CharacteristicsHorror film is defined by ''The Dictionary of Film Studies'' as representing "disturbing and dark subject matter, seeking to elicit responses of fear, terror, disgust, shock, suspense, and, of course, horror from their viewers." In the book ''Dark Dreams'', author Charles Derry split the horror films as focusing on three separate themes: the horror of personality, horror of Armageddon and the horror of the demonic. The horror of personality derives from monsters being at the centre of the plot such where the creatures own psychology makes them perform unspeakable horrific acts ranging from rapes, mutilations and sadistic killings. Other key works of this form are 's '' Psycho'' which feature psychotic murderers without the make-up of a monster. The second 'Armageddon' group delves on the fear of large-scale destruction which ranges from science fiction works but also of natural events with films like Hitchcock's '' The Birds'' (1963). The last group of the "Fear of the Demonic" which features graphic accounts of satanic rites, witchcraft, exorcisms outside the traditional forms of worship as seen in films like '' '' (1973) or '' '' (1976).
Cinematic techniquesIn a study by Jacob Shelton, the many ways that audience members are manipulated through horror films was investigated in detail. is one such method that can play a part in inducing a reaction, causing one's eyes to remotely rest on anything in the frame – a wall, or the empty black void in the shadows. In an ideal horror film, there is a perfect balance of negative and positive space. Another method is a of classic horror tropes – the . In classic horror films, the jump scare is right after an individual closes the bathroom mirror with their reflection shown or other such situations. Alternatively, it is when there is no jump scare that causes the audience to feel more unease and discomfort because they do not know when it will happen, only that it is anticipated. The meaning of mirrors in horror films is that they create visual depth that builds tension. Audience members have ingrained the fear of mirrors due to the use of them in classic horror films. Even if there is no jump scare succeeding a mirror scene, individuals are still trained to fear the mirror no matter what. Mirrors illustrate the characters' duality and "real" version of themselves. In any case, mirrors altogether make the audience anxious, while patiently waiting for a jump scare that may or may not occur. Tight framing is another technique used, where an entire scene can be created with a . Tight framing can be terrifying as they induce anxiety by not allowing the viewer to see what's directly around the . The suspense of not knowing builds on the unknown and tension of the audience.
HistoryIn his book ''Caligari's Children: The Film as Tale of Terror'' (1980), author Siegbert Solomon Prawer stated that those wanting to read into horror films in a linear historical path, citing historians and critics like Carlos Clarens noting that as some film audiences at a time took films made by that starred with utmost seriousness, other productions from other countries saw the material set for parody, as children's entertainment or nostalgic recollection.
Early influenceForms of filmmaking that would become film genres were mostly defined in other media before devised the in the late 1890s. Genres, such as adventure, detective stories, and Westerns were developed as written fiction while musical was a staple to theatre. Author and critic stated that if something was referred to as a horror film in 1890, no one would have understood what it meant as a specific genre, while following up that these types of films were being made but were not categorized as such at the time. Early sources of material that would influence horror films included gruesome or fantastical elements such as the '' '' where heroes fight monsters and the where plagues effect people and other apocalyptic tales are discussed. Classical dramas also include elements later expanded upon by horror films such as ''Hamlet'' which includes vengeful spectres, exhumed skulls, multiple stabbings and characters succumbing to madness. Early such as '' '' (1764) and works of dealt with the stories involving seemingly supernatural doings and magnetic yet repulsive villains set in castles, but with their supernatural pretenses often explained in the end. The most famous of these gothic novels was '' '' (1818) which would be adapted into several film adaptations. American writer wrote several stories in the 1830s and 1840s that would be translated to the film screen in the future. These included " The Black Cat", " ", " ", " ", and " The Masque of the Red Death". Poe's tales often presented women who were dead, dying or spectral and focus on the obsessions of their male protagonists. More key horror texts would be produced in the late 1800s and early 1900s than in all centuries proceeding it, including: '' '' (1886), '' '' (1890), '' '' (1894), '' '' (1895), '' '' (1896), '' '' (1897), '' '' (1897), '' '' (1898), '' '' (1902), '' '' (1904), and '' '' (1911). As these an many similar novels and short stories were being made, early cinema began 1890s. Many of these stories were not specifically focused on the horrific, but lingered in popular culture for their horrific elements and set pieces that would become cinema staples.
Early filmNewman described '' '' as the first first horror film, with its imagery coming from centuries of books, legend and stage plays, featuring imagery of demons, ghosts, witches and a skeleton and a haunted castle which transforms into . The film has no story, but a series of and acts filmed. Méliès made over five hundred films between 1986 and 1914 ranging from historical recreation, religious films, drams, literary adaptations and false newsreels. In the early 20th century as films became popular around the world films were production was so hectic that often told tales were made and then remade within months of each other. Adaptations of the work with Poe were often adopted in France such as ''Le Puits dett le Pendule'' (1909) and America with ''The Sealed Room'' (1909) ''The Raven'' (1912) and ''The Pit and the Pendulum'' (1913). Other famous horror characters made their film debut in the era including with Edison's '' '' (1910), '' Life Without Soul'' (1915), and the Italian production '' Il mostro di Frankenstein'' (1920). Several adaptations of other novels like ''The Picture of Dorian Gray'' were adapted around the world, including Denmark (''Dorian Gray's Portaet'' (1910)), Russia (''Portret Doryana Greya'' (1915)), Germany ('' Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray'') and Hungary ('' Az Élet királya'' (1917)). The most adapted horror story was ''Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'', which included early adaptations like 's '' '' (1908). This was followed by several versions, including a British version of the story (''The Duality of Man'' (1910)), a Danish production ('' Den skæbnesvangre Opfindelse'' (1910)), and another American film in '' Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'' in 1912. In 1920, three versions were made: J. Charles Haydon's '' Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'', John S. Robertson's '' Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'', and 's '' Der Januskopf''. Only a few actors and directors began specializing specifically in the genre. These included the German actor and director , who would portray Balduin in '' '' (1913), a Poe-like story about a deal with the Devil and a deadly doppelganger. Wegener would often work on stories involving a Jewish folktale character , with '' Der Golem'' (1915), a sequel that also was a parody with '' The Golem and the Dancing Girl'' (1917), and a prequel '' The Golem: How He Came into the World'' (1920). The German film '' The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari'' (1920) was described by Newman as having "breakout performances" by actors and . Veidt also work in '' Der Graf von Cagliostro'' (1920), '' The Hands of Orlac'' (1924) and both Veidt and Krauss would work together in '' '' (1926) and '' Waxworks'' (1924) where Krauss would portray the Devil and respectively. Murnau, who had previously adapted ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'', made an adaptation of ''Dracula'' with '' '' (1922). Newman declared that this adaptation "stands as the only screen adaptation of ''Dracula'' to be primarily interested in horror, from the character's rat-like features and thin body, the film was, even more so than ''Caligari'', "a template for the horror film." would not fully develop horror film stars, but actor and make-up artist Lon Chaney would often portray the monsters in film, such as the ape-man in ''A Blind Bargain'' (1922), Quasimodo in ''The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923 film), The Hunchback of Notre Dame'' (1923) and Erik (The Phantom of the Opera), Erik in ''The Phantom of the Opera (1925 film), The Phantom of the Opera'' (1925) and a false vampire in ''London After Midnight (film), London After Midnight'' (1927). Chaney was not a true horror film star and was mostly known fro his melodramas he made with director such as ''The Unknown (1927 film), The Unknown'' (1927) where he plays a murderer.
