2. What is the purpose of
the horror genre?
• Horror film is a genre that aims to create a sense of fear,
panic, alarm, and dread for the audience. These films are
often unsettling and rely on scaring the audience through a
portrayal of their worst fears and nightmares. Horror films
usually center on the arrival of an evil force, person, or
event. Many Horror films include mythical creatures such
as ghosts, vampires, and zombies. Traditionally, Horror films
incorporate a large amount of violence and gore into the
3. 1896 - In this time period filmmakers began to experiment in the horror genre.
The world’s first 'true' horror movie was creates, it was called The Devil's Castle.
The film lasted 3 minutes and was created by an illusionist.
1898- An English man named George Albert Smith created his 'special
photographic contrivance'. This device enabled home ti show ghosts on film. This
introduced the paranormal aspect in horror films.
1910 - The first version of famous Frankestein was created by Mary Shelley.
1911 - The film Notre Dame de Paris was released, it was filmed by Pathe and it
was known for the first full length movie with a monster in it.
1913 - Chaney 'The man of a thousand faces' created makeup for the horror
genre, this stunned audiences as the makeup was used in a different way (making
characters look scarier and to have emphasis on blood and wounds)
1928 - The first Horror movie with sound is introduced ' the man who laughs' it
becomes popular as it’s not a silent movie.
1931 - Successful gothic horror film series (American Movie studio Universal
Pictures): Dracula, Frankestein and The Old Dark House. These films were science
1933 - The invisible man featured a mad scientist. This type of film was designed
to thrill but also incorporated serious elements.
1940's - horror movie become very successful – by actors; Boris Katloff and Bela
1950's - 1960's
with advances of technology, the ton of horror films shifted from the Gothic
towards contemporary concerns. Two sub-genres began to emerge: the horror-of-
Armageddon film and the horror-of-the-demonic film
1960's - ghost and monsters still remained a frequent feature of horror, but many
film used the supernatural premise to express the horror of the demonic.
Blood Feast (1963) and Two Thousand Maniacs (1964) both used ghosts in their
films but inhabited supernatural premise.
During the 1970’s horror films began to involve the youth in the counterculture
began exploring the medium. The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and The Texas Chainsaw
Massacre (1974) recalled the Vietnam war. In late 1970‟s Canadian director
David Cronenberg featured the „mad scientist‟ movie sub-genre by exploring
contemporary fears about technology and society. A cycle of slasher films was
made during the late 1970‟s. Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980) and A
Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
4. Subgenres/hybrids of Horror
Horror Subgenre/Hybrids Film Examples
Cannibalism Hannibal 2001
Costume Feature Creepshow 1982
Dark Fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth 2006
Demonic Possession The Last Exorcism 2010
Erotic Horror/Paranormal Romance Thirst 2009
Gothic/Supernatural The Woman in Black 2012
Halloween Halloween Resurrection 2002
Comedy Shaun of the Dead 2004
Psychic Power The Sixth Sense 1999
Psychological The Shining 1980
Sadistic Eden Lake 2008
Satanic Stories The Devil’s Advocate 1997
Sci-fi The Thing 1982
Serial Killers/Slasher Behind the Mask 2006
Supernatural The Grudge 2004
Suspense/Thriller The Cabin in the Woods 2012
Teen Prom Night 1980
Vampires Bram Stockers Dracula 1992
Witchcraft The Wicked 2013
Wolves/Werewolves Bad Moon 1996
5. Psychological Horror - driven by characters’ fears and focused
more on psychological dread than on murder or mutilation. Could
be supernatural, e.g. The Others
Target audience: 18+
This horror is difficult to understand, so people under 18 could not
get what’s going on
Slasher - Slasher film is a sub-genre of Horror film that revolves
around a psychopathic killer. This killer stalks and murders his
victims in extremely violent and memorable ways, e.g. Sorority
Target audience: 16 – 25
In this horror the main roles are played by teenagers/young
women, people above 25 could not be interested in this type of
horrors (with teenagers)
This subgenre of horror is one of the most used types however most of these types of movies have
similar concepts. The purpose of this sub-genre is to make the audience feel more disgusted than scared.
You would expect to see some type of weapon used like a chainsaw e.g. in Texas chainsaw Massacre or
some types of torture weapons as well. Another convention of gore/sadistic horror movies is there will
be plenty of blood and body part being cut off and the killer will be hunting down his victims. These
movies often tend to be disturbing which is why some can have niche audiences.
This is again one of the most popular subgenres in the horror genre. The purpose of this sub-genre is
that it gives the ultimate thrill for ‘sensation seekers’. It is one of the most terrifying sub-genres of horror
because it is spine chilling and it can make people believe that possessions can take place and they can
start to fear the devil. These films tend to be based around religion and having an evil entity taking over
someone. At the end there will most likely be an exorcism being performed and special effects added
with the demonic voices. These movies are said to have an actual effect on the viewers as some of them
have the feeling of being possessed themselves whilst viewing the film.
