2. “Frankenstein”, “Dracula” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde” are three of the most well known horror
stories of the 19th century.
“Frankenstein” was originally written by Mary
Shelley, who was married to Percy Shelley; an
early romantic poet.
It was published anonymously in London in
1818. Her name appeared on the second edition
which was published in France in 1823.The first
film adaptation was produced in 1910
3. Dracula (1931) directed byTod Browning. It is a classic
film known by anybody interested in the horror genre. In
the filmThe ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in
England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young
The film was originally released with a running time of 85
minutes.When the film was reissued in 1936, the
Production Code was being strictly enforced.
At least two scenes are known to have been censored
and cut from the film.The most famous was an epilogue
which played only during the film's initial run.
Van Sloan calmly informed those with a nervous
disposition that... "There really are such things as
Vampires!" In a 1936 reissue.
This epilogue was thenremoved because it could be seen
as offensive to religious groups by encouraging a belief in
4. Nineteenth century audiences
enjoyed seeing ghosts captured in
still photography and magic lantern
It was natural that the techniques
would be transferred to new
technology in order to tell fantastic
and bizarre tales.
Whilst the first moving pictures
tended to be action and comedy,
early film makers also used
photographic trickery to explore
darker stories with psychological and
supernatural themes, recognisable
as the first horror films.
5. Because ofWorldWar I, Germany was largely isolated, and in 1916,
the government had banned more foreign films in the nation.
The demand from theatres to generate films led film production to
With inflation on the rise, Germans were attending films more
freely because they knew that their money's worth was constantly
Amongst the earliest films was Nosferatu, now considered by many
an all time classic.
6. Horror movies were reborn in the 1930s.The process of using
sound was changing the whole nature of cinema forever, and
had a huge impact on the horror genre.
The imagery of the 1920s was replaced by monsters.
Sound added an extra dimension to terror, whether it be music
used to build suspense or to signify the presence of a threat
This was also despite the struggle that many of the major
players - such as directorTod Browning - had to adapt to the
Making talking pictures was a very different process to
producing silent movies.
The horror films of the 1930s are exotic fairy tales. Horror was
still essentially looking backwards, drawing upon the literary
classics of the 19th century for their source material.
7. Audiences seemed even more enthusiastic about the horror genre
than in the 1920s.
The horror genre allowed them to escape from their everyday lives
and events of approaching war and depression.
80 million people attended the cinema on a weekly basis in 1930,
some 65% of the total US population.
During the early period of talking pictures, the American Movie
studio Universal Pictures began a successful Gothic horror film
series such asTod Browning's Dracula (1931), also JamesWhale's
Frankenstein (also 1931).
Some of these films blended science fiction with Gothic horror,,
mirroring the earlier German films, which featured a mad scientist.
While designed to thrill, also incorporated more serious elements.
Universal's horror cycle continued into the 1940s as B-pictures
includingThe Wolf Man (1941).
8. This story is responsible for the beginning of
the science fiction genre and its inspiration.
Parents complained to the makers of the film,
because they were unhappy about the
obscenities depicted in 1910 classic.
Outraged that such graphic scenes of horror
could be seen by their children.
Other people (of different religious beliefs)
also complained arguing that it is to resurrect
a person by sewing together body parts and
using a bolt of lightening.
This enraged them as they believed that only
God should be able to give life.
9. Most horror films were American at the
time, and banned in Britain.
As much as they tried, the Americans
could not keep themselves separate
with their basic European roots coming
Links with lands of their ancestors
eventually pulled them intoWorldWar
This caused panic across, however
Americans were especially effected
because of this and the film industry
took advantage of the situation.
10. Hitler himself strongly identified with
the iconography and legends of a
The name Adolf means ‘noble wolf’
in old German, Hitler also became
quite obsessed with wolves, having
many Nazi Party HQ being named
after the animal.
Including his SS forces were referred
to as ‘My Pack ofWolves’. Not
surprisingly, Universal chose to use
the wolf as a figure of menace for the
11. The result of men coming back fromWorld
WarTwo, women were removed from their
jobs in factories, and other jobs previously
done by men, in order for them to regain
their former roles in those industries.
As a result of this, women weren't happy
with the way they were being treated and
wanted to be able to have the same jobs as
This is linked to the film Cat People because
women in this film were seen as being a
dangerous and powerful because of what
they were able to do in the film.
12. Initially these films were
very low budget, the first
sci-fi film of the 50’s being
‘Rocketship X-M’.This then
started a trend of sci-fi
Some of the most popular
and films of the genre were
‘TheThing’, ‘The DayThe
Earth Stood Still’, ‘Invasion
OfThe Body Snatchers’ and
13. On screen monsters represented the cutting
edge of movie technology was seen as a good
way to draw audiences away fromTV.
