The Horror Genre

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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Media Studies Film Criticism Task- The Horror Genre Horror films have been a very big part of the filming world ever since the first ever horror film "Le Manior du Diable"�, made in 1896 by George Melies. In those early days, horror films were very theatrical and overacted, so audiences usually looked upon them as comedies. It was only in the 1920s when the genre was really started, and it was in the 1960s when the genre flourished. Films like "Psycho"� by Alfred Hitchcock, shocked many audiences. Ever since then, horror has become one of the most popular of all genres. Horror has developed extensively over the years, from a primitive religious "˜monster', to modern day myths and creative reservations. One can say horror films have evolved over the years to a fine art.

Horror films are frightening to many people, "˜But where does the horror come from?' one may ask.

Directors, editors and the movie crew all have the difficult task of scaring you. Many movies use different methods to do so. Soundtrack, shock tactics, the monster, the setting, victim being vulnerable/helpless, violence and blood, demonic beings, chase sequences, fear of being alone, are some examples of the tactics used to scare people in films. Many films use some or all of these tactics to scare their audience. Different directors choose different things, to suit the film, which he/she is trying to create and to suit the era in which it is created. The three films we viewed: "Jaws"�, "Halloween"� and "Urban Legend"�, were all created in different eras and by different directors, so each use quite different ways to horrify its audience.

The 1970s changed the horror perspective totally. People were overwhelmed by many big-budget films such as "The Exorcist"� which approached horror from a religious perspective. The...



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