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Early in the decade also, Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer created the horror fantasy film Vampyr based on elements from J.
The German-produced sound film tells the story of Allan Gray, a student of the occult who enters a village under the curse of a vampire.
According to the book Movies You Must See Before You Die , Vampyr' s "greatness derives partly from Dreyer's handling of the vampire theme in terms of sexuality and eroticism, and partly from its highly distinctive, dreamy look.
The decade also sees the continuation of Universal Pictures ' consistent releases of horror, suspense and science fiction films.
This comes to be later known as the cult classic Universal Classic Monsters series which began in the 's and would later dissipate in the 's.
In this decade Lon Chaney Jr. Paramount Pictures also made horror films in the 's, the most popular of which is The Uninvited. The film has been noted by contemporary film scholars as being the first film in history to portray ghosts as legitimate entities rather than illusions or misunderstandings played for comedy.
It depicts various supernatural phenomena, including disembodied voices, apparitions, and possession. MGM 's best horror genre contribution of the 's would be Albert Lewin 's The Picture of Dorian Gray , which was popularly known for its interesting use of color insert to show Dorian's haunting portrait.
In , Great Britain contributed the anthology horror film Dead of Night. In the film house guests tell at least five supernatural tales, the last of which being the most remembered.
The film's last story, titled The Ventriloquist's Dummy features a ventriloquist tormented by a malevolent puppet. The popularity of movie genres of the 's were mostly film noir , melodrama and mystery.
It would then arguably be a stretch to point out that some mystery and thriller films can be considered horror genre contributions of the decade.
Wes Anderson ranked it as the sixth best British film. With advances in technology, the tone of horror films shifted from the Gothic towards contemporary concerns.
A popular horror subgenre began to emerge: It is considered to be the most popular and most paranoid films from the golden age of American sci-fi cinema.
Japan's experience with Hiroshima and Nagasaki bore the well-known Godzilla and its many sequels , featuring mutation from the effects of nuclear radiation.
This kickstarted the tokusatsu trend known as Kaiju films , a Japanese film genre that features giant monsters, usually attacking major cities and engaging the military and other monsters in battle.
Other films in this genre that isn't about Godzilla include Rodan and The Mysterians These include Ghost-Cat of Gojusan-Tsugi , and Black Cat Mansion , which tells a story of a samurai tormented by a cat possessed by the spirits of the people she killed.
The 's is also well known for creature feature and Ray Harryhausen 's visual effects work in many of the genre's films. His work on The Beast from 20, Fathoms is considered to be the film which kick started the 50s wave of monster movies and the concept of combining nuclear paranoia with the genre.
The film was about a dinosaur that was awakened from frozen ice in the Arctic Circle by an atomic bomb test. Hollywood directors and producers found ample opportunity for audience exploitation through gimmicks.
House of Wax used the advent of 3-D film to draw audiences, while The Tingler used electric buzzers to scare audiences in their theater seats. Filmmakers continued to merge elements of science fiction and horror over the following decades.
Considered a "pulp masterpiece"  of the era was The Incredible Shrinking Man , based on Richard Matheson 's existentialist novel.
The film conveyed the fears of living in the Atomic Age and the terror of social alienation. Across the pond, the United Kingdom emerged as a major producer of horror films.
Christopher Lee starred in a number of Hammer Horror films, including The Curse of Frankenstein , which Professor Patricia MacCormac called the "first really gory horror film, showing blood and guts in colour".
In television, the anthology series The Twilight Zone has become a staple in horror fiction. Although predominantly science-fiction, the show's paranormal and Kafkaesque events leaned the show towards fantasy and horror.
Released in May , the British psychological thriller film, Peeping Tom by Michael Powell , is a progenitor of the contemporary " slasher film ",  though Alfred Hitchcock cemented the subgenre with Psycho released also in the same year .
Instead, he helped pioneer the art of psychological suspense. As a result, he managed to frighten his viewers by getting to the root of their deepest fears.
France continued the mad scientist theme with the film Eyes Without a Face , a must-watch for the lover of mad scientist stories.