1930sPrior to the release of ''Dracula (1931 English-language film), Dracula'' (1931), historian Gary Don Rhodes explained that the idea of the horror film did not exist yet as a codified genre and although critics have used the term "horror" to describe films in reviews, the term has not truly developed by this time as the genre's name. The mystery film genre was in vogue and early information on ''Dracula'' being promoted as mystery film was common, despite the novel, play and film's story relying on the supernatural. In 1924, British producer Hamilton Deane premiered a stage version of ''Dracula'' at the Grand Theatre in Derby, England. An American version had premiered on Broadway theatre, Broadway in 1927 and featuring actor as Count Dracula. Rhodes described the play as "taking America storm", a statement backed up by a 1930 article in the ''Chicago Tribune'' claiming that the play "has been rolling around the country ever since its first vogue two or three seasons ago, coaxing money into box offices that had abandoned hope of the drama, and of the shriek-and-shudder plays of the last five years it easily leads the list." In 1929, Carl Laemmle, Jr. took over the production unit at Universal Studios and officially purchased the rights to both the play and the novel ''Dracula'' in June 1930. ''Dracula'' premiered on February 12, 1931, at the Roxy Theatre (New York City), Roxy Theatre in New York again with Lugosi in the title role. Contemporary critical response to ''Dracula'' was described by Tom Weaver, Michael Brunas and John Brunas, the authors of the book ''Universal Horrors'', as "uniformly positive, some even laudatory" and as "one of the best received critically of any of the Universal horror pictures." Universal was reportedly surprised at the strong box office and critical praise for the film, and forged ahead to make similar productions of ''Frankenstein (1931 film), Frankenstein'' (1931) and ''Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932 film), Murders in the Rue Morgue'' (1932) which would also star Lugosi for their 1931–1932 season. British filmmaker James Whale directed ''Frankenstein'' starring Boris Karloff as the Monster also proved to be a hit for Universal which led to both ''Dracula'' and ''Frankenstein'' making film stars of Lugosi and Karloff respectively. While Karloff did not have any dialogue in ''Frankenstein'', he was allowed to speak in Universal's ''The Mummy (1932 film), The Mummy'' (1932), a film Newman described as the studio knowing "what they were getting" patterning the film close to the plot of ''Dracula'' while historian Gregory W. Mank called the "one-two punch Boris Karloff needed after ''Frankenstein'' to boost his stardom. Lugosi and Karloff would star together in several Poe-adaptations in the 1930s, including ''The Black Cat (1934 film), The Black Cat'' (1934) and ''The Raven (1935 film), The Raven'' (1935) and other horror features like ''The Invisible Ray (1936 film), The Invisible Ray'' (1936). Following the release of ''Dracula'', the ''Washington Post'' declared the films box office success led to a cycle of similar films while the ''New York Times'' stated in a 1936 overview that ''Dracula'' and the arrival of sound film began the "real triumph of these spectral thrillers". Other studios began developing their own horror projects with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer making ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931 film), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'' (1931) and ''Mad Love (1935 film), Mad Love'' (1935) and Paramount Pictures with ''Island of Lost Souls (1932 film), Island of Lost Souls'' (1932) and ''Murders in the Zoo'' (1933), and Warner Bros. with ''Doctor X (film), Doctor X'' (1932) and ''Mystery of the Wax Museum'' (1933). Universal would also follow-up with Whale's ''The Old Dark House (1932 film), The Old Dark House'' (1932) and ''The Invisible Man (1933 film), The Invisible Man'' (1933), and ''Bride of Frankenstein'' (1935). RKO Pictures had also developed their own monster movie with ''King Kong (1933 film), King Kong'' (1933) which Newman felt owned more to Arthur Conan Doyle's ''The Lost World (1925 film), The Lost World'' than the ''Dracula-Frankenstein'' cycle. Other productions included independents in the United States, such as the Halperin Organization making ''White Zombie (film), White Zombie'' (1933) with Lugosi, whose success led to a series of voo doo related film such as ''Drums O' Voodoo'' (1934), ''Black Moon (1934 film), Black Moon'' (1934) and ''Ouanga (film), Ouanga''. A few productions outside of America were also made such as the British film ''The Ghoul (1933 film), The Ghoul'' (1933) starring Karloff and the films of Tod Slaughter. Many horror films of this era provoked public outcry and censors cut many of the more violent and gruesome scenes from such films as ''Frankenstein'', ''Island of Lost Souls (1932 film), Island of Lost Souls'' and ''The Black Cat (1934 film), The Black Cat''. In 1933, the British Board of Film Classification, British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) introduced an "H" rating for films labeled "Horrific" for "any films likely to frighten or horrify children under the age of 16 years" In 1935, the President of the BBFC Edward Shortt, wrote "although a separate category has been established for these [horrific] films, I am sorry to learn they are on the increase...I hope that the producers and renters will accept this word of warning, and discourage this type of subject as far as possible." As the United Kingdom was a significant market for Hollywood, American producers listened to Shortt's warning, and the number of Hollywood produced horror films decreased in 1936. A trade paper ''Variety (magazine), Variety'' reported that Universal Studios abandonment of horror films after the release of ''Dracula's Daughter'' (1936) was that "European countries, especially England are prejudiced against this type product ." The latter half of the decade had Karloff making low budget films for Monogram Pictures and Lugosi being on welfare. At the end of the decade, a profitable re-release of ''Dracula'' and ''Frankenstein'' would encourage Universal to produce ''Son of Frankenstein'' (1939) featuring both Lugosi and Karloff, starting off a resurgence of the horror film that would continue into the mid-1940s.
