The Appeal of the Horror Genre Essay

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The horror genre has many lessons to teach us as an audience although being the genre most connected with that of ridiculousness. It is regularly associated with the reaction it seeks from its audience; both emotional and physical. In cinema success is measured by terrifying chills, bloody deaths and the volume of the audiences scream. The appeal of horror narrative in literature, film and theatre lies in the pleasures it associates with fear, suspense and terror; no matter what it is trying to convey to the audience. Even when writers layer the genre with academic thoughts on psychology, theology and the world in which we live in, horror remains the primary outlet to examine the notions of dread, uncertainly, mysterious and the abject.…show more content…
Films such as ‘Carrie’ (DePalma 1976), ‘Misery’ (Reiner 1990), ‘Evil Dead’ (Raimi 1981), ‘The Exorcist’ (Friedkin 1973), ‘The Birds’ (Hitchcock 1963) have all been made into stage productions; treading the boards as a Broadway Musical or as serious drama. These adaptations have gained cult followings and mixed reviews.
In 2014 the London theatre scene will be dominated by horror on stage. Productions of ‘Fatal Attraction’ (Dearden 2014), ‘American Psycho’ (Aguirre-Sacasa 2013), ‘Let the Right One In’ (Thorne 2013), ‘Woman in Black’ (Mallatratt 1987) and ‘Ghost stories’ (Dyson & Nyman 2012) will lead the early part of the season. The power of stage horror doesn't just match that of horror cinema, it can actually outdo it as it can carry a blow that is extremely intensified because it is live. The question for the stage though is how do we adapt iconic horror from screen to stage without the magic of high expensive technical effects?

Horror on stage could be said to date back to the Ancient Greeks and their tales of incest, murder and revenge, only using the role of the messenger as narrator to the horrors that happened off stage. In modern times, however, we only need to look to Paris and the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol, which presented explicit revenge tales from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. The plays placed emphasis on
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