Horror Movies throughout history

Tori Morris

The Start of scary movies

The first horror films are surreal, disturbing pieces, owing their visual appearance in part to expressionist painters and in part to spirit photography of the 1860s, and their narrative style to the stories played out by the Grand Guignol Theatre Company and drawn from Gothic literature. They draw upon the folklore and legends of Europe, and render monsters into physical form. Spirit photography – the practice of using double exposures or superimpositions to depict ghosts within a frame of film – was popular from the 1860s onwards, not only among Spiritualists (who may have believed the images were real, vindicating their belief in the afterlife) but also among stage musicians and their audiences, who delighted in the fakery as entertainment.
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  • The first depictions of supernatural events appear in several of the silent shorts created by the film pioneer Georges Melies in the late 1890s, the best known being Le Manoir du Diable, which is sometimes credited as being the first horror film.
  • 1910, Edison Studios produced the first film version of Frankenstein, which was thought lost for many years
  • The second monster to appear in a horror film: Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dam, who had appeared in Victor Hugo's novel,
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  • During the early period of talking pictures, the American Movie studio Universal Pictures began a successful Gothic series film series. Tod Browning's Dracula
  • The Mummy introduced Egyptology as a theme for the genre. Make-up artist Jack Pierce was responsible for the iconic image of the monster.

  • Other series in the Universal horror cycle continued including, The Wolf Man, not the first werewolf film, but certainly the most influential.


  • With advances in technology, the tone of horror films shifted from the Gothic towards contemporary concerns. Two subgenres began to emerge: the horror-of-armageddon film and the horror-of-the-demonic film.
  • A stream of (usually low-budget) productions featured humanity overcoming threats from "outside": alien invasions and deadly mutations to people, plants, and insects. In the case of some horror films from Japan, such as Godzilla (1954) and its sequels, mutation from the effects of nuclear radiation were featured.
  • Filmmakers continued to merge elements of science fiction and horror over the following decades. Considered a "pulp masterpiece
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  • The financial successes of the low-budget gore films of the ensuing years, and the critical and popular success of Rosemary's Baby, led to the release of more films with occult themes during the 1970s. The Exorcist (1973), the first of these movies, was a significant commercial success, and was followed by scores of horror films in which a demon entity is represented as the supernatural evil, often by impregnating women or possessing children.
  • Comedy Horror re-emerged in the cinema with Young Frankenstein (1974), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and An American Werewolf Show.
  • A cycle of slasher films was made during the 1970s and early 1980s. John Carpenter created Halloween (1978), Sean Cunningham made Friday the 13th(1980), Wes Craven directed A Nightmre on Elm Street


  • Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • New Nightmare, with In the Mouth of Madness (1995), The dark half (1993), and Candyman (1992), were part of a mini-movement of self-reflexive or metafictional horror films. Each film touched upon the relationship between fictional horror and real-world horror.
  • This reflective style became more overt and ironic with the arrival of Scream(1996)


how horror movies have affected history