zombie Holocaust • Insidious • Piranha 3-D
  • 11. BBFC Most horror films are only suitable for ages 18 or over. This is because if children under this age begin to watch a horror film it could have a psychological effect on them. What sort of issues might I find in an 18 film or video? • very strong violence • frequent strong language (e.g. 'f***') and / or very strong language (e.g. ‘c***’) • strong portrayals of sexual activity • scenes of sexual violence • strong horror • strong blood and gore • real sex (in some circumstances) • discriminatory language and behaviour The Exorcist is rated 18. Suitable only for adults.
  • 12. Typical 3 Act Structure The first act in a horror film focuses on central characters beginning a venture into a strange and ultimately threatening setting. The setting unleashes a wave of violence that leaves many of the protagonists dead. Those who fight back against either the monster, zombie or whatever the evil character is find themselves in more danger and at greater risk. Other characters may warn the community to make them aware of the situation. However, these characters are often ignored due to other characters disbelief. The climax of the film generally involves a dramatic showdown between the main characters. In contemporary horror films the plot leaves open the possibility of the monsters return.
  • 13. Horror Actors Vincent Price Top 5 roles: 1. Dr. Anton Phibes in The Abominable Dr. Phibes 2. Nicholas Medina in Pit and the Pendulum 3. Prince Prospero in The Masque of the Red Death 4. Roderick Usher in House of Usher [The Fall of the House of Usher] 5. Robert Morgan in The Last Man on Earth Boris Karloff Top 5 roles: 1. The Monster in Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and Son of Frankenstein 2. Gorca in I tre volti della paura [Black Sabbath] 3. Cabman John Gray in The Body Snatcher 4. Byron Orlok in Targets 5. Ardeth Bey in The Mummy Bela Lugosi Top 5 roles: 1. Count Dracula in Dracula 2. Joseph in The Body Snatcher 3. Ygor in Son of Frankenstein 4. "Murder" Legendre in White Zombie 5. Dr. Vitus Werdegast in The Black Cat
  • 14. Film Analysis- The Shining The Shiningis a 1980 British- American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The film is about a man who is a recovering alcoholic, who takes a job of caretaker at a hotel. His son has psychic abilities and can see the past and look into the future. The family gets trapped in the hotel by a snowstorm and the father is taken over by a supernatural presence and attempts to murder both his son and wife. The opening scene begins with some aerial shots of the Saint Mary lake. The steadicam was used for tracking shots like when the child is riding around in his cart. There is a lot of sound that is used to suggest the mood of the film. The sound was stylistically modernist art-music.
  • 15. Paranormal Activity Paranormal Activity is a 2007 American Supernatural horror film directed by Oren Peli. The film is about a couple who are disturbed by a demonic presence during the night in the suburban home. They set up security cameras to find some horrific footage. The scenes were shot with a home video camera as Peli wanted to create a more realistic feeling rather than gore and action. The film uses a lot of low key lighting to create a dark and shadowy image, especially when you can see the shadow walking across the bedroom door. There is a lot of diegetic and high pitched sounds, such as voices and whispering, which creates a tension and a frightening atmosphere.
  • 16. Film Analysis- The Exorcist The Exorcist is a 1973 horror film directed by William Friedkin. It is about a young 12 year old girl who becomes possessed. Her mother asks two priests to help her. The film uses a lot of special effects and great costume and makeup effects. The use of a lot of makeup on the actor Max von Sydow was done to make him look much older than he really was. Director William Friedkin said he wanted lots of detailed close up shots of him. The use of sound makes the film much more frightening and entertaining. The soft buzz of insects cuts to the loud, irritating banging metal of a one-eyed blacksmith. The heartbeat tick of the clock when Merrin examines the artifact drops to dead silence when the clock suddenly stops. The use of low key and top lighting creates a dark and shadowy atmosphere when the statue looms over Merrin.
  • 17. The Desensitisation Theory This theory maintains that the more you are exposed to something, the less you are affected by it. For example, if you watch or play violent films or games, after a while you may think the action in it is no longer violent but normal behaviour. Albert Bandura believed that we learn new behaviours by copying the values and beliefs of role models. We learn watching or following the example of others. An example of this in the media world is the film Mad World, which relates very much to this theory. A real life example of this is The Columbine High School Massacre. In 1999, two students killed 12 students and a teacher.