The story follows Parisian police in search of the culprit responsible for the deaths of young women whose faces have been mutilated.
Meanwhile Italian horror films became internationally notable thanks to Mario Bava 's contributions. In this film, Bava turned a Russian folk legend into a beguilling fairly tale about a young doctor who finds himself stranded in a haunted community and falls for a woman whose body become possessed by a woman executed for witchcraft.
The American International Pictures AIP , in the early 60s, made a series of films based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe , most of which star Vincent Price , who became well-known for his performances in subsequent horror films of the time.
Robert Wise's The Haunting is considered by a great many critics, aficionados, and casual fans of the horror genre to be one of the scariest films of all time.
The film is best known for its brilliant use of canted frames, mirror reflections, fish-eye lenses and uncanny sound and image editing.
Roman Polanski made his first film in English with Repulsion , which is considered to be his scariest and most disturbing work.
Polanski's "evocations of sexual panic and masterful use of sound puts the audiences' imagination to work in numerous ways".
Horror films of the s used the supernatural premise to express the horror of the demonic. Jack Clayton's The Innocents tell the story of a governess who fears that the children she is watching over are possessed by ghosts haunting the estate they are staying.
A few years later, Roman Polanski wrote and directed Rosemary's Baby , based on the bestselling horror novel by Ira Levin.
The highly influential film tells the story of a pregnant woman who suspects that an evil cult wants to take her baby for use in their rituals.
Meanwhile, ghosts were a dominant theme in Japanese horror , in such films as Kwaidan , Onibaba both and Kuroneko Another influential American horror film of the 60s was George A.
Romero 's Night of the Living Dead Considered to be the first true zombie movie, the film began to combine psychological insights with gore. Distancing the era from earlier gothic trends, late s films brought horror into everyday life.
Low-budget splatter films from the likes of Herschell Gordon Lewis also gained prominence in the 's. Some of Lewis' notorious works include Two Thousand Maniacs!
The series centers on a group of teenagers and their dog who go to abandoned places to solve mysteries involving supposedly supernatural creatures through a series of antics and missteps.
The animated series' simple formula had a major impact on future slasher films especially of its portrayal of villains in masks.
The financial successes of the low-budget gore films of the ensuing years, and the critical and popular success of Rosemary's Baby , led to the release of more films with occult themes in the s.
The Exorcist , the first of these movies, was a significant commercial success and was followed by scores of horror films in which a demon entity is represented as the supernatural evil, often by impregnating women or possessing children.
Robert Wise 's film Audrey Rose for example, deals with a man who claims that his daughter is the reincarnation of another dead person.
Alice, Sweet Alice , is another Catholic-themed horror slasher about a little girl's murder and her sister being the prime suspect.
Another popular occult horror movie was The Omen , where a man realizes that his five-year-old adopted son is the Antichrist.
Invincible to human intervention, Demons became villains in many horror films with a postmodern style and a dystopian worldview.
Another example is The Sentinel , in which a fashion model discovers that her new brownstone residence may actually be a portal to Hell.
Its focus on the psychology of grief was unusually strong for a film featuring a supernatural horror plot. Another notable film is The Wicker Man , a British mystery horror film dealing with the practice of ancient pagan rituals in the modern era.
In the s, Italian filmmakers Mario Bava , Riccardo Freda , Antonio Margheriti , and Dario Argento developed giallo horror films that became classics and influenced the genre in other countries.
The ideas of the s began to influence horror films in the 70s, as the youth involved in the counterculture began exploring the medium.
Romero satirized the consumer society in his zombie sequel, Dawn of the Dead Meanwhile, the subgenre of comedy horror re-emerged in the cinema with The Abominable Dr.
Also in the s, the works of the horror author Stephen King began to be adapted for the screen, beginning with Brian De Palma 's adaptation of Carrie , King's first published novel, for which the two female leads Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie gained Oscar nominations.
Next, was his third published novel, The Shining , directed by Stanley Kubrick , which was a sleeper at the box office. At first, many critics and viewers had negative feedback toward The Shining.
However, the film is now known as one of Hollywood's most classic horror films. This psychological horror film has a variety of themes; "evil children", alcoholism, telepathy , and insanity.