1940sAfter the success of ''Son of Frankenstein'' (1939), Universal's horror films received what author Rick Worland of ''The Horror Film'' called "a second wind" and horror films continued to be produced at a feverish pace into the mid-1940s. Universal looked into their 1930s horror properties to develop new follow-ups such as ''The Invisible Man Returns'' (1940) and ''The Mummy's Hand'' (1941). ''Man Made Monster'' was a pivotal release for Universal's horror output, introducing actor Lon Chaney, Jr.. Chaney, Jr. had received attention for his performance as Lennie Small in ''Of Mice and Men (1939 film), Of Mice and Men'' (1939). Universal saw potential in making Chaney a new star to replace Karloff as he had not distinguished himself in either A or B pictures. Chaney, Jr. would become a horror star for the decade showing in the films in ''The Wolf Man (franchise), The Wolf Man'' series, portraying the Mummy three times in ''The Mummy (franchise), The Mummy'' series, Frankenstein's Monster in ''Ghost of Frankenstein'' (1942) and as Count Dracula in ''Son of Dracula (1943 film), Son of Dracula'' (1943). Universal also created new horror series such as the three-picture feature about Paula the Ape-woman, starting with ''Captive Wild Woman'' (1943). Universal began Crossover (fiction), crossing their horror franchises in what was colloquially called "monster rally" films. Beginning with ''Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man'' (1943) which had Frankenstein's Monster meet The Wolf Man, further crossovers that included Count Dracula continued in the 1940s with ''House of Frankenstein (1944 film), House of Frankenstein'' (1944) and ''House of Dracula'' (1945). B-Picture studios also developed films that imitated the style of Universal's horror output. Karloff worked with Columbia Pictures acting in various films as a "Mad scientist, Mad doctor"-type characters starting with ''The Man They Could Not Hang'' (1939) while Lugosi worked between Universal and poverty row studios such as Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) for ''The Devil Bat'' (1941) and Monogram for nine features films. In March 1942, producer Val Lewton ended his working relationship with independent producer David O. Selznick to work for RKO Pictures, RKO Radio Pictures' Charles Koerner, becoming the head of a new unit created to develop B-movie horror feature films. According to DeWitt Bodeen, the screenwriter of the Lewton's first horror production ''Cat People (1942 film), Cat People'' (1942), Bodeen watched British and American horror and suspense films that he felt were "typical of what we did not want to do" while director Jacques Tourneur recalled Lewton deciding to not make a "cheap horror movie that the studio expected but something intelligent and in good taste". Newman later described ''Cat People'' and the other horror productions by Lewton such as ''I Walked with a Zombie'' (1943) and ''The Seventh Victim'' (1943) as "polished, doom-haunted, poetic" while film critic Roger Ebert the films Lewton produced in the 1940s were "landmark[s] in American movie history". Several horror films of the 1940s borrowed from ''Cat People'', specifically feature a female character who fears that she has inherited the tendency to turn into a monster or attempt to replicate the shadowy visual style of the film with ''Jungle Woman'' (1944), ''The Soul of a Monster'' (1944), ''The Woman Who Came Back'' (1945), ''She-Wolf of London (film), She-Wolf of London'' (1946), ''The Cat Creeps (1946 film), The Cat Creeps'' (1946), and ''The Creeper (film), The Creeper'' (1948). Between 1947 and 1951, Hollywood made almost no new horror films. Between this period, American studios were re-releasing their back catalog of horror film productions by studios such as Universal and Monogram. Box-office receipts had fell sharply due to decling theatre attendance leading to the ''Motion Picture Herald'' reporting that seven of the eleven major producer-distributors companies including MGM, Paramount, RKO, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Warner Bros. and PRC would re-release their previous seasons films. In the period between 1947 and 1951 at least 25 Bela Lugosi horror films were re-released theatrically.
1950sWhile studies suggest that gothic horror had fallen out of fashion between the release of ''House of Dracula'' (1945) and ''The Curse of Frankenstein'' (1957), small glimpses of the genre appeared in films such as ''The Son of Dr. Jekyll'' (1951), ''The Strange Door'' (1951), ''The Black Castle'' (1952) and ''House of Wax (1953 film), House of Wax'' (1953). Prior to the release of Hammer Film Productions's gothic films, the last gothic horror films of the 1950s often featured aged stars like , Lon Chaney Jr., and Boris Karloff in films made by low budget indie film directors like Ed Wood or Reginald LeBorg or producers like Howard W. Koch. Hammer originally began developing American-styled science fiction films in the early 1950s but later branched into horror with their colour films ''The Curse of Frankenstein'' and ''Dracula (1958 film), Dracula'' (1958). These films would birth two horror film stars: Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Along with Hammer's more science fiction oriented series ''Bernard Quatermass, Quatermass'', both the gothic and science fiction films of Hammer would develop many similar films within the years. Among the most influential horror films of the 1950s was ''The Thing From Another World'' (1951), with Newman stating that countless science fiction horror films of the 1950s would follow in its style, while the film, ''The Man from Planet X'' (1951) was still in debt to Universal horror style of filming with a bearded scientist and foggy sets. For five years following the release of ''The Thing From Another World'', nearly every film involving aliens, dinosaurs or radioactive mutants would be dealt with matter-of-fact characters as seen in ''The Thing From Another World''. Even films that adapted for older characters had science fiction leanings such as ''The Vampire (1957 film), The Vampire'' (1957), ''The Werewolf (1956 film), The Werewolf'' (1956) and ''Frankenstein 1970'' (1958) being influenced by the atomic inspired monsters of the era. Films with a '' '' theme also appeared with ''The Neanderthal Man'' (1953), ''The Fly (1958 film), The Fly'' (1958), ''Monster on the Campus'' (1958) and ''The Hideous Sun Demon'' (1958). Smaller trends also included the Universal-International produced the film ''Cult of the Cobra'' (1955) which created a brief wave of horror films featuring Pin-up model like mutants such as ''The Leech Woman'' (1960) and ''The Wasp Woman'' (1959). Films from the 1950s reflected the filmmaking styles of the era. These included some horror films being shot in 3D, such as ''The Mad Magician'' (1954), ''Phantom of the Rue Morgue'' (1954), and ''The Maze (1953 film), The Maze'' (1953). Director William Castle also attracted horror audiences with his gimmick-themed horror films such as ''The Tingler'' (1959) and ''House on Haunted Hill'' (1959) that involved props and effects happening within the cinema. Horror films aimed a young audience featuring teenage monsters grew popular in the 1950s with several productions from American International Pictures (AIP) and productions of Herman Cohen with ''I Was a Teenage Werewolf'' (1957) and ''I Was a Teenage Frankenstein'' (1957). This led to later productions like ''Daughter of Dr. Jekyll'' (1957) and ''Frankenstein's Daughter'' (1958). Horror films also expanded further into international productions in the 1950s such as Mexican production ''El vampiro'' (1957). In Italy, Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava developed early Italian horror films with ''I Vampiri'' (1957) and ''Caltiki – The Immortal Monster'' (1959). Productions also extended into the Philippines (''Terror Is a Man'' (1959)), Germany (''The Head (1959 film), The Head'' (1959) and ''Horrors of Spider Island'' (1960)) and France (''Eyes Without a Face'' (1960)).
