The Horror Genre: History and Themes Defined

Horror Genre - So The Theory Goes

Don’t go check out that noise in the dark. Don’t pick up that hitchhiker. Don’t read from that weird demonic-looking book. Certainly, don’t go to a campsite when a hockey-masked maniac is on the loose… Whether shouting at the heroes or jumping out of your skin, the horror movie is king when eliciting a visceral response from an audience.

History of Horror

The driving force behind horror has always been to draw inspiration from mythology, urban legends, fairy tales, and literature. Early European and Hollywood films such as Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and Universal Studios’ Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Mummy began to establish horror as crowd-pleasing spectacles.

Britain’s Hammer Horror became a major producer in the 1950s with The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy – all of which were extremely successful, and notably launching the career of Christopher Lee.

Psycho emphasised Hitchcock’s exquisite touch for psychological horror; with Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby shifting towards the occult, and paving the way for The Exorcist, The Omen and Poltergeist. The supernatural left its lasting trademark on horror films with Stephen King’s adaptations Carrie and The Shining providing playgrounds for Brian De Palma and Stanley Kubrick to showcase their unique styles.

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