The Horror Genre

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The Horror Genre

The Horror Genre has been very popular ever since Etienne Robertson,

the pioneer of film horror, made the first film. The film

'Phantasmagoria' was more of a theatre shadow play. It was made during

the French revolution.

Since then, thousands of Horror films have been made. Many

developments have been used in newer films such as special effects and

3-D animation. A genre is formed when a type of film has certain

elements that become essential to that type of film. These elements

are sometimes called "generic conventions". Around these large genres

sub-genres have evolved such as supernatural and sci-fi horror films

like 'The Fly' and 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein' In Supernatural films

the killer is sometimes not human or there are ghosts in it. Sci-Fi

films are usually set in the future and are sometimes on another

planet. and psycho-slasher horror such as 'Scream' and 'The Texas

Chainsaw Massacre'. Psycho-Slasher horror is very gory. 'The Texas

Chainsaw Massacre' was described by Harper's Magazine as 'a vile piece

of sick crap'.

These films are all different but have similar basic conventions such

as the music and camerawork, which is chilling and suspenseful. The

characters in the films have similar characteristics. The victim is

usually female, pretty, stupid and blonde, suggesting innocence and

purity, also they are still virgins. The female virgin always escapes

the killer in horror films it's like if they aren't a virgin they are

impure and therefore not immune. The killer, usually a white male,

sometimes has a mental disorder and access to an arsenal of weapons

and a big truck, plus they are never s...

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...e to imitate the characters

behaviour in such horror films. An example of this is the death of

James Bulger in the early 1990's in which his death at the hands of

two children closely mirrored that of the treatment of a character in

the film 'Childs play'.

People therefore watch these films because they like to be scared in

an artificial environment like the cinema. This can be shown by the

recent success of 'The Blair Witch Project' which was filmed entirely

from the viewpoint of the teenagers using a hand held video camera.

This sort of camerawork brings us closer to the film and the scene,

and puts the viewer in the heart of the action.

In today's cinemas people are watching films that they can relate to

in some way. This means that less films are being made with

supernatural and sci-fi/ fantasy story lines.
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