1960sNewman that the horror film changed dramatically in 1960. Specifically, with 's film '' Psycho'' (1960) based on the novel by Robert Bloch. Newman declared that the film elevated the idea of a multiple-personality serial killer that set the tone future film that was only touched upon in earlier melodramas and ''film noirs'' such as ''Hangover Square (film), Hangover Square'' (1945) and ''While the City Sleeps (1956 film), While the City Sleeps'' (1956). The release of ''Psycho'' led to similar pictures about the psychosis of characters, including ''What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (film), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?'' (1962) and the Bloch-scripted ''Strait-Jacket'' (1964) by William Castle. The influence of ''Psycho'' continued into the 1970s with films ranging from ''Taste of Fear'' (1961), ''Paranoiac (film), Paranoiac'' (1962), and ''Pretty Poison (film), Pretty Poison'' (1968). Following ''Psycho'', there was a brief reappearance of what Newman described as "stately, tasteful" horror films such as Jack Clayton's ''The Innocents (1961 film), The Innocents'' (1961) and Robert Wise's ''The Haunting (1963 film), The Haunting'' (1963). Outside America, Japan released films to critical acclaim such as Masaki Kobayashi's ''Kwaidan (film), Kwaidan'' (1965) which won international awards including Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Newman described Roman Polanski's ''Rosemary's Baby (film), Rosemary's Baby'' (1968) the other "event" horror film of the 1960s after ''Psycho''. The influence of ''Rosemary's Baby'' story involving satanic themes would not be felt until the 1970s with films like '' '' (1973) and '' '' (1976). Roger Corman convinced AIP to develop two cheap black-and-white horror films, and used the budget of these two films to make the colour film ''House of Usher (film), House of Usher'' (1960). The film created its own cycle of Poe-adaptations by Corman, including ''The Pit and the Pendulum (1961 film), The Pit and the Pendulum'' (1961), ''Tales of Terror'' (1962), and ''The Raven (1963 film), The Raven'' (1963) which provided roles for aging horror stars such as Karloff and Chaney, Jr. These films were made to compete with the British colour horror films from Hammer in the United Kingdom featuring their horror stars Cushing and Fisher. Hammer made several films in their ''Frankenstein (Hammer film series), Frankenstein'' series between 1958 and 1973, while still producing one-offs such as ''The Reptile'' (1966) and ''Plague of the Zombies'' (1966). Competition for Hammer appeared in the mid-1960s in the United Kingdom with Amicus Productions such as ''Dr. Terror's House of Horrors'' (1964) and also featured actors Cushing and Lee. Unlike Hammer, Amicus drew from contemporary sources such as Bloch (''The Skull'' (1965) and ''Torture Garden (film), Torture Garden'' (1967)) which led to Hammer adapting works by Dennis Wheatley (''The Devil Rides Out (film), The Devil Rides Out'' (1968)). Mario Bava's ''Black Sunday (1960 film), Black Sunday'' (1960) marked an increase in onscreen violence in film. Prior to Bava's film, Fisher's early Hammer films had attempted to push the envelope; ''The Curse of Frankenstein'' relied on make-up to depict the horror of the monster, ''Dracula'' had its gorier scenes cut by the British Board of Film Censors, and the violence in the backstory of ''The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959 film), The Hound of the Baskervilles'' (1959) was conveyed mostly through narration. The violence in ''Psycho'' (1960), which was released a week earlier than ''Black Sunday'', was portrayed through suggestion, as its famous "Psycho (1960 film)#Shower scene, shower scene" made use of fast cutting. ''Black Sunday'', by contrast, depicted violence without suggestion. This level of violence would later be seen in other Italian genre films, such as the Spaghetti Western and the ''giallo'', including Bava's own ''Blood and Black Lace'' (1964) and the ''gialli'' of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci. Other independent productions of the 1960s expanded on the gore shown in the films in a genre later described as the splatter film, with films by Herschell Gordon Lewis such as ''Blood Feast'' which led to similar minded indepdent directors making similar works like Andy Milligan and Ted V. Mikels. Newman found that the true breakthrough of these indepdent films was George A. Romero's ''Night of the Living Dead'' (1968) which set a new attitudes for the horror film, one that was suspicious of authority figures, broke taboos of society and was satirical between its more suspenseful setpieces. ''Black Sunday''s focus on combining eroticism and horror, specifically the eroticism of a tortured body — a trend that other European horror filmmakers like the French Jean Rollin and Spanish Jesús Franco would follow. Franco would make several horror films from the 1960s on, borrowing the plot of ''Eyes Without a Face'' (1960) for ''The Awful Dr. Orloff'' (1962) while screenwriter and actor Jacinto Molina under the name Paul Naschy began developing Spanish horror films by borrowing characters from Universal properties such as ''La Marca del Hombre Lobo'' (1968).
