Horror can be defined as a genre meant to psychologically trigger individual fear with the presence of certain supernatural or abstract characteristics. The genre is dependent on people’s fascination with unrealism and the sensation that comes from experiencing fear personified into tangible elements on a screen. Horror films have thrilled audiences for decades, revealing stories of the more sinister parts of life. The popular allure that stems from the genre comes from the tension moviegoers experience when aroused by specific stimuli uniquely present in these cinematic features (Walters). Over time, as the genre progressed, the standardized elements found in a typical horror movie began to shift in different directions primarily due to changing societal circumstances and increasing consumer demand for cinematic innovation. The expansive nature of the different codes and conventions within the horror genre, coupled with the evolution of society’s fascination with these characteristics, has led to the mutation of the genre itself in order to allow for unique approaches to a familiar style in response to both economic developments and taste shifts within the consumer industry.
A girl runs frantically through the woods trying to escape an axe wielding villain. The defenseless victim suddenly trips and collapses to the ground. The villain laughs wickedly as he lifts the axe above his head. The girl releases a final scream as the weapon quickly ends her life, causing the audience to go silent as they watch the villain drag away the lifeless body. Death, blood, guts, suspense, screaming, and terror are all just a few things to expect when watching a modern day horror film. What is horror? Horror can be defined as an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust. (Wilson) The description of horror is not very pleasant, but for some reason horror films are extremely popular. Why is this so? People are addicted to the
The horror genre has held a prominent position in culture for most of history. Beginning in folklore, used as a device to scare children into good behaviors (e.g. The Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tales), horror has integrated its way into the 21st century through film, and in recent years even video games. Yearly, primarily during the fall when the leaves start to brown and the natural eerie sense of fear fills the air around Halloween, the film industry likes to fill in the holes between its major grossing seasons by filling the audience with fear. However, it was Christmas of 1973 that defined the new age of Horror, when William Friedkin released The Exorcist. According to Julia Heimerdinger of Academia’s online journal, Horror, as a whole, can
Ever since the advent of celluloid films, horror movies have always held a fascination for viewers. Just why do people pay good money to be scared out of their wits? Apart from its entertainment value, the horror movie satisfies certain primordial needs in man. Through the horror movies, one is able to come to grips with one's personal demons, fear of death and other irrational phobias and in the process achieve a catharsis. Far from being morbid, such movies actually affirm life for the movie-goer, for he is able to emerge from the dark into the light, both literally and figuratively, having explored the world beyond our normal perception as well as the deep recesses of the human soul and say, "It's good to be alive."
During 1981 there was a huge development in technology. In that same year of 1981, Stephen King published an article in the Playboy magazine by the name of “Why We Crave Horror Movies.” In his essay he wrote about why people enjoy watching horror films. King intends this essay toward young men who watch horror films. He mentions that everyone is a little insane and that it is okay to be that way. He wants young men to know and understand that there is something more to it then just wanting to get scared when watching horror movies, it is for young men's insanity relief so that the good emotions can be expressed. Back then there was a stigma, mostly in religious people, parents, and psychiatrists, but it is still present today. Critics believe that horror films were made to scare viewers and draw in the negative things. King is famous for horror movies and is known to be the king of them. The article “Why We Crave Horror Movies” was written forty years ago by King who is the author of many popular horror books and films King persuades young adults that it is okay to watch horror movies because everyone is a little bit insane in the inside.
James Whale’s ‘Frankenstein’ (1931) was one of the biggest horror hits of the 30’s despite it starting off and a small movie idea based on the 1818 book by Mary Shelly. This could have been because of the newly introduced use of sound, ultimately turning it into a cultural phenomenon that changed the way all audiences saw horror movies from then onwards. (McCormick, 2011).
Dracula. Frankenstein. Godzilla. These monsters no longer strike fear into the hearts of viewers as they once did. Formerly the villains of the classic "monster movie," these relics, who now represent all that is archaic in horror film history. The monster movie of the past makes way for the thriller or slasher movie of the present, while the monster villain gives its role to the deranged, psychotic serial killer. Friday the 13th series, Nightmare on Elm Street, Copycat and Seven have become the new classics in the genre of the horror film. With films like The People Under the Stairs, Nightmare on Elm Street, and New Nightmare, Wes Craven has proven himself to be a master of the creation of modern horror films.
