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A horror film is one that seeks to elicit
fear Fear is an intensely unpleasant emotion Emotions are mental state, psychological states brought on by neurophysiology, neurophysiological changes, variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioural responses, and a degree of pleasure ...

fear
or
disgust Disgust ( Middle French: ''desgouster'', from Latin language, Latin ''gustus'', "taste") is an emotional response of rejection or revulsion to something potentially contagious or something considered offensive, distasteful, or unpleasant. In '' ...

disgust
in its audience for entertainment purposes. Initially inspired by
literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expan ...
from authors such as
Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe (; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor, and literary criticism, literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and ...

Edgar Allan Poe
,
Bram Stoker Abraham Stoker (8 November 1847 – 20 April 1912) was an Irish author, best known today for his 1897 Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes * ...

Bram Stoker
, and
Mary Shelley Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (, ; ; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist who wrote the Gothic fiction, Gothic novel ''Frankenstein, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus'' (1818), which is considered an History of sci ...
, horror has existed as a film genre for more than a century. Horror may also overlap with the
fantasy Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction involving Magic (supernatural), magical elements, typically set in a fictional universe and sometimes inspired by mythology and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became fantasy lit ...
,
supernatural fiction Supernatural fiction or supernaturalist fiction is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-Eu ...
, and
thriller Thriller may refer to: * Thriller (genre), a broad genre of literature, film and television ** Thriller film, a film genre under the general thriller genre Comics * Thriller (DC Comics), ''Thriller'' (DC Comics), a comic book series published 1983 ...
genres. Screenwriter and scholar Eric R. Williams identifies Horror Films as one of eleven super-genres in his screenwriters’ taxonomy, claiming that all feature length narrative films can be classified by these super-genres. The other ten super-genres are
Action ACTION is a bus operator in , Australia owned by the . History On 19 July 1926, the commenced operating public bus services between Eastlake (now ) in the south and in the north. The service was first known as Canberra City Omnibus Se ...
,
Crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a State (polity), state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Crime, defi ...
,
Fantasy Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction involving Magic (supernatural), magical elements, typically set in a fictional universe and sometimes inspired by mythology and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became fantasy lit ...
,
Romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong attraction towards another person, and the Court ...
,
Science Fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to sci-fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, Parall ...
,
Slice of Life Slice of life describes the depiction of mundane experiences in art and entertainment. In theater, slice of life refers to Naturalism (theatre), naturalism, while in literary parlance it is a narrative technique in which a seemingly arbitrary seq ...
,
Sports Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition arises whenever two or more parties strive for a common goal A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, Planning, plan and co ...
,
Thriller Thriller may refer to: * Thriller (genre), a broad genre of literature, film and television ** Thriller film, a film genre under the general thriller genre Comics * Thriller (DC Comics), ''Thriller'' (DC Comics), a comic book series published 1983 ...
,
War War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...
and
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...
. Plots within the horror genre often involve the intrusion of an
evil Evil, in a general sense, is defined by what it is not—the opposite or absence of good. It can be an extremely broad concept, although in everyday usage it is often more narrowly used to talk about profound wickedness. It is generally seen a ...
force, event, or personage into the everyday world, and may deal with transgressive topics or themes. Prevalent elements include
death Death is the permanent, irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organi ...

death
, the
supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by such beings, including , , , , and . Th ...

supernatural
,
cult In modern English, a cult is a social group In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar characteristics, and collectively have a sense of unity. Regardless, soc ...

cult
s, possession,
monster A monster is a type of fictional creature found in horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Genres *Horror fiction, a genre of fiction **Japanese horror, Japanese horror fiction **Korean horror, Korean horror fiction *Horr ...

monster
s,
religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

religion
and
folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psycholog ...

