The horror film has emerged during the age of the silent cinema (the silent movie) in the second decade of the twentieth century, when the German cinema took the invention of horror into movie production.
And thus this type of films has started depending on low technologies at the beginning and thus depending on low budget, when produced.
Then Universal, a Hollywood cinema studio began producing horror movies during the 1930s.
They are popular among all audience, minor and senior. They also make decent income to filmmakers, as the rates of the best selling movies indicate that horror films come at the top of the list.
However, sometimes, adults may not find the horror films interesting, specially those who are interested in real life drama and social and melodrama films dealing with love stories, family events, normal kids adventures, musical films and other melodrama films.
I personally don't like them at all combined with the series of Harry Potter and the Twilight Saga, as they have nothing real to present. The fantasy got destroyed, easily.
In addition, the negativity of horror films that works to raise emotional reactions (reaction to fear, for example), is something to think about as nonsense and it doesn't serve good emotions at all.
The oral tales of humans turning into wolves, when the moon turns on are in fact of African culture. That don't mean it doesn't exist in other societies. In some African countries they call the wolf "Marvaeen".
In the African folktales, grandmothers used to tell their children this kind of fairy tales daily at day. But, they also used to tell them fairy tales about a hero, or a prince and princess at evening.
As they started earlier, horror films are known as the first film genre alongside the Western film genre and they always sell well, both in cinema theaters, DVDs and TVs encouraged recently by the high demand on ghosts and vampires movies. Children and kids are the most audience addicted to this type of films.
The thriller films are considered a new contemporary type of horror films developed from the notion of the horror movies and typically they used either the traditional movie production methods, or new invented methods.
That means, they now run through new techniques using the developed components of computer programing and high definition screening (HD) along with the development of video gaming and picture pixel art.
In this age kids find thriller films enjoyable to the standard that some fashion companies follow the addiction of kids to manufacture T-shirts designed with pictures of vampires and ghosts and pictures of the cinema stars who played the main roles in the horror films.
Among them, girls go wild to love those cinema stars. Even in the underdeveloped world, girls tend to admire and dream of those stars who starred the thrillers.
This presents a new trend in the movement of the cinema at this age, as well as the interest of the market on the increasing demand of horror films. It also indicates that horror movies are the most profitable types of films.
Thus, negatively the consuming habit becomes a problem, without real interest in deep literary and cultural orientation to serve the new generation.
Example: the new generation know more about the most attractive thriller male star and the most attractive thriller female star, more than they know about Garcia Marquez, Chekhov, Richard Wright, Yeats, or Pablo Neruda.
Doing a semi survey, I asked some literature students in few universities about horror films and found that they new very well every thing about the new produced thrillers, more about the stars. Some of them even wear tea-shirts designed with pictures of those stars.
Then, I asked the literature students about Arthur Rimbaud, Wole Soyinka, Tennessee Williams, Leo Tolstoy, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot and the names of the laureates mentioned above and found that they know little, or none.
The indication from such brief survey is clear. You could do such surveys among university students about such topic, or a similar topic to the mental orientation of the new generation in this age, which could explain, why the literary life of such generation is destroyed by the nonsense the cinema presents nowadays.
That is not supposed of the cinema to do, as it is not only an entertainment instruments, but it is also an educational media. It educates, literates and sophisticates through entertainment. Tell me I am wrong.
The horror movies are defined by the emotional effect they have on the spectators and the intended response to horrible events to be grouped in this genre. They create the intended effects on the audience and even the expectations.
They horrify the spectators and create a mode through which the spectators lose their natural and normal sense.
Monsters are the main characters in horror films and they are unnatural creatures. They may be as the giant movie monster King Kong (which resembles the gorilla) since its appearance the first time in 1933, Carcharodontosaurus, sea monsters, dinosaurs, Cyclops, Dragon, Xenomorph and giant alligators.
They may also be smaller than the mentioned giants but still big, as Dracula, werewolf, demons, zombies mutant ants or other creatures, birds, and other types of vampire.
They survive and cross the lines between life and death, either when they are transformed humans, or creatures produced of biological, or other scientific effects. Sometimes small characters could be used with the computer technology to make them giants.
So, filmmakers take the character convention to define this genre of film.
You see through horror films a man turned into werewolf, for example in (American Werewolf in London and American Werewolf in Paris) and a woman turned into a panther, or a cat, or a monster as used in some light horror movies.
The events, or the actions in the horror film begin from the attacks of the monsters on normal humans, or buildings, or even on other monsters to dominate over other monsters, which thought are from weak origins.
Scientists characters often play the main roles in generating mutants and monsters in horror films. But, a monster could be produced by other ways when a normal human transforms into that unnatural creature.
Those humans could become demons to create other types of monsters, which are not always monstrous.
It is often that when a normal person turns into demon, the other natural characters in the horror film try to rescue her or him to get back to her or his normal nature.
But, before that happens many horrifying events take place in the movie and continue until the resolution of the film plot, if any.
Scientific actions could take place through this treatment and even some emotional behaviors from normal persons could happen to get the transformed person to demon into normal life.
Natural effects could also take place as a mediation into this situation, as we see when the moon turns off on some themed horror movies the demon, or the monster becomes a normal person.
Other audience see that some horror films generate a second value, when they show the limitation of human knowledge and try to demonstrate this and what happens to develop a sense of emergency to get more knowledge about:
- the atmosphere we live on, or
- the unexpected scientific effects on our normal life, especially when the scientists create unintentionally a monster, or a catastrophic situation from their scientific experiments.
However, sometimes such horror films suggest that humans don't necessarily have to know everything.
Iconography helps horror films be more horrible through the technical effects added to the horror films.
The techniques used could be actually performed through computers and audio systems and much of them now use the late HD technology to develop the intended effects on the audience.
As filmmakers use computers to make the intended effects, they use them in makeup and artworks through which they transform actors into monsters. They may also use shadows and offscreen sound to achieve the intended effect.
Not only humans, but animals, birds, insects, masks, mummies, sands, stones and sea and space creatures play some roles in horror films and mysteries too.
Lately, the moviemakers use a high developed techniques combined with science to present masked and iron men. Some types of films, whether they are thriller films or science-fiction also bypass realities and normal life.
However, they are interesting to high number of audience.
Article by Khalid Osman
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