For these two subgenres, the target audience would be around 18-25 because in cinemas, most horror
movies from these subgenres are age limited at 18 to prevent younger audiences from viewing it as they
contain footage that they may find disturbing and could possibly mentally scar them. As for the 18-25
year olds, these types of movies would be more suitable for them as they are old enough to understand
that the films are not real and they can handle the blood/gore and possession that take place.
7. Sub-genre of horror : comedy.
• The targeted audience for comedy horror movies is
teenagers. These movies are aimed to make the audience
laugh but also to make them scared. These movies are
usually "parodies" of horror films. An example may be scary
movie 1,2,3,4 and 5.
From the feedback from Facebook and survey monkey, we found that loads of
people would expect to see the same things for example, blood, gore and for it to be
very scary. These are all conventions of horror movies, so it showed that most
people have the same idea about the horror genre as it is what we are always shown
by movies, programmes etc.
11. What do you expect from horror movies?
(from the interviews)
Lots of blood
Good story line
One stupid character
Always falling when running away
stubbed the dad,
killed the nun with a
brick and set the tree
house on fire with
14. CHARACTERS TYPES AND
Evil entity – mysterious and ugly
Curious one – have to explore
Stupid one – ruins the plan
Macho one – tries to fight and save everyone
Scared one – runs and hides (every man per himself)
Calm one – “everything is going to be okay!”
Ones that warn you at the beginning
“Brain” of the situation – knows what they are doing
and makes a plan
15. NARRATIVE STRUCTURE
Beginning starts calm (equilibrium)
Middle – haunting/murders begin
End – most people dead and one
get used to their new reality (new
“Wrong Turn 5”
Chronological – sometimes
16. CAM SAMC
Establishing shot – shows overall location
Wide shot – shows body movement e.g.
Close up – shows details e.g. scared eyes,
POV – shows what they are going through
Mid shot – to show face, reactions
Low – someone looking in a basement
High –victim’s lack of power
Canted – to makes us feel uncomfortable or to
“The Others” – establishing shot
“Chucky Doll” – close up
“The Silence of The Lambs” – uses
POV to create tension
“Clover field” - counted angles
“The Others” MOVEMENTS
Pan and track - chase
17. MES - CHARACTER
Costumes – torn, dirty clothes (stained with blood), mask
Make up – smudged makeup (from crying), wounds on the
face, damaged hair
Props – some sort of weapon (knives, axes, gun etc.)
Young kids – ghost, paranormal
“The Last House On the Left”
- Damaged hair
- Dirty face
“Down Of The Dead”
- Dirty clothes from blood
18. MES – SETTING
Location – forest, outside the city, isolated, abandoned, location with a hidden past
Exterior and interior
Type of building – mostly dilapidated houses, barn, factory
Time – mostly evening and night
- location: forest
- Types of building : factory
- Time: evening/night
- Village with hidden
- At the end : factory
“Jeeper Creeper 2”
19. MES – LIGTINING/ COLOUR
Colours : often black (dark, mysterious), red (dangerous), blue filters
Low key light – can help to create dark shadows and unfamiliar
shapes in the blackness
Available light – streetlights
Light can be motivated in the world of the film – e.g.. Torches,
CGI and special effects are used in horror to make the situation seem more dramatic
Fast pace - e.g. when running away; medium pace
Fast forward – to create tension
Jump cuts – during chase scene etc.
Eye-line match – when they see something horrible
Match on action
Cross cutting – e.g. when hiding from a killer; killer is trying to find them
Straight cutting (transition) – to show realism
The non-diegetic - often used within horror. It can be eerie and create tension
within the audience e.g. heartbeat
Diegetic sound – often used for distortion and to make the audience scared, e.g.
Asynchronous – e.g. hear someone's steps
Volume control – combination of loud and quiet
Dialogue – e.g. whispering or shouting
Sound perspective – e.g. a friend is far away and they scream to the victim to run
Sound motifs – associated with character or place
Sound effect – e.g. sudden explosion
• Almost all of the male are represented as hegemonic masculinity, who act macho
and heroic and want to save everyone.
• Almost all of the females are represented as helpless and victims that need to be
saved by a male hero.
• The youth – can be seen as less experienced and more vulnerable to the type of
events that happen in horror films.
23. What we like in horror movies?
• When they have a good story line
• When they scare me to death
• When they have lots of good special effects
• When they use POV (point of view), I feel involved
• When they use good sound effects
• When they includes ghosts, demons, or other depictions of supernatural occurrences
• I really like psychological horrors, but also supernatural and slasher
• Horror is my favourite genre as although most have similar concepts, they always fins new and interesting
way to portray a particular entity or creature. I also like the fact that they contain a lot of suspense and
thrill which although may lead to the same outcome; they may have a plot twist which will keep me
intrigued. The main reason why I like to watch horror movies is to see the different ideas that they come
up with as to the way the kill characters or resolve the problem.
• My favourite thing about horror movies is the suspense that it provides the audience with and the impact
that it leaves on you (makes you scared and concerned after the movie has ended)