Horror Films in Popular Culture Essay

851 Words 4 Pages
The house is dark, and you think you’re all alone until you hear a small creak. You hear the steps get closer and closer, and you pray that they wont find you. The doorknob turns and the door slams open to reveal… What? Imagine exactly what you would see. Does your heart race? Has your breathing quickened? Are your senses heightened? Perhaps you are even intrigued as to what will happen next. Horror film is a popular genre, but shouldn’t seem to have any real appeal. Horror lures its audience by lingering on the fears of man, manipulating emotions, affecting one’s mind.
Those creepy-crawlies on the big screen usually reflect the common fears of the times. These societal fears can be described as the ‘Horrors.’ In the 1960’s, the horror of personality was shown the cult classic Psycho (1960). Norman Bates is the unassuming antagonist, caring for his mother (Derry 164). Psycho was different in that “traditionally, acts of horror took place in old dark houses with lots of shadows; although psycho presents a dark house, the most horrible act takes place in the whiteness of a shower stall” (Derry 164). This movie made horror not specific to dark, cliché spooks, but the modern world. Other movies followed the example: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Strait-Jacket (1964), Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964), and Pretty Poison (1968) (Derry 164). These horror films have many similarities such as a lesser fear of fatality replaced with fear of anxiety, violence as a social…