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Behind-the-scenes on Film Sets
Horror is a film genre seeking to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience’s primal fears. Horror films often feature scenes that startle the viewer; the macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Thus they may overlap with the fantasy, supernatural, and thriller genres. Horror films often deal with the viewer’s nightmares, hidden fears, revulsions and terror of the unknown. Plots within the horror genre often involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage, commonly of supernatural origin, into the everyday world. Prevalent elements include ghosts, aliens, vampires, werewolves, demons, vicious animals, monsters, zombies, cannibals, and serial killers. Conversely, movies about the supernatural are not necessarily always horrific.
The first depictions of supernatural events appear in several of the silent shorts created by the film pioneer Georges Méliès in the late 1890s, the best known being Le Manoir du diable, which is sometimes credited as being the first horror film. Another of his horror projects was 1898’s La Caverne maudite (aka, The Cave of the Unholy One, literally “the accursed cave”). Japan made early forays into the horror genre with Bake Jizo and Shinin no Sosei, both made in 1898. In 1910, Edison Studios produced the first film version of Frankenstein, which was thought lost for many years.
The second monster appeared in a horror film: Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre-Dame, who had appeared in Victor Hugo‘s novel, Notre-Dame de Paris (1831). Films featuring Quasimodo included Alice Guy‘s Esmeralda (1905), The Hunchback (1909), The Love of a Hunchback (1910) and Notre-Dame de Paris (1911).
German Expressionist film makers, during the Weimar Republic era and slightly earlier, would significantly influence later films, not only those in the horror genre. Paul Wegener‘s The Golem (1920) and Robert Wiene‘s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (also 1920) had a particular impact. The first vampire-themed movie was made during this time: F. W. Murnau‘s Nosferatu (1922), an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker‘s Dracula.
Hollywood dramas used horror themes, including versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Monster (1925) both starring Lon Chaney, the first American horror movie star. Other films of the 1920s include Dr. Jekyll And Mr Hyde (1920), The Phantom Carriage (Sweden, 1920), The Lost World (1925), The Phantom Of The Opera (1925), Waxworks (Germany 1924), and Tod Browning‘s (lost) London After Midnight (1927) with Chaney. – – for more continue on Wikipedia
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