Horror Genre Essay

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Film Genre Report
Horror is considered an ancient art form, delivering thrills and telling stories of the dark and forbidden side of life and on the contrary, death. Horror’s most far back influences go to the year of 1235, where ideas of witchcraft took position in these ancient societies, it wasn’t until the seventeenth century these beliefs amongst society faded. By the 1400s artists begin producing paintings of a nightmarish impact, and illustrations and tales of supernatural forces begin publishing. Development continues throughout time and by 1800 ‘Wake Not the Dead,’ by Johann Ludwig Tiek becomes the first known English vampire story when it is translated from German. By 1910 the first Frankenstein movie is made, with Thomas Edison having much input, and as the expansion in technology continued we have seen the production of many horror films in our society today.

The top 5 Horror films of the 21st Century include Jurassic Park, The Sixth Sense, Jaws, I Am Legend and Ghostbusters, with these films engrossing millions for their production. Horror films attempt to extract the emotions of fear, horror and terror from viewers. Their plots frequently involve themes of death, the supernatural or mental illness and include a central villain.

When comparing old horror films to new films, it is evident that the films reflect the social, cultural and technological values of their time. When evaluating the 1963 film The Birds, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, there is much proof of how the values and attitudes of portrayed within the film may be seen as anachronistic in our contemporary society. The film shows social values such as the women in the film being in danger, typically known as a “damsel in distress.” The woman is unprotected and cannot fend for herself without the help of the strong, masculine man within the film. When comparing this to a new film such as the 1999 film, The Sixth Sense, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the typical social ideas are...
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