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Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Friday, 26 November 2010

How Genres Have Changed Over the Years: Horror

The horror genre is one of the oldest ones, dating back to the early 1920s. From day one to around 1960 horror films were almost always just about your typical horror monsters - Count Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster, Mummies and occasionally zombies - notable such films including Nosferatu (1922), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Frankenstein (1931), Dracula (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and The Wolf Man (1941). In the 1950s horror films sometimes had representations of the Cold War and Communism in the underlying themes, notable examples including The Thing from Another World (1951) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).

By 1960 the Hammer Horrors had become established films and had established Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as some of the best horror actors in the world. The 1960s also saw a series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations that established Vincent Price as a truly excellent horror actor. 1960 also saw the sub-genre of psychological horrors take off, with films such as Psycho (1960) and, to a lesser extent, The Birds (1963), and continued as a major sub-genre till the end of the 20th Century, with films such as A Clockwork Orange (1971), Halloween (1978) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and its sequels, and The Sixth Sense (1999) - which was combined with supernatural horror (see below) - as well as a number of Stephen King adaptations, such as The Shining (1980) and Misery (1990). Another sub-genre of supernatural horror took off in the 1970s also, with Carrie (1976), a Stephen King based film, and The Omen (1976), which was part psychological horror, part supernatural; and was strongest in the 1980s with films such as Poltergeist (1982) and Child's Play (1988).

Since 1978's Dawn of the Dead horror has been almost always full of gory blood and guts, notable examples being My Bloody Valentine (1981) and Videodrome (1983). Today the whole "gore fest" is what most horror films are, such as the Saw series (2004-2010), the Final Destination series (2000-). Countless remakes of older, classic horrors are also being churned out, such remakes including The Phantom of the Opera (2004) and The Omen (2006). The horror franchise has truly become a joke, with only a couple of really good horror films having been churned out in the last decade, and constant remakings, gore fests, and sequels being churned out. You can tell it's a joke thanks to Matthew Horne and James Corden's Lesbian Vampire Killers (2009), which was clearly taking the mick, and did it successfully, and the Scary Movies (2000-2006) to a less successful degree.

I don't hold high hopes for the future of horror films, but I can always go back and watch some great quality horror films, that will never get old or dull - films such as Nosferatu, The Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, Dracula, Freaks (1932), Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula (1958), The Brides of Dracula (1960), Psycho, The Birds, Night of the Living Dead (1968), A Clockwork Orange, The Wicker Man (1973), The Omen, Carrie, Halloween, Dawn of the Dead, The Shining, An American Werewolf in London (1981), Poltergeist, Videodrome, Misery, The Silence of the Lambs, Se7en (1995), Scream (1996) The Sixth Sense, and even Saw.

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