folklore
,
dystopia A dystopia (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). ...
n or apocalyptic worlds,
mental disorder A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. Such features may be persistent, relapsing In internal medici ...
s,
gore Gore may refer to: Places Australia * Gore, Queensland, a town * Gore Creek (New South Wales) * Gore Island (Queensland) Canada * Gore, Nova Scotia, a rural community * Gore, Quebec, a township municipality * Gore Bay, Ontario, a township on Man ...
and
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

torture
,
cannibalism Cannibalism is the act of consuming another individual of the same species as food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and cont ...
and
serial killer A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people,A serial killer is most commonly defined as a person who kills three or more people for psychological gratification; reliable sources over the years agree. See, for example: ...
s. Cinematic techniques used in horror films have been shown to provoke psychological reactions in an audience. From its origins in
trick film In the early history of cinema, trick films were short film, short silent films designed to feature innovative special effects. History The trick film genre was developed by Georges Méliès in some of his first cinematic experiments, and his works ...
s and
German Expressionism German Expressionism (cinema) () consisted of a number of related creative movements in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3 ...
, many sub-genres of horror have emerged throughout its history, including
body horrorBody horror or biological horror is a subgenre of horror that intentionally showcases grotesque or psychologically disturbing violations of the human body. These violations may manifest through aberrant sex, mutations, mutilation, zombification, gra ...
,
comedy horror Comedy horror, also known as horror comedy, is a literary Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of devel ...
,
folk horror Folk horror is a subgenre of horror film for cinema or television which uses elements of folklore to invoke fear in its audience. Typical elements include a rural setting and themes of isolation, religion, the power of nature, and the potential dark ...
,
slasher film A slasher film is a genre of horror films involving a killer stalking and murdering a group of people, usually by use of bladed tools. Although the term "slasher" may occasionally be used informally as a generic term for any horror film involving ...
s,
supernatural horror Horror is a genre of speculative fiction which is intended to frighten, scare, or disgust. Literary historian J. A. Cuddon defined the horror story as "a piece of fiction in prose of variable length... which shocks, or even frightens the reade ...
and
psychological horror Psychological horror is a subgenre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category ...
. Despite being the subject of social and legal controversy due to their subject matter, some horror films and franchises have seen major commercial success, influenced society and spawned several popular culture icons.


Characteristics

Horror 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
Frankenstein's monster Frankenstein's monster or Frankenstein's creature, often incorrectly referred to as "Frankenstein", is a fictional character In fiction, a character (sometimes known as a fictional character) is a person or other being in a narrative (such as a n ...
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
Alfred Hitchcock Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is one of the most influential and widely studied filmmakers in the history of cinema. Known as the "Master of S ...
'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 ''
The Exorcist ''The Exorcist'' is an American media franchise A media franchise, also known as multimedia franchise, is a collection of related media in which several derivative works have been produced from an original creative work of fiction, such as a film ...
'' (1973) or ''
The Omen ''The Omen'' is a 1976 American-British supernatural horror film Supernatural horror film is a film genre that combines aspects of horror film and supernatural film. Supernatural occurrences in such films often include ghosts and demons, and many ...
'' (1976).


Cinematic techniques

In a study by Jacob Shelton, the many ways that audience members are manipulated through horror films was investigated in detail.
Negative space is an optical illusion in which the negative space around the vase forms the silhouettes of two faces in profile, a well-known example of figure-ground reversal by emphasizing that negative space Image:FedEx Corporation logo.svg, FedEx‘s l ...
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
subversion Subversion (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the R ...

subversion
of classic horror tropes – the
jump scare A jump scare (often contracted to jumpscare) is a technique often used in horror film A horror film is one that seeks to elicit fear in its audience for entertainment purposes. Horror films additionally aim to evoke viewers' nightmares, fears ...
. 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
close-up A close-up or closeup in filmmaking Filmmaking (film production) is the process by which a is . Filmmaking involves a number of complex and discrete stages, starting with an initial story, idea, or commission. It then continues through , ...

close-up
. Tight framing can be terrifying as they induce anxiety by not allowing the viewer to see what's directly around the
protagonist 200px, Shakespeare's ''Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.'' William Morris Hunt, oil on canvas, c. 1864 A protagonist (from grc, πρωταγωνιστής, translit=prōtagōnistḗs, lit=one who plays the first part, chief actor) is the main character ...
. The suspense of not knowing builds on the unknown and tension of the audience.


History

In 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
Tod Browning Tod Browning (born Charles Albert Browning Jr.; July 12, 1880 – October 6, 1962) was an American film director, film actor, screenwriter, vaudeville Vaudeville (; ) is a of born in France at the end of the 19th century. A vaudeville was ...
that starred
Bela Lugosi Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (; October 20, 1882 – August 16, 1956), known professionally as Bela Lugosi (; ), was a Hungarian Americans, Hungarian-American actor best remembered for portraying Count Dracula in the Dracula (1931 English-language ...

Bela Lugosi
with utmost seriousness, other productions from other countries saw the material set for parody, as children's entertainment or nostalgic recollection.


