Fear Fear is the most basic human instinct. Fear is the most powerful teacher. Some people love to be scared.
Fear as a Teacher Origins of the horror genre come from teaching of children. Parents would often tell stories of children who did not listen to their parents and were taken away by evil spirits. The Bogeyman
Fear as a Teacher Malta cave, is a cave somewhere in England. The cave leads to a system of tunnels that were a labyrinth Children would play there and get lost, so the parents of a nearby town “created” a monster that lived in the cave and ate children.
Legends More remote places in Europe would then “readapt” the stories that taught children and enhanced the world those would be “monsters” lived in. They then became legend and soon people began to believe it.
Legends: Werewolves At first werewolves were just bigger wolves that lived in the forest and would eat children would would wander into the woods alone at night.
Legends: Vampires Vampires at “first” simply took blood from young/beautiful women to keep them from being promiscuous. Can be traced as far back as the Ancient Greeks.
Real “Vampires” Vlad the Impaler, Count of the House of Draculesti. Prince of Romania what would be Transylvania He was a fierce warrior and drank the blood of his fallen victims.
Real “Vampires” The Vampire Countess - Lady Bathory she had Anemia She was obsessed with her looks. Killed her own servants. Murdered over 1000 people. The Servants who escaped told of her story
Victorian Horror Stories Stories were meant to keep woman from being promiscuous Ankles and wrist considered sex symbols. Gothic Fiction
Victorian Novels: Gothic Fiction Frankenstein The Vampyre The Wolfman Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde The Invisible man The Phantom of the Opera
The Horror Genre The audience experiences/feels fear or disgust. Stories often have an evil force, event or supernatural character. Settings are usually in small town America, in quiet neighbourhoods and in woods. Shadows and darkness play an important part. The color red is often symbolic.
Horror Through the Ages Audiences today aren’t easily frightened. Directors need to come up with a new angle or use comedy. Can you think of any films that have done this successfully?
History of Horror 1890s-George Melies’ ‘Monster Movies’ 1922-German Vampire Flick 1930s-Gothic Horror from Universal Studio (Frankenstein, Dracula) 1950-Alien Invasions (Body Snatchers, Thing from another World) 1960s-Hammer Films
History of Horror-1960-1970s Late 1960s-Psychological Horror from Hitchcock (Psycho). Michael Powell’s ‘Peeping Tom’. Late 60’s-70s-Occult horror (Rosemary’s Baby, Exorcist)- Walking Dead (Romero’s 1968 ‘Night of the Living Dead’. 1970s-Gore fests such as Carpenter’s ‘Last House on the Left’, Tobe Hooper’s ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’
History of Horror-Late 70s/80s 1978-Carpenter’s tension filled Halloween. Romero’s Zombie’s continued to shuffle along in ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and the ‘Day of the Dead’
History of Horror-1990s Post-modern, self aware horror from Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson (Scream Trilogy) 1999-Blair Witch mockumentary Japanese Horror floods the market with ‘Ringu’, ‘Ju-On’ (The Grudge)
History of Horror-2000+ American remakes of Japanese Horror (Ring, Grudge, Dark Waters) Revisiting of old villains in a new guise (Freddy V Jason, Halloween H2O, Alien V Predator).
Characteristics of a Horror Although all horror films are vastly different and can encompass several different possible plots and endings, there are some characteristics that can be seen in several if not all horror films.
Settings a deserted (or sparsely inhabited) castle or mansion in a state of ruins or semi-ruinsa deserted (or sparsely inhabited) castle or mansion in a state of ruins or semi-ruins labyrinths/mazes, dark corridors, and winding stairslabyrinths/mazes, dark corridors, and winding stairs
Settings castles or mansions which have hidden tunnels/staircases, dungeons, underground passages, crypts, or catacombscastles or mansions which have hidden tunnels/staircases, dungeons, underground passages, crypts, or catacombs threatening natural landscapes, like rugged mountains, dark forests, or eerie moors, exhibiting stormy weather
Lighting Low lit scene High contrast limited lighting such as moonlight (usually a full moon), candles, flashlight, lanternlimited lighting such as moonlight (usually a full moon), candles, flashlight, lantern
Lighting often the light disappears: clouds hide the moon, candles go out, flashlights/ lanterns are dropped and brokenoften the light disappears: clouds hide the moon, candles go out, flashlights/ lanterns are dropped and broken if electric lights exist, they usually mysteriously go outif electric lights exist, they usually mysteriously go out
Atmosphere Dark scenes filled with disturbing shadows and strange and alarming props are typically seen in horror movies. A characteristic foreboding shot is a tight shot of footsteps coming closer to the main character, who is trying to hide from this threat.
Sound Horror films typically turn normal sound effects into "creepy" sound elements. With good timing, a sudden loud bang or a falling object crashing to the floor will deliver a shock factor. It can also involve a jittery scene set in dead silence, which makes the anticipation of what comes next more hair-raising.
Graphic Scenes Most horror films include graphic scenes of explicit gore These elements typically feature violence caused by humans, monsters or supernatural beings The graphic special effects are often used as thrill and climax of films.
Emotional Response Most horror movies attempt to elicit a specific emotional response. The obvious emotions associated with horror are fear, terror and dread Horror movies do scare people, whether that fear comes from a supernatural element in the story or knowing that what happened in the film could happen to you. Other emotional elements that come from a horror film include revulsion and a sense of helplessness
Monsters Although not all films have “monsters” in particular there is always some antagonist that draws the plot forward: EX: Monster, Serial Killer, Evil Spirit etc.
Violence Violence is, depending on the film, either the climax or plot of the film. All horror films encompass some form of violence EX: Saw vs. the Strangers Saw is considered a “cheap” thrill in violence
Evil Force ghosts, werewolves, vampires, demons, vicious animals, cannibals, zombies, masked killers and deranged beings.
Other Elements dark secrets surrounding some tormented soul who is left to live in isolationdark secrets surrounding some tormented soul who is left to live in isolation ominous omens and cursesominous omens and curses magic, supernatural manifestations, or the suggestion of the supernaturalmagic, supernatural manifestations, or the suggestion of the supernatural a damsel in distressa damsel in distress the damsel’s rescuer; usually a loverthe damsel’s rescuer; usually a lover horrifying (or terrifying) events or the threat of such happeningshorrifying (or terrifying) events or the threat of such happenings