Horror Films: The Haunted Castle by George Melies Essay example

Horror Films: The Haunted Castle by George Melies Essay example

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Since the release of George Melies’s The Haunted Castle in 1896, over 90,000 horror films have been made. However, none have been more frightening and influential than that of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. Each a product of horror’s 1970’s and 80’s golden era, the films have a reputation of engulfing viewers in fear, without the use of masked killers, vampires, or other clichés. Instead, Kubrick and Spielberg take a different approach and scare audiences on a psychological level. The Shining and Jaws evoke fear through the use of three different film aspects: the use of a “danger” color, daunting soundtracks, and suspenseful cinematography.
Looking for peace and quiet to write his novel, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes the winter caretaker of Colorado’s desolate Overlook Hotel. Despite learning about the previous caretaker’s descent to madness, and the slaughtering of his family, Jack decides to bring along his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), to keep him company during the stay. But shortly after acclimating to life in the Overlook Hotel, the family’s sanity begins to deteriorate. Danny begins to use “The Shining,” a telepathic ability that allows him to read minds and experience premonitions, and Jack starts to succumb to cabin-fever, growing more and more aggressive as time goes on. Finally, when the previous caretaker confronts Jack, things take a turn for the worst, and the only force that can save Danny and Wendy is “The Shining.”
It is 4th of July weekend on the small New England island of Amity, and visitors from all around the globe are flocking to the island’s glistening beaches. But when the gruesome remains of a young woman wash ashore, the new Police...


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...rs panicking in the water and fears a shark attack, the camera produces a disorienting effect by tracking towards the character while simultaneously zooming the camera lens backwards, creating a feeling of dizziness” (Koenig). Finish…
The Shining and Jaws are horror films that affect the viewer on a whole new level. Instead of using clichés similar to many horror films of the era, Kubrick and Spielberg create horror films that attack viewers psychologically. Both of the films use a danger color to foreshadow eminent danger, a bone-rattling film score to induce fear, and discomforting cinematography to cause a sense of despair. Although The Shining and Jaws are already close to 40 years old, the films will continue to be some of the top horror films ever made, and even when 90,000 more horror films are made, people will remember the fear of watching these two films.

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