Early influence

Forms of filmmaking that would become film genres were mostly defined in other media before
Thomas Edison Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from s ...

Thomas Edison
devised the
Kinetograph The Kinetoscope is an History of film#Precursors of film, early motion-picture exhibition device. The Kinetoscope was designed for films to be viewed by one individual at a time through a peephole viewer window at the top of the device. The Kin ...
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
Kim Newman Kim James Newman (born 31 July 1959) is an English journalist, film critic and fiction writer. Recurring interests visible in his work include film history and horror fiction—both of which he attributes to seeing Tod Browning's ''Dracula (1931 ...

Kim Newman
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 ''
Epic of Gilgamesh The ''Epic of Gilgamesh'' () is an epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women who, in dealings with ...
'' where heroes fight monsters and the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
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
Gothic fiction Gothic fiction, sometimes called Gothic horror in the 20th century, is a genre of literature and film that covers horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Genres *Horror fiction, a genre of fiction **Japanese horror, Jap ...
such as ''
The Castle of Otranto ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identifiability of the referents of the noun phrases. The ca ...
'' (1764) and works of
Ann Radcliffe Ann Radcliffe (née Ward; 9 July 1764 – 7 February 1823) was an English author and a pioneer of Gothic fiction. Her technique of explaining apparently supernatural elements in her novels has been credited with gaining Gothic Novel, Gothic ...

Ann Radcliffe
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 ''
Frankenstein ''Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus'' is an 1818 novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfiction Nonfiction (also ...

Frankenstein
'' (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", "
The Murders in the Rue Morgue "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in ''Graham's Magazine'' in 1841. It has been described as the first modern detective fiction, detective story; Poe referred to it as one of his "tales of wikt:ratioci ...
", "
The Pit and the Pendulum "The Pit and the Pendulum" is a short story A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a single effect ...
", "
The Fall of the House of Usher "The Fall of the House of Usher" is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe (; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor, and literary criticism, literary critic. Po ...

The Fall of the House of Usher
", 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: ''
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde ''Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'' is a Gothic fiction, Gothic novella by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886. The work is also known as ''The Strange Case of Jekyll Hyde'', ''Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'', or simpl ...
'' (1886), ''
The Picture of Dorian Gray ''The Picture of Dorian Gray'' is a Gothic and philosophical novel Philosophical fiction refers to the class of works of fiction Fiction generally is a narrative form, in any media (communication), medium, consisting of people, events, or ...

The Picture of Dorian Gray
'' (1890), ''
Trilby A trilby is a narrow-brimmed type of hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men's beaver felt hats A hat is a head covering which is worn for various reasons, including protection against weather conditions, ceremonial reasons such as un ...
'' (1894), ''
The King in Yellow ''The King in Yellow'' is a book of short stories by the American writer Robert W. Chambers, first published by F. Tennyson Neely in 1895. The book is named after a play with the same title which recurs as a motif through some of the stories. ...

The King in Yellow
'' (1895), ''
The Island of Doctor Moreau ''The Island of Doctor Moreau'' is an 1896 science fiction File:Imagination 195808.jpg, Space exploration, as predicted in August 1958 in the science fiction magazine ''Imagination (magazine), Imagination.'' Science fiction (sometimes short ...
'' (1896), ''
Dracula ''Dracula'' is a novel by Bram Stoker Abraham Stoker (8 November 1847 – 20 April 1912) was an Irish author, best known today for his 1897 Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ...

Dracula
'' (1897), ''
The Invisible Man ''The Invisible Man'' is a science fiction File:Imagination 195808.jpg, Space exploration, as predicted in August 1958 in the science fiction magazine ''Imagination (magazine), Imagination.'' Science fiction (sometimes shortened to sci-fi or ...
'' (1897), ''
The Turn of the Screw ''The Turn of the Screw'' is an 1898 horror fiction, horror novella by Henry James which first appeared in Serial (literature), serial format in ''Collier's, Collier's Weekly'' (January 27 – April 16, 1898). In October 1898, it was collected ...
'' (1898), ''
The Hound of the Baskervilles ''The Hound of the Baskervilles'' is the third of the four Detective fiction, crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. Originally serial (literature), serialised in ''The Strand Magazine'' from Aug ...
'' (1902), ''
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary ''Ghost Stories of an Antiquary'' is a horror short story collection by British writer Montague Rhodes James, M. R. James, published in 1904 (some had previously appeared in magazines). Some later editions under this title contain both the original ...
'' (1904), and ''
The Phantom of the Opera ''The Phantom of the Opera'' (French: ''Le Fantôme de l'Opéra''), is a novel by French author Gaston Leroux. It was first published as a serial in ''Le Gaulois'' from 23 September 1909 to 8 January 1910, and was released in volume form in late ...