1970sHistorian John Kenneth Muir described the 1970s as a "truly eclectic time" for horror cinema, noting a mixture of fresh and more personal efforts on film while other were a resurrection of older characters that have appeared since the 1930s and 1940s. ''Night of the Living Dead'' had what Newman described as a "slow burning influence" on horror films of the era, some just adapted the zombie framework such as ''The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue'' (1974) while others became what Newman "the first of the genre auteurs", finding previous great genre directors such as Whale, Lewton and Terence Fisher had worked within studio settings. These included American directors such as John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Wes Craven and Brian De Palma as well as directors working outside America such as Bob Clark, David Cronenberg and Dario Argento. Prior to ''Night of the Living Dead'', the monsters of horror films could easily be banished or defeated by the end of the film, while Romero's film and the films of other filmmakers would often suggest other horror still lingered after the credits. Horror films continued to be made around the world in the 1970s. In the United Kingdom, Amicus focused their production on humorous horror anthologies, such as ''Tales from the Crypt (film), Tales from the Crypt'' (1972). The studio stopped producing horror films by the mid-1970s and closed in 1977. By the 1970s, Hammer Films pushed their films in different directions, such as their new series where vampires are implied to be lesbians in ''The Vampire Lovers'' (1970), ''Lust for a Vampire'' (1970) and ''Twins of Evil'' (1971). Hammer's Dracula series was updated to contemporary settings with ''Dracula A.D. 1972'' (1972) and its sequel ''The Satanic Rites of Dracula'' (1973), after which, Lee retired from the Dracula role. Hammer ceased feature film production in the 1970s. Other small booms in the Italian film industry included Argento's ''The Bird with the Crystal Plumage'' (1970) which created a trend in Italy for the ''giallo'' film. Other smaller trends permutated in Italy such as films involving Cannibal film, cannibals, Zombie film, zombies, Nazi exploitation, nazis which Newman described as "disreputable crazes". Some films of the 1970s pushed the eroticism to the point of horror and Pornographic film hybrids. The rise of zombie films towards the end of the decade was triggered by Romero's follow-up to ''Night'', with ''Dawn of the Dead (1978 film), Dawn of the Dead'' (1978). Remakes of proved to be popular choices for horror films in the 1970s, with films like ''Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 film), Invasion of the Bodysnatchers'' (1978) and tales based on ''Dracula'' which continued into the late 1970s with John Badham's ''Dracula (1979 film), Dracula'' (1979) and Werner Herzog's ''Nosferatu the Vampyre'' (1979). Other American production also placed vampires in a contemporary settings with ''Count Yorga, Vampire'' (1970) and ''Blacula'' (1972). ''Blacula'' set off a cycle combining the blaxploitation and horror films with titles like ''Scream Blacula Scream'' (1973), ''Blackenstein'' (1973), and ''Ganja and Hess'' (1973). European production also continued to feature ''Dracula'' and ''Frankenstein'' such as Paul Morrissey's ''Blood for Dracula'' (1974) and ''Flesh for Frankenstein'' (1973) which both delved into the eroticism of their stories. Although not an official remake, the last high-grossing horror film of decade, ''Alien (film), Alien'' (1979) took b-movie elements from films like ''It! The Terror from Beyond Space'' (1958). '' '' (1973) was a film that Newman described as getting Hollywood back into horror film production. Along with ''Rosemary's Baby'', Newman described the film as having the "grit and realism" that was part of the New Hollywood movement of the period with "nuanced performances" and non-star actors. Several films with the religious motifs of ''The Exorcist'' followed in the seventies in America with films like ''Abby (film), Abby'' (1974) and '' '' (1976) as well as Italy with films like ''A Black Ribbon for Deborah'' (1974). In 1963, Hitchcock defined a new genre nature taking revenge on humanity with ''The Birds (1963 film), The Birds'' (1963) that was expanded into a trend into 1970s. Following the success of ''Willard (1971 film), Willard'' (1971), a film about killer rats, 1972 had similar films with ''Stanley (1972 film), Stanley'' (1972) and an official sequel ''Ben (film), Ben'' (1972). Other films followed in suit such as ''Night of the Lepus'' (1972), ''Frogs (film), Frogs'' (1972), ''Bug (1975 film), Bug'' (1975), ''Squirm'' (1976) and what Muir described as the "turning point" in the genre with ''Jaws (film), Jaws'' (1975), which became the highest-grossing film at that point and moved the animal attacks genres "towards a less-fantastic route" with less giant animals and more real-life creatures such as ''Grizzly (1976 film), Grizzly'' (1976) and ''Night Creature'' (1977), ''Orca (1977 film), Orca'' (1977), and ''Jaws 2'' (1978). Newman's described ''Jaws'' as a "concerto of shock" noting it's memorable music theme and it's monster not being product of society like Norman Bates in ''Psycho'' or family like in ''The Texas Chain Saw Massacre'' (1974). These elements were carried over into Carpenter's ''Halloween (1978 film), Halloween'' (1978) Newman described that along that high grossing films like ''Alien'',''Jaws'' and ''Halloween'' were hits based on "relentless suspense machines with high visual sophistication." Along with the other mainstream hit film De Palma's ''Carrie (1976 film), Carrie'' (1976), ''Halloween'' began the trend of teenagers becoming ever-present lead characters in horror films while ''Carrie'' itself was a film Newman described as having a "dream-logic" to its supernatural plot, which was extended to the plot of Argento's films like ''Suspiria'' (1977) and ''Inferno (1980), Inferno'' (1980), whose narrative logic was pushed to the point that Newman described their plots as "making no narrative sense".
