When Karl Freund’s The Mummy (1932) was released, the horror genre was already ingrained by Universal Studios and other American studios. The 1930s are considered the beginning of the horror genre’s classic phase. Horror films “primarily engages us affectively and viscerally-its aim seems to be to scare and disgust us, to raise the hair on the back of our necks or make us cover our eyes”. The horror film of the studios years gives physical shape and specific presence to metaphysical, notions of spirit or moral evil. The Mummy embodies our personal fears and social fears on a larger scale. Death and damnation are central to The Mummy. The star of The Mummy is Imhotep/Ardath Bey played by Boris Karloff. Imhotep (a high Egyptian priest)…show more content… In the 1930s it was Universal who pioneered the horror film as a low-cost studio genre.
Universal Studios and Rise of Horror Films
Universal’s origin can be traced back to 1906 when Carl Laemmle gave up his post as a bookkeeper and used his savings to buy and operate a nickelodeon in Chicago. Universal was one of the eight large companies who dominated the industry, though they were not one of the “majors.” To be a “major”, a company had to be vertically integrated, owning a theater chain and having an international distribution operation. The five majors Paramount, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, and RKO dominated the industry. Universal had constant money problems, however, was still successful during the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 1931 Universal released Dracula starring Bela Lugosi and directed by Tod Browning, which a huge success and initiated the horror cycle. Universal also released another successful film Frankenstein (1931) starting Boris Karloff. The follow up to Dracula and Frankenstein was an even greater success, and Universal now looked for another success that would use its new star, Boris Karloff. This new success would be The Mummy (1932).
The Filming History of The Mummy The Mummy was filmed during the Great Depression. The financial collapse came against the background of an already