The Phantom of the Opera
'' (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 film

Newman described
Georges Méliès Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès (; ; 8 December 1861 – 21 January 1938) was a French illusionist Magic, which encompasses the subgenres of illusion, stage magic, and close up magic, among others, is a performing art in which audiences are ...

Georges Méliès
''
Le Manoir du diable ''Le Manoir du diable'' or ''The House of the Devil'', released in the United States as ''The Haunted Castle'' and in Britain as ''The Devil's Castle'', is an 1896 French short silent film directed by Georges Méliès. The film, which depicts a br ...
'' 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 devil Satan,, ; grc, ὁ σατανᾶς or , ; ar, شيطان , also known as the Devil upA fresco detail from the Rila Monastery, in which demons are depicted as having grotesque faces and bodies. A devil is the personification Per ...

the devil
. The film has no story, but a series of
trick shotsTrick or tricks may refer to: People * Trick McSorley (1852–1936), American professional baseball player * Armon Trick (born 1978), retired German international rugby union player * David Trick (born 1955), former Ontario civil servant and univers ...
and
vaudeville Vaudeville (; ) is a of born in France at the end of the 19th century. A vaudeville was originally a comedy without psychological or moral intentions, based on a comical situation: a dramatic composition or light poetry, mixed with songs or b ...
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
Frankenstein's monster Frankenstein's monster or Frankenstein's creature, often incorrectly referred to as "Frankenstein", is a fictional character In fiction, a character (sometimes known as a fictional character) is a person or other being in a narrative (such as a n ...
with Edison's ''
Frankenstein ''Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus'' is an 1818 novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfiction Nonfiction (also ...
'' (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
William Selig William Nicholas Selig (March 14, 1864 – July 15, 1948) was a pioneer of the American motion picture industry. In 1896 he created one of the first film production companies, Selig Polyscope Company of Chicago (''City in a Garden'') ...

William Selig
's ''
Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde ''Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'' is a Gothic fiction, Gothic novella by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886. The work is also known as ''The Strange Case of Jekyll Hyde'', ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'', or ...
'' (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
F. W. Murnau Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (born Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe; December 28, 1888March 11, 1931) was a German film director. He was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer Arthur Schopenhauer (; ; 22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German ...

F. W. Murnau
's '' Der Januskopf''. Only a few actors and directors began specializing specifically in the genre. These included the German actor and director
Paul Wegener Paul Wegener (11 December 1874 – 13 September 1948) was a German actor, writer, and film director known for his pioneering role in German expressionist Expressionism is a modernist , Solomon Guggenheim Museum 1946–1959 Modernism is ...

Paul Wegener
, who would portray Balduin in ''
The Student of Prague''The Student of Prague'' or ''Der Student von Prag'' is the title of several films: * ''The Student of Prague'' (1913 film), a German silent film by Stellan Rye * The Student of Prague (1926 film), ''The Student of Prague'' (1926 film), a rem ...
'' (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
Golem A golem ( ; he, , ''gōlem'') is an animated anthropomorphic Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology. Personificat ...

Golem
, 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
Werner Krauss Werner Johannes Krauss (''Krauß'' in German; 23 June 1884 – 20 October 1959) was a German stage and film actor. Krauss dominated the German stage of the early 20th century. However, his participation in the antisemitic propaganda film ''Jud S ...

Werner Krauss
and
Conrad Veidt Hans Walter Conrad Veidt (; 22 January 1893 – 3 April 1943) was a German actor best remembered for his roles in the films ''Different from the Others'' (1919), ''The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari'' (1920), and ''The Man Who Laughs (1928 film), The M ...
. Veidt also work in '' Der Graf von Cagliostro'' (1920), '' The Hands of Orlac'' (1924) and both Veidt and Krauss would work together in ''
The Student of Prague''The Student of Prague'' or ''Der Student von Prag'' is the title of several films: * ''The Student of Prague'' (1913 film), a German silent film by Stellan Rye * The Student of Prague (1926 film), ''The Student of Prague'' (1926 film), a rem ...
'' (1926) and '' Waxworks'' (1924) where Krauss would portray the Devil and
Jack the Ripper Jack the Ripper was an unidentified serial killer A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people,A serial killer is most commonly defined as a person who kills three or more people for psychological gratification ...
respectively. Murnau, who had previously adapted ''Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'', made an adaptation of ''Dracula'' with ''
Nosferatu ''Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror'' (German: ''Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens'') is a 1922 silent Silent may mean any of the following: People with the name * Silent George, George Stone (outfielder) (1876–1945), American Major Lea ...

