Horror Genre Dissertation

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Contents Page

1. Abstract PagePG. 2
2. AcknowledgementsPG. 3
3. Introduction PG. 4
Discussion
- 4. History of the Horror GenrePG. 5 - 9
- 5. Slasher Films and the Gender rolesPG. 9 - 13
- 6. Comedy HorrorPG. 13 - 16
- 7. Postmodernism and the Horror FilmPG. 16 - 18
- 8. Case Study: Scream Vs. Scary MoviePG. 18 - 22 9. ConclusionPG. 23
BibliographyPG. 25 - 27

1. Abstract Page

I have researched on the Horror genre, looking at when it begun, the decline in popularity it has foreseen and how it has been able to recreate itself each time. I looked at comedy horror films and what part it plays within the film industry. I found that parody films like Scream are made to reinvent the genre. It quotes previous horror films as well as re-enact a horror story. I also found that pastiche films like Scary Movie are solely to entertain the audience. It is to make the audience see the funny side to a horror movie.

I look at previous dissertations based on my topic and went to the BFI Library to find more information on my chosen topic.

2. Acknowledgements

I would like to say Thank you to Dr. Vincent Montgomery for his advice and knowledge into the Spoof Horror films.

3. Introduction

This dissertation will aim to discuss and analyse the Horror genre and how it has crossed over into the comedy sector. The various types of horror subjects will be discussed as well as looking at the comedy horror films. I will identify classic Horror movies like Nosferatu, Halloween and Scream and where they fit in the history of the genre. The female roles within the horror films will be identified and discussed as to whether the female role was a weak or powerful statement. The impact comedy horror films have on the Horror genre will be looked at. I will look at whether Horror films now have the same effect that it had on audiences as it did when they were first created.

In Film Studies we had a brief look at Postmodernism. This is an artistic expression on films, architecture or music, etc. I will look at if this movement can be considered within the Horror genre.

4. History of the Horror Genre

The Horror genre can go back as far as the 1890’s. A man called George Melies made several short stories based on monsters at this time. The earliest known Horror films were created in the 1900’s by German filmmakers. This era was known as the German Expressionism era. The focus was on the quality of the film and art representation it carried rather than to entertain and evoke popularity status. ‘During the silent era, films demonstrated an increasingly symbiotic relationship with real-life events, often depicting interpretations of noted crimes, sex and drugs scandals and political justice. Arguably, given the tensions that these films provoked with censors, moral advocacy groups and the general film-going public, it became necessary for a genre to evolve which depicted issues and event in a metamorphic and less literal way.’(1) They creatively used in set designs and lighting to create a world that was unrealistic, ghastly and so far from realism. Films from this era were Paul Wegener’s The Golem (1920), Robert Weine’s The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1919) and F.W.Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922).

In the 1930’s production was being dominated in Hollywood. The films being created took influence from the German Expressionism era and put real focus on the villain as a monster. Frankenstein in 1931 by James Whale and Tod Browning’s Dracula also in 1931 were the main films out at the time made by Universal Pictures. These films are often used to prove the link between horror and the relatively respectable tradition of Gothic literature but they were, at least initially produced, mediated and consumed as the film versions of contemporary...
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