This type of film is an example of how Hollywood's idea of horror started to evolve. Murder and violence were no longer the main themes of horror films.
In the s and s, psychological and supernatural horror started to take over cinema. Another classic Hollywood horror film is Tobe Hooper 's Poltergeist Poltergeist is ranked the 20th scariest movie ever made by the Chicago, Illinois Film Critics Association.
Both The Shining and Poltergeist involve horror being based on real-estate values. The evil and horror throughout the films come from where the movies are taking place.
The Amityville Horror is a supernatural horror film directed by Stuart Rosenberg , based on Jay Anson 's book of the same name. It stars James Brolin and Margot Kidder as a young couple who purchase a home they come to find haunted by combative supernatural forces.
The Changeling is a Canadian psychological horror film directed by Peter Medak. A cycle of slasher films was made in the s and s.
Its influence and Insperationcan still be seen in films today. This subgenre would be mined by dozens of increasingly violent movies throughout the subsequent decades, and Halloween became a successful independent film.
Another notable s slasher film is Bob Clark 's Black Christmas Sleepaway Camp is known for its twist ending , which is considered by some to be one of the most shocking endings among horror films.
My Bloody Valentine is a slasher film dealing with Valentine's Day fiction. The boom in slasher films provided enough material for numerous comedic spoofs of the genre including Saturday the 14th , Student Bodies , National Lampoon's Class Reunion , and Hysterical Some films explored urban legends such as " The babysitter and the man upstairs ".
Steven Spielberg 's shark horror film, Jaws , began a new wave of killer animal stories, such as Orca and Up from the Depths Jaws is often credited as being one of the first films to use traditionally B movie elements such as horror and mild gore in a big-budget Hollywood film.
In , Don Coscarelli 's Phantasm was the first of the Phantasm franchise. Alien , a British-American science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott was very successful, receiving both critical acclaim and being a box office success.
John Carpenter's movie The Thing was also a mix of horror and sci-fi, but it was neither a box-office nor critical hit, but soon became a cult classic.
However, nearly 20 years after its release, it was praised for using ahead-of-its-time special effects and paranoia. The s saw a wave of gory "B movie" horror films — although most of them were poorly reviewed by critics, many became cult classics and later saw success with critics.
A significant example is Sam Raimi 's Evil Dead movies, which were low-budget gorefests but had a very original plotline which was later praised by critics.
The horror anthology film became a behemoth franchise in the country in the next decade. Vampire horror was also popular in the s, including cult vampire classics such as Fright Night , The Lost Boys , and Near Dark also In , Joe Dante 's seminal monster comedy horror Gremlins became a box office hit with critics and audiences, and inspired a trend of "little monster" films such as Critters and Ghoulies.
Several science fiction action horror movies were released in the s, notably Aliens and Predator Notable comedy horror films of the s include Re-Animator , and Night of the Creeps Day of the Dead is a horror film written and directed by George A.
Romero and the third film in Romero's Night of the Living Dead series. Portrait of a Serial Killer is a psychological horror crime film directed and co-written by John McNaughton about the random crime spree of a serial killer who seemingly operates with impunity.
Pumpkinhead is a dark fantasy horror film, which is the directorial debut of special effects artist Stan Winston. Child's Play , Night of the Demons , and Pet Sematary are notable supernatural horror films of the late s.
In the first half of the s, the genre still contained many of the themes from the s. The slasher films, A Nightmare on Elm Street , Friday the 13th , Halloween , and Child's Play , all saw sequels in the s, most of which met with varied amounts of success at the box office but all were panned by critics, with the exception of Wes Craven's New Nightmare and the hugely successful film, The Silence of the Lambs The latter, which stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins , is considered a major horror movie of all times.
New Nightmare , with In the Mouth of Madness , The Dark Half , and Candyman , were part of a mini-movement of self-reflexive or metafictional horror films.
Each film touched upon the relationship between fictional horror and real-world horror. Candyman , for example, examined the link between an invented urban legend and the realistic horror of the racism that produced its villain.