Nosferatu
'' (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."
Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of An ...

Hollywood
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
Tod Browning Tod Browning (born Charles Albert Browning Jr.; July 12, 1880 – October 6, 1962) was an American film director, film actor, screenwriter, vaudeville Vaudeville (; ) is a of born in France at the end of the 19th century. A vaudeville was ...
such as ''The Unknown (1927 film), The Unknown'' (1927) where he plays a murderer.


1930s

Prior 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
Bela Lugosi Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (; October 20, 1882 – August 16, 1956), known professionally as Bela Lugosi (; ), was a Hungarian Americans, Hungarian-American actor best remembered for portraying Count Dracula in the Dracula (1931 English-language ...

Bela Lugosi
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.


1940s

After 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.


1950s

While 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
Bela Lugosi Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (; October 20, 1882 – August 16, 1956), known professionally as Bela Lugosi (; ), was a Hungarian Americans, Hungarian-American actor best remembered for portraying Count Dracula in the Dracula (1931 English-language ...

Bela Lugosi
, 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 ''
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde ''Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'' is a Gothic fiction, Gothic novella by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886. The work is also known as ''The Strange Case of Jekyll Hyde'', ''Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'', or simpl ...
'' 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)).


1960s

Newman that the horror film changed dramatically in 1960. Specifically, with
Alfred Hitchcock Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is one of the most influential and widely studied filmmakers in the history of cinema. Known as the "Master of S ...
'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 ''
The Exorcist ''The Exorcist'' is an American media franchise A media franchise, also known as multimedia franchise, is a collection of related media in which several derivative works have been produced from an original creative work of fiction, such as a film ...
'' (1973) and ''
The Omen ''The Omen'' is a 1976 American-British supernatural horror film Supernatural horror film is a film genre that combines aspects of horror film and supernatural film. Supernatural occurrences in such films often include ghosts and demons, and many ...
'' (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).


1970s

Historian 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). ''
The Exorcist ''The Exorcist'' is an American media franchise A media franchise, also known as multimedia franchise, is a collection of related media in which several derivative works have been produced from an original creative work of fiction, such as a film ...
'' (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 ''
The Omen ''The Omen'' is a 1976 American-British supernatural horror film Supernatural horror film is a film genre that combines aspects of horror film and supernatural film. Supernatural occurrences in such films often include ghosts and demons, and many ...
'' (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".


1980s

The 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
slasher film A slasher film is a genre of horror films involving a killer stalking and murdering a group of people, usually by use of bladed tools. Although the term "slasher" may occasionally be used informally as a generic term for any horror film involving ...
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.


1990s

In 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–2020s

Remakes 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 horror

Art horror combines horror elements with stylistic characteristics of art films, such as a cerebral Film styles, cinematic style, serious tone and philosophical themes. ''
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'' (1922), ''Eraserhead'' (1977), Audition (1999 film), ''Audition'' (1999) and The Witch (2015 film), ''The Witch'' (2015) have been described as art horror.


Body horror

Body 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 horror

Comedy 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 horror

Folk 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 horror

The 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 horror

Gothic fiction, Gothic horror incorporates elements of Gothic literature, including romance, dread, and the supernatural.


Natural horror

List 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 horror

Slasher 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 horror

Supernatural horror films integrate Supernatural fiction, supernatural elements, such as the afterlife, spirit possession and religion into the horror genre.


Teen horror

Teen 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 horror

Psychological 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 effects

In 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 effects

In 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.


Reception


In film criticism

Some 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.


Censorship

Many 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.China Bans Horror Movies
– ''Shanghai Daily'', March 2008.


Influences


Influences on society

Horror 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 internationally

While 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


References


Notes


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).
A Historical Approach to the Slasher Film
. Film International 12 (1): 76–84.


External links


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