1980sThe 1980s marked a the first time since the early 1960s of horror film fandom with far more loose organized community of fans rose with the increased publication of fanzines and magazines such as ''Cinefantastique'', ''Fangoria'' and ''Starburst (magazine), Starburst'' as horror film festivals like Shock Around the Clock and Dead by Dawn (film festival), Dead by Dawn developing. In the appearance of home video, horror films came under attack in the United Kingdom as "Video nasty, video nasties" leading to people having their collection being seized by police and some people being jailed for selling or owning some horror films. Newman described the response to the video nasty issue led to horror films becoming "dumber than the previous decade" and although films were not less gorey, they were "more lightweight [...] becoming more disposable , less personal works." Newman noted that these directors who created original material in the 1970s such as Carpenter, Cronenberg, and Hooper would all at least briefly "play it safe" with Stephen King adaptations or remakes of the 1950s horror material. In Italy, the Italian film industry would gradually move towards making films for television. The decade started with a high-budgeted production of Argento's ''Inferno'' (1980) and with the death of Mario Bava, Fulci became what historian Roberto Curti called "Italy's most prominent horror film director in the early 1980s". Several zombie films were made in the country in the early 80s from Fulci and others while Argento would continue directing and producing films for others such as Lamberto Bava. As Fulci's health deteriorated towards the end of the decade, many directors turned to making horror films for Joe D'Amato's Filmirage company, independent films or works for television and home video. In the 1980s, the older horror characters of Dracula and Frankenstein's monster rarely appeared in film outside nostalgic films like ''The Monster Squad'' (1987) and ''Waxwork (film), Waxwork'' (1988). Vampire themed films continued often in the tradition of authors like Anne Rice where vampirism becomes a lifestyle choice rather than plague or curse. This was reflected in such films as ''The Hunger (1983 film), The Hunger'' (1983), ''The Lost Boys'' (1986), and ''Near Dark'' (1986). The 1980s highlighted several films about body transformation and men becoming wolves. Special effects and make-up artists like Rob Bottin and Rick Baker allowed for more detailed and graphic transformation scenes for creatures such as werewolves in films like ''An American Werewolf in London'' and ''The Howling (film), The Howling'' while films like ''Altered States'' (1980) and ''The Thing (1982 film), The Thing'' (1982), ''Videodrome'' (1983) and ''The Fly (1986), The Fly'' (1986) would show the human body in various forms transformation. Several other sequels took to the revival of 3D film in the 1980s following the surprise hit film ''Comin' at Ya!'' (1981). These included ''Friday the 13th Part III'' (1982), ''Parasite (1982 film), Parasite'' (1982), and ''Jaws 3-D, Jaws 3-D'' (1983). Replacing Frankenstein's monster and Dracula were new popular characters with more general names like Jason Voorhees (''Friday the 13th (franchise), Friday the 13th''), Michael Myers (Halloween), Michael Myers (''Halloween (franchise), Halloween''), Freddy Kruger (''A Nightmare on Elm Street (franchise), A Nightmare on Elm Street''). Unlike the characters of the past who were vampires or created by mad scientists, these characters were seemingly people with common sounding names who developed the genre of the era. In his book on the genre, author Adam Rockoff that these villains represented a "rogue genre" of films with "tough, problematic, and fiercely individualistic." Following the financiall success of ''Friday the 13th (1980 film), Friday the 13th'' (1980), at least 20 other slasher films appeared in 1980 alone. These films usually revolved around five properties: unique social settings(campgrounds, schools, holidays) and a crime from the past comitted (an accidental drowning, infidelity, a scorned lover) and a ready made group of victims (camp counselors, students, wedding parties). The genre was derided by several contemporary film critcs of the era such as Ebert, and often were highly profitable in the box office. Other more traditional styles continued into the 1980s, such as supernatural theemd films involving haunted houses, ghosts, and demonic possession. Among the most popular films of the style included Stanley Kubrick's ''The Shining (film), The Shining'' (1980), Hooper's high-grossing ''Poltergeist (1982 film), Poltergeist'' (1982) and films in the ''Works based on the Amityville haunting, Amityville Horror'' film franchise. After the release of films based on Stephen King's books like ''The Shining'' and ''Carrie'' led to further film adaptations of his novels such as ''Cujo (film), Cujo'' (1983), ''Christine (1983 film), Christine'' (1983), ''The Dead Zone (film), The Dead Zone'' (1983) and ''Firestarter (1984 film), Firestarter'' (1984), and ''Children of the Corn (1984 film), Children of the Corn'' (1984). King would even direct his own film with ''Maximum Overdrive'' in 1986.
1990sIn the late 1980s, the horror genre suffered in the television market. Viewers began turning to safer material, such as soap operas, sitcoms, and fictional tellings of real-life events, and any horror content that did air on television suffered from network censorship, commercial breaks, lower budgets, and "cheesy execution." However, ABC's It (miniseries), 1990 two-part telefilm version of Stephen King's ''It (novel), It'' garnered ratings incredibly rare for a television horror program of its time to receive. It was the biggest success of 1990 for ABC, raking in thirty million viewers in its November sweeps month run. Most of its cast included stars not popular in horror, including It (character), Pennywise actor Tim Curry; and the Broadcast Standards and Practices' restrictions on showing graphic content influenced ''It'' to be very focused on character development and psychological horror over blood and gore. Curry's rendition of Pennywise has been called by several publications and scholars one of the most terrifying clown characters in film and television, set the standard for the evil clown trope, and made the character a horror icon. In the first half of the 1990s, the genre retained many themes that originated in the 1980s. Popular slasher films ''A Nightmare on Elm Street'', ''Friday the 13th (1980 film), Friday the 13th'', ''Halloween (1978 film), Halloween'', and ''Child's Play (1988 film), Child's Play'' all saw sequels in the 1990s, most of which saw varying amounts of success at the box office, but received a very negative reception from critics and audiences, with an exception being Wes Craven's ''Wes Craven's New Nightmare, New Nightmare'' (1994), and the hugely successful, ''The Silence of the Lambs (film), The Silence of the Lambs'' (1991). The latter, which stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, is considered one of the greatest horror films ever made. ''The Blair Witch Project'' (1999) had a major influence of film marketing, and began a trend of Found footage (film technique), found footage and mockumentary films.
2000s''Final Destination (film), Final Destination'' (2000) marked a successful revival of teen-centered horror and spawned five installments. The ''Resident Evil'' video games were adapted into a Resident Evil (film), film released in March 2002, and several Resident Evil (film series), sequels followed. Other video game adaptations like ''Doom (film), Doom'' (2005) and ''Silent Hill (film), Silent Hill'' (2006) also had moderate box office success. A trend of horror films described as "torture porn" (also referred to as "horror porn", "splatterporn", and "gore-nography") were box office successes in the 2000s, despite sometimes attracting controversy for emphasis on depictions of torture, suffering, sexual violence and violent deaths. Films such as ''Ghost Ship (2002 film), Ghost Ship'' (2002), ''The Collector (2009 film), The Collector'' (2009), ''Saw (2004 film), Saw'' (2004), ''Hostel (2005 film), Hostel'' (2005), and their respective sequels, have been singled out as prominent examples of emergence of this subgenre. In 2010 the Saw (franchise), ''Saw'' film series held the Guinness World Records, Guinness World Record of the List of highest-grossing horror films, highest-grossing horror series in history. The ''Paranormal Activity (film series), Paranormal Activity'' Paranormal Activity (film series), film series was also a major commercial success. Remakes of earlier horror films became routine in the 2000s. In addition to the remake of ''Dawn of the Dead (2004 film), Dawn of the Dead'' (2004), as well as the remake of both Herschell Gordon Lewis' cult classic, ''2001 Maniacs'' (2003), and the remake of Tobe Hooper's classic, ''The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003 film), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'' (2003), there was also the 2007 Rob Zombie-written and -directed Halloween (2007 film), remake of John Carpenter's ''Halloween (1978 film), Halloween''.