This era’s obsession with the monster movie
stems from the fears generated by co-existence
with the atom bomb.
Monster movies offered a vision of destruction
created by non-humans; instead of generating
chaos and disaster, humans represent a force of
These monster movies of 1950’s were the first
14. The Blob was released 1958 and there has
been 2 re-makes of the film since then.
The message of this film was to warn
people of the potential dangers of space
The Blob is an unidentifiable creature that
feeds and expands on individuals fears.
Because of the ColdWar during this era
many people sawThe Blob as
communism itself, the idea that
something could invade and take over a
town was terrifying.
15. Horror movies of the 70’s reflected the grim outlook
of the decade. However, this was also big budget.
These dealt with contemporary societal issues, and
mainly addressed genuine psychological fears.
One of the recurring fears was of children and the
fear of childbirth.
16. The Exorcist (1973) one of the main films of
the era that dealt with the fear of children.
It was banned from the UK until 1999, and
was voted ‘The scariest movie of all time’.
These films reinforce that children can be
unwanted and do bad things to their
The crumbling family becomes the source
of fear and mistrust, showing that the
enemy may be found closer than you think.
Satanism also comes into this as the person
is possessed by the devil, and the exorcism
is to get rid of the devil.
17. Many ghost stories appeared within
the 1960’s which can be seen as
being a reaction against the creature
films of the late 1950’s.
The horror lies in the journey the
protagonist takes between sanity
These reflect a preoccupation with
change, with mainly woman on the
frontlines being the first (and many
times, the only ones) to be destroyed
18. Hammer film productions was founded ion 1934.Their
first film wasThe Public Life of Henry the Ninth (1935).
After a short pause in production duringWW2,
Hammer’s first horror wasThe Quarter mass Xperiment
(1957), and their first colour film wasThe Curse of
The success of these films allowed Hammer to gain their
reputation as Hammer House of Horror.
Hammer thenWent on to produce other iconic horror
classics such asThe Abominable Snowman (1957),
Dracula (1958)AndThe Mummy as well as others.
Due to the release of theTelevision horror started to go
out of fashion which made Hammer halt the production
of horror films.
19. After 34 years of no horror
films, Hammer was bought by
Dutch producer John De Mol.
Since then they have released
Let Me IN (2010), andThe
Woman In Black (2012).
It’s worth mentioning that
both of these films are based
on novel, so it’s safe to say
hat Hammer will bring out
more literary adaptations.
20. Advancements in the field of special FX
meant that the blood and gore-filled
horror movies from the 80s could be
depict death in all of its gory glory.
Western society in the 80s was focussed
on material wealth – not just having
stuff but making sure others knew that
you had it.
The new improved and fantastic special
effects could be seen as corresponding
with this ‘showy’ 80s culture.
21. The Slasher film functions within a tight set of
conventions, usually includes psychopathic
killers stalking teenagers whilst wielding sharp
weapons such as knifes and machetes.
Numerous popular slasher films were released
in the 80s resulting in multiple sequels and
The popularity of the 80’s slasher film didn’t
just result in sequels and remakes; when
horror seemed stale in the 1990s because ‘it
had all been done before’,Wes Craven
“decided to adopt a self-reflexive approach”.
Craven, who directed the original Nightmare
on Elm Street in 1984, released New
Nightmare in 1994 and Scream in 1996.
22. Now that special effects were good enough to
show close up, audiences were able to see more
violence and more monsters.
However, it soon
became apparent that
these monsters were, in
fact, the same evil foes
that had been seen in
horror films for over 3
23. TheVHS cassette was integral to the success of certain
horror films in the 1980s as low budget titles were not
likely to get a large release in cinemas.
The term ‘straight to video’ was born in the 80s as a
result of releasing films on cassette instead of showing
them in cinemas.
in the UK, the BBFC exist to rate the age of every film
released in the cinema and on DVD/ Bluray.
However, in the 80’s, it was likely that theVHS would be
released unrated because of this children were getting
access to (and watching) unrated horror films.
During this time 39 films made a list of “video nasties”
and these films were then withdrawn from sale (banned)
in the UK by the government.
Since then these films have become available for
purchase in the UK.
24. During the mid 2000s, many films were released that contained
startlingly graphic representations of torture: Hostel,Wolf Creek,The
Devil’s Rejects, Saw I-V.
Using torture as a premise or theme in horror is not new, but the way it is
portrayed is. It suddenly became very ‘real’ due to advancements of
technology and CGI effects.
The use of the term suggests that we, as an
audience, watch these films for a physical
reaction rather than an emotional one – much
Despite voyeurism being a part of films and what
makes films, so different from every day life,
never before has this level of torture and realism
been seen in films before.