In the Mouth of Madness took a more literal approach, as its protagonist actually hopped from the real world into a novel created by the madman he was hired to track down.
This reflective style became more overt and ironic with the arrival of Scream In Interview with the Vampire , the "Theatre de Vampires" and the film itself, to some degree invoked the Grand Guignol style, perhaps to further remove the undead performers from humanity, morality and class.
The horror movie soon continued its search for new and effective frights. In the novel, The Vampire Lestat , by the author Anne Rice who penned Interview with the Vampire ' s screenplay and the novel of the same name suggests that its antihero Lestat inspired and nurtured the Grand Guignol style and theatre.
Two main problems pushed horror backward during this period: Secondly, the adolescent audience which feasted on the blood and morbidity of the previous decade grew up, and the replacement audience for films of an imaginative nature were being captured instead by the explosion of science-fiction and fantasy films, courtesy of the special effects possibilities with advances made in computer-generated imagery.
To re-connect with its audience, horror became more self-mockingly ironic and outright parodic , especially in the latter half of the s.
Peter Jackson's Braindead known as Dead Alive in the United States took the splatter film to ridiculous excesses for comic effect.
Wes Craven's Scream written by Kevin Williamson movies, starting in , featured teenagers who were fully aware of, and often made reference to, the history of horror movies, and mixed ironic humour with the shocks despite Scream 2 and Scream 3 utilising less use of the humour of the original, until Scream 4 in , and rather more references to horror film conventions.
The Sixth Sense is a supernatural horror film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan , which tells the story of Cole Sear Haley Joel Osment , a troubled, isolated boy who is able to see and talk to the dead, and an equally troubled child psychologist named Malcolm Crowe Bruce Willis who tries to help him.
It is a remake of the film of the same title. Monster horror was quite popular in the s. Tremors is the first installment of the Tremors franchise.
Lake Placid is another monster horror film, written by David E. Kelley and directed by Steve Miner. Another successful horror film is Audition , a Japanese film based on the novel of the same name , directed by Takashi Miike.
Around this period, Japanese horror started becoming popular in English speaking countries. The film The Last Broadcast served as inspiration for the highly successful The Blair Witch Project , which popularized the found footage horror subgenre.
The theme of witchcraft was also addressed in The Witches , starring Anjelica Huston , and The Craft , a supernatural horror film directed by Andrew Fleming.
Wolf is a romantic horror film following the transformation of a man Jack Nicholson into a werewolf. Ravenous starring Guy Pearce and directed by Antonia Bird is a "quirky"  and gruesome movie based on the real life horror story of the Donner party that got stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains in due to snow.
The decade started with American Psycho directed by Mary Harron starring Christian Bale as a charismatic serial killer and Manhattan business mogul.
The movie was highly controversial when released and remains a cult classic today . Scary Movie , a comedy horror directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans parodied of the horror, slasher, and mystery genres.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. By contrast, Valentine was a conventional horror film. It had some success at the box office, but was derided by critics for being formulaic and relying on foregone horror film conventions.
The Others was hugely successful, winning and being further nominated for many awards. It is a Spanish-American supernatural gothic horror film with elements of psychological horror.
It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan. Franchise films such as Jason X and Freddy vs. Jason also made a stand in theaters. Final Destination marked a successful revival of teen-centered horror and spawned five installments.
Jeepers Creepers series was also successful. Films such as Hollow Man , Cabin Fever , House of Corpses the latter an exploitation horror film written, co-scored and directed by Rob Zombie in his directorial debut and the previous mentions helped bring the genre back to Restricted ratings in theaters.
Van Helsing and Underworld series had huge box office success, despite mostly negative reviews by critics. Ginger Snaps is a Canadian film dealing with the tragic transformation of a teenage girl who is bitten by a werewolf.
Signs revived the science fiction alien theme. The Descent , a British adventure horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall was also successful.
Another notable film is Drag Me to Hell , a American supernatural horror film co-written and directed by Sam Raimi.
The Strangers deals with unprovoked stranger-on-stranger violence. The House of the Devil is inspired by the " satanic panic " of the s.
