The History of Horror

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The History of Horror:

The History of Horror

The history of horror.:

The history of horror. The horror sub-genre evolved in 1920s and since then developed constantly in order to adapt to the ever changing fears of its target audience. As Peter Hutching said in his book The Horror Film “…(horror) exists in process in incessant changes.. . ”

The history of horror:

The history of horror Horror films had always changed in relation to c ertain events happening in the world and the fears that people got due to those events. Quote “One of the most influential models of the history of horror cinema sees it in terms of distinct periods of development…” Peter Hutchings The Horror Film

The 1920s:

The 1920s One of the first ever horror films made was ‘ Nosferatu ’ released in 1922 The earliest form of horror was d ark, shadowy, gothic and vampiric , featuring scenes of mutilation During this time period the audience were scared of mystical monsters found in literature which influenced the narrative of horror films at that time The scary effect was achieved scary settings, costumes and darkness



The 1930s:

The 1930s In 1930s the horror film were gothic and they were set in far off lands Women were represented week and vulnerable In this decade the sound was used for the first time and Dracula film, released in 1931, was the first horror film when the characters spoke The Dracula in the film looked very traditional with fangs, cape, blood sucking etc In 1925 ‘ The bride of Frankenstein ’ was release that featured the female monster for the first time, even though she wasn’t a scary woman The literature of that time inspired horror films in creating different monsters The most famous actors of 1930s were Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi



The 1940s:

The 1940s During World War One horror films were banned in Britain and that is when big A merican film companies took over However, they tried to play it safe and, therefore, simply recreated films in 1930s style The characters featured within horror films were half man half monster or could turn into animals In 1942 the film ‘ Cat People ’ was release that featured a female character who could turn into cat and were to be feared

Cat People:

Cat People

The 1950s:

The 1950s Due to horrors that people saw during World War One the old fashion horror films didn’t look scary any longer The main target audience for horror films were teenagers Although as the science progressed during that time, people begun to fear the effect of scientific experimentation, nuclear war and the radiation All of those factors influenced the horror movies of that time and resulted in making of the film ‘ The Fly’ and ‘ The Blob’ both released in 1958

The Fly:

The Fly

The breaking point:

The breaking point The 1960s is considered as a breaking point in horror history and as Peter Hutchings said in his book “The old horror was either dead or dying; a new horror was about to be born…” Before the 1960s all horror films had close narratives, where the source of the evil was destroyed at the end of the film, however, after that there were more and more films with open narratives where the source of evil was not always definitely destroyed

The 1960s:

The 1960s The war was now long over and there were no sign of nuclear war and no devastation were caused by radiation resulting in peoples fears to melt away During the war people saw the monstrous potential of man, which influenced the horror films in creating the monsters in a human form with dark and evil minds In this decade there was a huge social change; there was a sense of freedom, sex and drugs became available In 1960 the film ‘Psycho’ was released where the monster was a man named Norman (sounding a bit like normal) who was a psycho



‘Golden Age’:

‘Golden Age’ Qoute “Some horror critics and historians have come to a view the 1970s as a ‘Golden Age ’ of horror production, as a period in which the genre acquired some maturity and artistic integrity…” Peter Hutchings The Horror Films

The 1970s:

The 1970s The optimism of people, which was present in the 60s was now over and in 1970s the depression struck. This was the decade when slasher films were born and the idea of final girl was introduced During this decade the horror sub-genre grew in quality quite a lot In this decade the fear of ubnormal/deformed children was born due to intorduction of ‘the Pill’ In 1973 the film ‘The Exorcist’ was released that featured a possessed child that reflected the fears of society at that time The idea of idyllic families was now long gone in the past and people begun to fear the enemies within their own families. Those fears influenced the horror genre of that time

The Exorcist:

The Exorcist

The 1980s:

The 1980s During this decade there was increase in SFX usedge. The moster was still human. There were loads more colours within the horror fims with showing gruesome killings, brighter lightning and showing killers in full view. Horror films became available to watch at home. One of the most well known horror films was released in this decade called ‘A Nightmare of Elm Steet ’. This film featured load of gore and brightly lit sets

The 1950s:

The 1950s

The 1990s:

The 1990s Target audience of horror were getting tired of gore and guts and whanted to see more inteligent horror The conventions of horror films were also becoming too predictable and people demanded for something new ‘Scream ’ was released in 1996 that mocked the horror sub-genre and its predictable conventions



The 2000s & Beyond:

The 2000s & Beyond In the 2000s the audience seem to enjoy all types of horror films; psychological, zombie, slasher … Quote “…there are obvious groupings to be found in modern horror…films released…testify to the broadness of the genre…” Peter Hutchings The Horror Film

The 2000s & Beyond:

The 2000s & Beyond Modern horror films often featured race against time, a game for e.g ‘Saw ’ or killing a force that cannot be seen for e.g. ‘One Missed Call’ Remaking of popular films, as well as turning them into spoofs became popular Films such as ‘Paranormal Activity’ and ‘Grave Encounter’ were released, which were shot in a ‘found footage’ style, making the film look more realistic Horror films became more available for its target audience due to the development of e-media

One Missed Call/Saw/Grave Encounters:

One Missed Call / Saw / Grave Encounters

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