How Horror Movies Have Changed Since Their Beginning

Telling scary stories has been a human pastime since old age, with a significant body of folklore based on things that go bump in the night, especially supernatural happenings. Anything related to and exploiting our fundamental fear of death is all part of the modern urban legend-making culture.

How Horror Movies Have Changed Since Their Beginning
How Horror Movies Have Changed Since Their Beginning

How Horror Movies Have Changed Since Their Beginning

Such a solid literary and oral history foundation, it’s no surprise that horror movies were quick to establish themselves after the invention of cinema.

However, It’s impossible to predict where the genre will go in the next hundred years, but it’s interesting to look back and see how far we’ve come over that period of time.

There’s no one-size-fits-all genre, and realistic effects or the most up-to-date socio-political commentary are no guarantee of a good scare. Horror is a matter of personal preference.

According to Cecilia Sayad, a renowned cinema professor at the University of Kent, the terrifying factor is very subjective. We’ve definitely all grown out of listening to horror stories from our grandparents, something that horrified us the first time and makes us anxious to listen to it again.

Now the time has changed and digital movies have taken the place of verbal horror stories and it terrifies us by showing scary moments on a big screen. However, some of the best horror movies on Netflix Canada have changed since their beginning regardless of the type of horror you enjoy.

The 1st Horror Movie Ever Made in the History of Television

George Mellies developed the first-ever ‘horror’ movie in 1898 in the history of Television. The first filmmakers emerged just a few years after. His films featured cauldrons, animating skeletons, ghosts, morphing bats, and a reincarnation of the Ghost.

However, It was the first picture to contain the supernatural which was discovered in 1977 and set the tone for what was to come. While not intended to be scary, it was meant to be wondrous, as was Mellies’ MO.

The Literary Years Between 1900 and 1920

Between 1900 and 1920, a flood of supernatural-themed films flooded the market. In these early days, Edison Studios published the first version of Frankenstein.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Werewolf have since vanished into the mists of time. As we moved into the new year, things were starting to pick up.

The Golden Era of Horror Movies

Horror films of the 1920s and 1930s are widely regarded as some of the best in the genre’s history, and from where the golden era of horror movies started.

With numerous classics produced, and maybe cleanly separated down the middle to create a distinction between silent and talkies classics. ​The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari and Nosferatu were among the first to try to frighten their audience with their silent-era scares.

The Atomic Years of Frightening the Audience

Hammer Horror was created in 1934 but didn’t really take off until the 1950s. Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy were among the adaptations that put the business on the map.

Ironically, the country that really came into its own during this time, Great Britain, outlawed Freaks. Hence, those years were the most atomic years of frightening the audience through these scary movies.

Moreover, Alfred Hitchcock is responsible for developing the slasher genre, which we’ll see a lot of this year. Another output of the era was horror films from the 1940s and 1950s.

With war raging across Europe and fears of nuclear fallout rife, horror films began to feature antagonists who were less supernatural in nature.

Scary Years of Gimmickry for Viewers

In the 1950s and 1960s, everything was tried to scare moviegoers even more. The trend for interactivity spread to other genres, although it faded fast. In the horror genre, this ushered in the opposite end of the spectrum: extremely low-budget productions.

From the late 1960s onwards, slasher films were made for less than $1 million. George A. Romero emerged victoriously and helped to begin the zombie film genre.

Night of the Living Dead was made for just over $100k in 1968 – today it’s considered a masterpiece. It went on to gross $30 million and created a legion of the living dead.

The Doldrums of Scary Movies 

In the 1990s, the slashers genre was suffering from doldrums as a result of formulaic slasher films and their sequels. With the introduction of computer-generated special effects, a slew of mediocre CGI monster movies emerged, such as Anaconda (1997) and Deep Rising (2001).

It was a comedy that ultimately saved the day, with films like Braindead and Scream providing much-needed comic relief. while Wes Craven’s slasher spoof Scream 1996 was received with worldwide acclaim. With the exception of a few box office triumphs, the genre limped into the 2000s with little excitement.

Furthermore, Resident Evil (2002) was one of the first of a wave of video game adaptations of classic horror novels. The zombie subgenre, on the other hand, resurfaced in this decade, fueled by the success of Max Brook’s novel World War Z.

The Present Situation of Horror Movie Industry

The present situation of horror movies and the state of the horror industry is a heated topic of discussion. Remakes, reboots, and unending sequels appear to be the norm in the genre.

Many believe that the genre is once again languishing in the doldrums. ‘Torture porn’ is also chastised as a subgenre, has resurfaced in the 2000s, and showing no signs of slowing down.

Future of Horror Movies

It’s difficult to predict how they are gonna be in the future but no doubt horror movies and zombie movies will be more scary and frightening in the coming years with more subgenres than any other discipline of fictional filmmaking, it’s tough to see how anyone can improve or expand on what’s come before. But someone will, and it’s extremely conceivable that today’s film.

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