The inspiration behind horror movies can be traced back to the early days of Gothic novels, stories of monsters, vampires and devils. Since the Anglo-Saxon age, there were chivalric romances, along with stories of ghosts and demons. Ghosts and devils have been an integral part of cinema, creating an independent genre of entertainment.
When was the First Horror Film Made?
Popular belief tells us that it was a well-known French filmmaker Georges Melies, who made the first horror film. The film was titled as Le Manoir Du Diable (French for: The House of the Devil). It was released in 1896, on Christmas Eve, in Paris. It was a three-minute film and contained many traditional pantomime elements. This film also depicts a haunted castle and manor of the devil.
The Plot in Brief
The film begins with a bat flying into a medieval castle. The bat circles slowly and transforms into Mephistopheles. Preparing a cauldron, the demon produces skeletons, ghosts, and witches from its bubbling contents. Then, the demon conjures a young girl and some other supernatural elements. When one of these supernatural agents hold up a crucifix, the devil vanishes immediately.
History of Horror Films
The element of horror was initiated during the classic age of English literary history. Some of them are Gothic novels like Dracula, Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
After the Second World War, the devastation caused by war gave rise to three genres: the horror-of-personality films, the horror-of-Armageddon sub-genre and the horror-of-the-demonic films.
However, during the age of modern and post-modernism, the element of sadistic horror and the supernatural ruled these films. Gore Verbinski's "The Ring" released in 2002, can be named as one of the most effective horror movies of the modern era. Here, we can mention William Malone's "FeardotCom" (2002), and James Wan's "Saw" (2004), sequels of which were released in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Recently, the film directors have introduced a new trend 'chick flicks', which have the element of traditional horror-adventure. For instance, "The Descent" which was released in 2006. This film is regarded as the first chick flick which includes the element of brutal action.
Thus, portraying the gloomy and forbidden side of life and death, these horror films evoke a mixed feeling of terror and fear blended with a feeling of pity for the protagonist. Have you seen "The Wizard Of Gore" by Jeremy Kasten, "Dracula 2000" by Patrick Lussier, "Halloween Night" by Mark Atkins? If not, then try to watch some of these.