2010s–2020sRemakes remained popular, with films such as ''A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010 film), A Nightmare on Elm Street'' (2010), ''The Crazies (2010 film), The Crazies'' (2010), ''I Spit on Your Grave (2010 film), I Spit on Your Grave'' (2010), ''Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010 film), Don't Be Afraid of the Dark'' (2010), ''Fright Night (2011 film), Fright Night'' (2011), ''Maniac (2012 film), Maniac'' (2012), ''Poltergeist (2015 film), Poltergeist'' (2015), and ''Suspiria (2018 film), Suspiria'' (2018). Horror has become prominent on television with ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'', ''American Horror Story'', and ''The Strain (TV series), The Strain'', and on online streaming services like Netflix's ''Stranger Things'' and ''The Haunting of Hill House (TV series), Haunting of Hill House''. Adapted from the It (novel), Stephen King novel, ''It (2017 film), It'' (2017) set a List of highest-grossing horror films, box office record for horror films by grossing $123.1 million on opening weekend in the United States and nearly $185 million globally. By the late 2010s, horror became the most lucrative genre for independent films in the US. Changes in distribution strategies, such as the shrinking American home video market, hit other genres harder than horror, and breakout successes proved theatrical distribution to be viable. Although hardcore horror films remained a niche, crossover films appealed to both horror and arthouse crowds, driven by positive critical reviews and word-of-mouth. Art horror and social thrillers became popularised during the 2010s, attributed to the crossover success of several A24 (company), A24 films and the critical and commercial success of ''Get Out'' (2017) and other works by director Jordan Peele, respectively. At the same time, video on demand became a potentially profitable market for low-budget film, low-budget and no-budget film, no-budget horror films. Films with a novelty concept can capitalize on viral media coverage.
Sub-genres of horror
Arthouse horrorArt horror combines horror elements with stylistic characteristics of art films, such as a cerebral Film styles, cinematic style, serious tone and philosophical themes. '' '' (1922), ''Eraserhead'' (1977), Audition (1999 film), ''Audition'' (1999) and The Witch (2015 film), ''The Witch'' (2015) have been described as art horror.
Body horrorBody horror intentionally showcases graphic or psychologically disturbing violations of the human body. These violations may manifest through aberrant sex, mutations, mutilation, zombification, gratuitous violence, disease, or unnatural movements of the body. It has roots in Gothic literature and has expanded to include other media.Halberstam, J. (1995). Skin shows: Gothic horror and the technology of monsters. Duke University Press. Famous body horror films include The Thing (1982 film), ''The Thing'' (1982), ''Videodrome'' (1983), The Fly (1986 film), ''The Fly'' (1986), and ''Tetsuo: The Iron Man'' (1989).
Comedy horrorComedy horror combines elements of comedy and horror film. The comedy horror genre often crosses over with the black comedy genre. It occasionally includes horror films with lower ratings that are aimed at a family audience. The short story ''The Legend of Sleepy Hollow'' by Washington Irving is cited as "the first great comedy-horror story".
Folk horrorFolk horror typically includes a rural setting and themes of isolation, religion, the power of nature, and the potential darkness of rural landscapes. Frequently cited examples are ''The White Reindeer'' (1952), ''Witchfinder General (film), Witchfinder General'' (1968), ''The Blood on Satan's Claw'' (1971), ''The Wicker Man'' (1973), ''The Witch (2015 film), The Witch'' (2015) and ''Midsommar (film), Midsommar'' (2019).
Found footage horrorThe Found footage (film technique), found footage horror film "technique" gives the audience a First-person narrative, first person view of the events on screen, and presents the footage as being discovered after. Horror films which are framed as being made up of "found-footage" merge the experiences of the audience and characters, which may induce suspense, shock, and bafflement. Examples of first-person horror include Night Call (The Twilight Zone), ''Nightcall'', ''The Blair Witch Project'' (1999), ''Noroi: The Curse'' (2005), ''Paranormal Activity'' (2007), ''Cloverfield'' (2008), and ''Devil's Due (film), Devil's Due'' (2014).
Gothic horrorGothic fiction, Gothic horror incorporates elements of Gothic literature, including romance, dread, and the supernatural.
Natural horrorList of natural horror films, Natural horror is a subgenre of horror films "featuring nature running amok in the form of mutated beasts, carnivorous insects, and normally harmless animals or plants turned into cold-blooded killers." Frequently cited examples are ''Them!'' (1954), ''Piranha (1978 film), Piranha'' (1978), ''Prophecy (film), Prophecy'' (1979), ''Alligator (film), Alligator'' (1980) and ''Cujo (film), Cujo'' (1983).
Slasher horrorSlasher film, Slasher horror is a horror subgenre, which involving a killer murdering a group of people (usually teenagers), usually by use of bladed tools. Some of the most notable slasher films include ''The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'' (1974), ''Halloween (1978 film), Halloween'' (1978), ''Friday the 13th (1980 film), Friday the 13th'' (1980), ''Sleepaway Camp'' (1983), ''A Nightmare on Elm Street'' (1984), ''Scream (1996 film), Scream'' (1996), and ''I Know What You Did Last Summer'' (1997).
Supernatural horrorSupernatural horror film
Teen horrorTeen horror is a horror subgenre that victimizes teenagers while usually promoting strong, Anticonformity (psychology), anti-conformity teenage leads, appealing to young generations. This subgenre often depicts themes of sex, under-aged drinking, and gore. It was most popular in 1964 and 1965.Miller C, Van Riper A. Marketing, Monsters, and Music: Teensploitation Horror Films. Journal of American Culture [serial online]. June 2015;38(2):130–141. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed 21 March 2017.
Psychological horrorPsychological horror is a Genre, subgenre of Horror fiction, horror and psychological fiction with a particular focus on mental, emotional, and Mental state, psychological states to frighten, disturb, or unsettle its audience. The subgenre frequently overlaps with the related subgenre of psychological thriller, and often uses Mystery fiction, mystery elements and characters with unstable, unreliable, or disturbed psychological states to enhance the suspense, drama, Action (narrative), action, and paranoia of the setting and plot and to provide an overall unpleasant, unsettling, or distressing Mood (literature), atmosphere.