Trick 'r Treat is a anthology horror film written and directed by Michael Dougherty and produced by Bryan Singer.
Black Water is a British-Australian natural horror film. Another natural adventure horror film is The Ruins , which is based on the novel of the same name by Scott Smith.
Several horror film adaptations from comic books and video games were produced. The story focuses on an Alaskan town beset by vampires as it enters into a day long polar night.
Comic book adaptations like the Blade series, Constantine , and Hellboy also became box office successes. The Resident Evil video game franchise was adapted into a film released in March , and several sequels followed.
Other video game adaptations like Doom and Silent Hill also had moderate box office success. Some pronounced trends have marked horror films.
Films from non-English language countries have become successful. The Devil's Backbone is such an example. A French horror film Brotherhood of the Wolf became the second-highest-grossing French language film in the United States in the last two decades.
Martyrs , a French-Canadian horror film, was controversial upon its release, receiving polarizing reviews. Another notable film is The Orphanage , a Spanish horror film and the debut feature of Spanish filmmaker J.
Shutter is a Thai horror film which focuses on mysterious images seen in developed pictures. Cold Prey is a Norwegian slasher film directed by Roar Uthaug.
Another trend is the emergence of psychology to scare audiences, rather than gore. The Others proved to be a successful example of a psychological horror film.
A minimalist approach which was equal parts Val Lewton's theory of "less is more", usually employing the low-budget techniques utilized on The Blair Witch Project , has been evident, particularly in the emergence of Asian horror movies which have been remade into successful Americanized versions, such as The Ring , The Grudge , Dark Water , and Pulse In March , China banned the movies from its market.
What Lies Beneath is a supernatural horror film directed by Robert Zemeckis , starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer as a couple who experience a strange haunting of their home.
Orphan is a notable psychological horror film. Another psychological horror film is , based on Stephen King's short story of the same name.
The films I Am Legend , Quarantine , Zombieland , and 28 Days Later featured an update of the apocalyptic and aggressive zombie genre. The latter film spawned a sequel: An updated remake of Dawn of the Dead soon appeared as well as the zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead and Spanish -Cuban comedy zombie film Juan of the Dead This resurgence led George A.
The Australian film Wolf Creek written, co-produced, and directed by Greg McLean revolves around three backpackers who find themselves taken captive and after a brief escape, hunted down by Mick Taylor in the Australian outback.
The film was ambiguously marketed as being "based on true events"; the plot bore elements reminiscent of the real-life murders of tourists by Ivan Milat in the s, and Bradley Murdoch in ; and contained more extreme violence.
An extension of this trend was the emergence of a type of horror with emphasis on depictions of torture, suffering, and violent deaths, variously referred to as "horror porn", "torture porn", "splatterporn" and "gore-nography" with films such as Ghost Ship , The Collector , Saw , Hostel , and their respective sequels, frequently singled out as examples of emergence of this subgenre.
Cloverfield is another found footage horror film. The Mist is a science-fiction horror film based on the novella of the same name by Stephen King.
Antichrist is an English-language Danish experimental horror film written and directed by Lars von Trier , and starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a legal drama horror film directed by Scott Derrickson , loosely based on the story of Anneliese Michel.
The Children is British horror film focusing on the mayhem created by several children. Another British horror film is Eden Lake.
Remakes of earlier horror movies became routine in the s. In addition to the remake of Dawn of the Dead , as well as the remake of both Herschell Gordon Lewis ' cult classic, Maniacs , and the remake of Tobe Hooper 's classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre , there was also the Rob Zombie -written and -directed remake of John Carpenter's Halloween.
It was critically panned by most,   but was a success in its theatrical run, spurring its own sequel. This film helped to start a "reimagining" riot in horror filmmakers.
The film, Carrie , saw its second remake in , which is the third film adaptation of Stephen King 's novel of the same name.
Child's Play saw a sequel with Curse of Chucky , while Hellraiser: Judgment become the tenth installment in the Hellraiser film series.
Halloween is a slasher film which is the eleventh installment in the Halloween film series , and a direct sequel to the film of the same name , while effecting a retcon of all previous sequels.
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