History of Horror in Film

The first horror film or rather short film, was “Le Manoir du Diable.” In 1896, a 3-minute film was released by Georges Méliès in France. The common translation of “Le Manoir du Diable” in English is The House of the Devil or The Haunted Castle. My interest in this movie lies in its mark in the film industry. The popular horror genre has been here from the start of filmmaking, but why do we crave to see these tellings of stories? Each year, around 1,000 horror films are produced, supply and demand is this nature. 

A scene from Le Manoir du Diable by French Illusionist Georges Méliès

By the 1920s, there was the success of international horror films like Nosferatu (1922) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. However, it wasn’t until the 30s and 40s that Hollywood joined the bandwagon that defined the years to come. Universal Pictures provided Hollywood with Frankenstein, The Mummy, Dracula, and The Invisible Man between 1931 and 1933. Following the end of World War 2, people became comforted by these fiction-based films, as they had stability with the economic boom in the 1950s. House of Wax (1953), The Blob (1958), The Fly (1958), and The House Of Dracula (1958) are a few examples of the byproduct. 

The famous image of Max Schreck as the lead role, Count Orlock in the movie Nosferatu

Due to the success of The Exorcist (1973),  studios revamped the genre and produced our classics. Halloween (1978), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Child’s Play (1988), The Texas Chain Massacre (1974) and Friday the 13th (1980). These movies predicted a new atmosphere for horror, and they qualified as mainstream entertainment. In my opinion, the most notable films to surpass the genre and into cinematic history were The Shining (1980), Psycho (1960), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).


Writer at The City Voice

A student interested in writing for new or old topics, and a student who likes to read, write, and making strong arguments.

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