In the 1930s it was Universal who pioneered the horror film as a low-cost studio genre.
Horror boosted entertainment during early 1900s. Horror was the type of film that bought chills and fear to life. The goal of many horror films is to scare and tell a story to its
Since it’s infancy at the beginning of the eighteenth century, horror has followed certain conventions that results in an awakening of the senses, evoking intense emotions of fear and terror in the audience. Horror feeds off triggering the primal fears embedded within all of humankind, creating a sense of menace that is the very substance of this genre. Furthermore, the central menace of a piece tends to enlighten the human mind to the world of the paranormal and the enigmatic, dark side of the unknown. The movie “Psycho” directed by Alfred Hitchcock is a perfect example. Infamous for its shower scene, but immortal for its contribution to the horror genre, “Psycho” was filmed with great tact, grace and art in regards to horror conventions.
“Horror film”. For most people, the first things that come to mind are monstrous paranormal antagonists, a plethora of gruesome deaths, and, of course, the infamous jump scares that so often drive the thrill and exhilaration of such films. While films under this genre are intended to illicit negative emotions, such as fear, alarm, and anxiety, these same aspects are ironically what attracts viewers endlessly. As an avid horror film fan myself, I have seen many horror thrillers that have shaped and developed my understanding of this particular genre. In analyzing what makes a horror film a horror film, I will be discussing three different films: “Child’s Play”, “The Birds”, and “Paranormal Activity”. While these films have their own distinct
Horror films have been around for over 100 years, petrifying people and bringing their worst fears to life but still they can’t get enough of this sick and gory genre that is unbelievably entertaining and captivating to the audience. Horror comes with many sub-genres from your bloody slashers like Friday the 13th to your Supernatural-Horrors like The Exorcist, but in the end they all seem to do their job by scaring you and leaving you with nightmares for weeks on end. Usually Horror’s films have the same character stereotypes such as the nerd, the jock, the slut, the virgin, the junky, the tough hero, the unlikely hero and last but not least the masked murderer, but yet they all play their own part in the making of these horrors movies whether it is the extremely slow walk the killer does but almost always catches the victim, or the unwise decision to split up and investigate where the unusual noise is coming from.
There are various reasons due to which people prefer to get this challenging entertainment. Among them the major reason given by the author and that was logically supported by him was their urge to express of pacifying their certain innate yet less appreciated emotions such as fear, aggression, pessimism and anarchy. As these anti-civilized emotions are against the status quo of the society and not get proper expression therefore people like to watch the horror movies. Besides this these horror movies, also bring some sort of recreation to the audiences, whether it includes enjoying the horrifying characters of the movie or seeing their pals manic and distressed. The author had used an ethical approach to differentiate between the movies getting higher ratings compared to others as the former group is more synchronous with the human natural emotions compared to the latter, which includes simple fairy tales of black and
The arguments presented in this book are clear and organized in a logical manner. Among the different writers whose works are featured in the book, they offer different examples to explore the genre of horror films from different perspectives. The writers also attempt to explain the how modern day horror film are related to certain themes of blood and gore, and the relationships between pornography and horror film among other things.
Horror is the most personal media genre because of how it can uniquely connect an audience to the traumatic aspects of human struggle. As a result, I like to define horror like this: horror is any instance when an audience is given an uncomfortable look at something that disturbs them. This definition is intended to give room for a cultural interpretation to horror; if something would have scared someone in the past because of something unique about their culture, it can still be considered horror. This is the primary vehicle with which I’ll argue that horror has existed as long as the English language has. Looking back at the medieval horror excerpts and Beowulf, there are many elements that would scare the audiences of their times that wouldn’t immediately affect a modern audience without thorough analysis. Because audiences in the Middle Ages were terrified of God, descriptions of hell and punishment were works of horror centered around fear of the divine. Likewise in Beowulf, in addition to containing an explicit, modern-esque monster in Grendel, Grendel’s Dam would have been seen as a horrifying figure because women were mostly used as negotiable objects for marriage in the 700s. In these ways, these works are evidence that horror has been around since before Frankenstein.