A the 1930s earlier American productions often

    A horror
film evokes a physiological reaction, such as an elevated heartbeat, fear,
nightmares and terror in its viewers through the use of fear or scenes
involving images of ghosts, aliens, vampires, werewolves, demons, satanism,
gore, cannibals, psychopaths. Initially, horror films were often inspired by
literature from authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley.

Georges Melies’ movie The Haunted Castle
is often considered to be the first horror movie ever filmed as it features elements
of supernatural events. In 1910, Edison Studios produced the first filmed
version of Frankenstein, and immediately,
the macabre nature of the source materials used made the films synonymous with
the horror film genre, and even though the word “horror” to describe
the film genre would not be used until the 1930s earlier American productions
often relied on horror themes. During the early period of talking pictures,
Universal Pictures began a successful Gothic horror film series, like Dracula (1931), remake of Frankenstein (1931) and The Old Dark House (1932). The Invisible
Man, released in 1933, featured a theme of the mad scientist, mirroring earlier
German films. With advances in technology, the tone of horror films shifted
from the Gothic towards contemporary concerns. 
Japan’s experience with Hiroshima and Nagasaki bore the well-known Godzilla (1954) and its sequels,
featuring mutation from the effects of nuclear radiation. During the later
1950s, the United Kingdom emerged as a major producer of horror films. It focused
on the genre for the first time, enjoying huge international success from films
involving classic horror characters which were shown in colour for the first
time. Drawing on Universal’s precedent, many films produced were Frankenstein
and Dracula remakes, followed by many sequels. Released in May 1960, the
British psychological thriller Peeping
Tom (1960) by Michael Powell is, along with Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, an originator of the
“slasher film”. 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 during the 1970s (The Exorcist, The Omen, Audrey Rose, Alice,
Sweet Alice). A cycle of slasher films was made during the 1970s and 1980s
– Halloween, Friday the 13th,
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on the Elm Street, Hellraiser.

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In the first half of the
1990s, the genre still contained many of the themes from the 1980s. The slasher
films A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween and Child’s Play
all saw sequels in the 1990s, 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 in 1994. Two
main problems pushed horror backward during this period: firstly, the horror
genre wore itself out with the proliferation of nonstop slasher and gore films
in the eighties. Secondly, the adolescent audience which feasted on the blood
and morbidity of the previous decade grew up, and was replaced with the
audience that was not as interested. The film The Last Broadcast (1998) served as inspiration for the highly
successful The Blair Witch Project
(1999), which popularized the found footage horror subgenre. Several horror
film adaptations from comic books and video games were produced. 30 Days of Night (2007) is based on the
comic book miniseries of the same name. The story focuses on an Alaskan town
beset by vampires as it enters into a thirty-day long polar night. Comic book
adaptations like the Blade series, Constantine (2005), and Hellboy (2004) also became box office
successes.

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