Narrative Elements Of Horror

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Almost every genre of film to date has been designed and developed to make an audience feel satisfied or sexed up and in love or delighted or inspired or rushed with adrenaline. Horror, on the other hand, was the first genre that preyed on the audience’s deepest fears and utilized them to provide cinema with nightmare flair. And everybody loved it.

The idea of this essay is to address the nightmarish absurdity that horror is so well known for. I will consider the development of the genre, as well as explore the stylistic, thematic and narrative elements of the genre; including discourse on the visuals, the symbolisms and the subject matter in addition to any impact the genre had on the audience, and address what role said impact had in defining
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Caligari; the Death and Damnation which was a more elusive narrative and sort of acted more as a theme, telling stories that depicted death and ruin. (Class notes: Universal Monsters) Horror, as a whole, deliberately parted with accurate and straightforward depictions of the world we live in, and preferred to make films that represented versions of our reality that were believable only to a certain extent. Virtually identical to the way our reality appears in our nightmares. “The genre offers a kind-of alternate reality, a dark never-never-land made up of our deepest fears.” (Class notes:…show more content…
The term body horror was first coined in 1986 in an issue of the film magazine Screen. The films of this subgenre concentrate on the human body and the horror of estrangement from within. Defined, body horror is:

Such destruction or generation of the human body can be as a result of anything from alien life forces to genetic mutations, viruses, diseases etc. Much of this subgenre was to do with society’s body-anxiety and body-consciousness and also explores identity and humanity. (Class notes: Body Horror) Though these films address such valid points, they also strive to create a swelling unease in the viewer and an awkward discomfort the viewer’s body. The intent is to provoke sickness, revulsion, and abhorrence in the audience.

Eraserhead, without a doubt, succeeds in achieving all of the above. This film is such a significant, sweeping example of the far-reaching horror genre. Expressionism’s influence on this genre is so captivatingly portrayed in the film, to the extent that many of the shots, throughout the entire film, look just like works of German Expressionist art.
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