Effects on audiences
Psychological effectsIn a study done by Uri Hasson et al., brain waves were observed via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This study used the inter-subject correlation analysis (ISC) method of determining results. It was shown that audience members tend to focus on certain facets in a particular scene simultaneously and tend to sit as still as possible while watching horror films. In another study done by Glenn Sparks, it was found that the audience tends to experience the Excitation-transfer theory, excitation transfer process (ETP) which causes a physiological arousal in audience members. The ETP refers to the feelings experienced immediately after watching a horror film, specifically in which audience members' heart rate, blood pressure and respiration all increase. Audience members with positive feedback regarding the horror film have feelings similar to happiness or joy felt with friends, but intensified. Alternatively, audience members with negative feedback regarding the film would typically feel emotions they would normally associate with negative experiences in their life. Only about 10% of the American population enjoy the physiological rush felt immediately after watching horror films. The population that does not enjoy horror films could experience emotional fallout similar to that of Posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD if the environment reminds them of particular scenes. A 2021 study suggested horror films that explore grief can provide psychological benefits to the bereaved, with the genre well suited to representing grief through its genre conventions.
Physical effectsIn a study by Medes et al., prolonged exposure to infrasound and low-frequency noise (<500 Hz) in long durations has an effect on vocal range (i.e. longer exposure tends to form a lower phonation frequency range). Another study by Baliatsas et al. observed that there is a correlation between exposure to infrasound and low-frequency noises and sleep-related problems. Though most horror films keep the audio around 20–30 Hz, the noise can still be unsettling in long durations. Another technique used in horror films to provoke a response from the audience is cognitive dissonance, which is when someone experiences tension in themselves and is urged to relieve that tension. Dissonance is the clashing of unpleasant or harsh sounds. A study by Prete et al. identified that the ability to recognize dissonance relied on the left hemisphere of the brain, while consonance relied on the right half. There is a stronger preference for consonance; this difference is noticeable even in early stages of life. Previous musical experience also can influence a dislike for dissonance. Skin conductance responses (SCRs), heart rate (HR), and Electromyography, electromyographic (EMG) responses vary in response to emotional stimuli, showing higher for negative emotions in what is known as the "negative bias." When applied to dissonant music, HR decreases (as a bodily form of adaptation to harsh stimulation), SCR increases, and EMG responses in the face are higher. The typical reactions go through a two-step process of first orienting to the problem (the slowing of HR), then a defensive process (a stronger increase in SCR and an increase in HR). This initial response can sometimes result in a fight-or-flight response, which is the characteristic of dissonance that horror films rely on to frighten and unsettle viewers.
In film criticismSome commentary has suggested that horror films have been underrepresented or underappreciated as serious works worthy of film criticism and major films awards. As of 2021, only six horror films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, with The Silence of the Lambs (film), ''The Silence of the Lambs'' being the sole winner. However, horror films have still won major awards. Critics have also commented on the Gender in horror films, representation of women and Racism in horror films, prevalence of racial stereotypes in horror films.
CensorshipMany horror films have been the subject of moral panic, Film censorship, censorship and legal controversy. In the United Kingdom, Film censorship in the United Kingdom, film censorship has frequently been applied to horror films. A moral panic over several Slasher film, slasher films in the 1980s led to many of them being banned but released on videotape; the phenomenon became popularly termed "Video nasty, video nasties". Constraints on permitted subject matter in Cinema of Indonesia, Indonesian films has also influenced Indonesian horror films. In the U.S., the Motion Picture Production Code which was implemented in 1930, set moral guidelines for film content, restraining movies containing controversial themes, graphic violence, explicit sexuality and/or nudity. The gradual abandonment of the Code, and its eventual formal repeal in 1968 (when it was replaced by the Motion Picture Association of America film rating system, MPAA film rating system) offered more freedom to the movie industry. A prominent example is 1978's ''I Spit on Your Grave'', an American rape and revenge film, rape-and-revenge exploitation film, exploitation horror film which attracted international attention due to its explicit scenes of rape, murder and prolonged nudity, which led to bans in countries such as Ireland, Norway, Iceland, and West Germany. In March 2008, China banned all horror films from its market.
Influences on societyHorror films' evolution throughout the years has given society a new approach to resourcefully utilize their benefits. The horror film style has changed over time, but, in 1996, ''Scream'' set off a "chain of copycats", leading to a new variety of teenage, horror movies. This new approach to horror films began to gradually earn more and more revenue as seen in the progress of ''Scream'' movies; the first movie earned $6 million and the third movie earned $101 million. The importance that horror films have gained in the public and producers' eyes is one obvious effect on our society. Horror films' income expansion is only the first sign of the influences of horror flicks. The role of women and how women see themselves in the movie industry has been altered by the horror genre. Early horror films such as ''My Bloody Valentine (film), My Bloody Valentine'' (1981), ''Halloween (1978 film), Halloween'' (1978), and ''Friday the 13th (1980 film), Friday the 13th'' (1980) were produced mostly for male audiences in order to "feed the fantasies of young men". This idea is no longer prevalent in horror films, as women have become not only the main audience and fans of horror films but also the main protagonists of contemporary horror films. Movie makers have also begun to integrate topics more broadly associated with other genres into their films in order to grow audience appeal.
Influences internationallyWhile horror is only one genre of film, the influence it presents to the international community is large. Horror movies tend to be a vessel for showing eras of audiences issues across the globe visually and in the most effective manner. Jeanne Hall, a film theorist, agrees with the use of horror films in easing the process of understanding issues by making use of their optical elements. The use of horror films to help audiences understand international prior historical events occurs, for example, to depict the horrors of the Vietnam War, the Holocaust and the worldwide AIDS epidemic. However, horror movies do not always present positive endings. In fact, in many occurrences the manipulation of horror presents cultural definitions that are not accurate, yet set an example to which a person relates to that specific cultural from then on in their life. The visual interpretations of films can be lost in the translation of their elements from one culture to another, like in the adaptation of the Japanese film ''Ju-on: The Grudge, Ju on'' into the American film ''The Grudge''. The cultural components from Japan were slowly "siphoned away" to make the film more relatable to a western audience. This deterioration that can occur in an international remake happens by over-presenting negative cultural assumptions that, as time passes, sets a common ideal about that particular culture in each individual. Holm's discussion of ''The Grudge'' remakes presents this idea by stating, "It is, instead, to note that ''The Grudge'' films make use of an un-theorized notion of Japan... that seek to directly represent the country."
See also* Horror fiction * Horror game * Horror punk * Lists of horror films
Bibliography* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Further reading* Dixon, Wheeler Winston. ''A History of Horror''. (Rutgers University Press; 2010), . * Steffen Hantke, ed. ''American Horror Film: The Genre at the Turn of the Millennium'' (University Press of Mississippi; 2010), 253 pages. * Petridis, Sotiris (2014).