Horror film

horror film is the name for a film - category, which is to release fear and a frightening with the spectators above all. Such reactions can work relaxing, if its cause illusion remains or the spectators not threatened.

Table of contents


a horror film causes without instructing intention fear and frightening. One of the most typical characteristics of this category is a supernatural, unexplainable threatas for example the fog in The Fog - nebulas of having a horror. In addition, often not-human natures represent the threat, like for example Vampire, who wolves, ghosts, Zombies or Aliens, which hurt laws of nature, by defying the force of gravity and fly orare unsterblich.

Nevertheless the laws and the rationalism of our everyday life apply in the world, which is created in the horror film. Witches for example are not a normal, accepted component of this world, different than with fairy tales and Fantasyfilmen. - The horror film lives on paradoxes the confrontation ofException and rule. If the rule is expected, the exception governs in reverse, and: Security the promising law of nature is interrupted by the greyful miracle, or the merciless law of nature places itself against the hoped for miracle.

The horror film comes from the stage Melodrama 19. Century ago. This community shows upparticularly in stereotyped roles, how the scientist, who confirms the infringement of physical laws, whereby the full extent of the threat becomes only clear. Further there is „the virgin bride “, „the hero and bridegroom “, usually a father-similar figure and naturally the rogue. By the example of the Dracula- This sample shows up filmings clearly. Minna becomes from Jonathan, their engaged one, by Dr. van Helsing, a scholar, from whom claws of the monster Dracula frees.

The continuity of the gothical architectural style in the anglo-saxon area let it become the symbol of the conservativism, which itself inHorror pictures and - stories just like in the horror film strikes down. Numerous horror films play in a gothical house, which keeps schaurige attractiveness with its vertical lines, stair aligning and corridors (see victory mouth Freud: Over the uncanny). Examples of films, in which the house plays an important role,the spirit lock, Haunted Hill, Stephen Kings house condemn-sneezes and The of the Shining is.

A kind of play of the horror film is the Psycho horror (also: Psycho thriller). Contrary to the classical horror film, in which the fright effect with the described rolling pallet is obtained, the Psycho horror with one workspervasive, vague threat. This expresses itself again and again by unexpected danger situations, a whose cause remains however in the dark. Frightening is based also here on the fear of that unknown quantities.

effect on public and critic

to reactions such as fear, fright and disgust can do italso with other films come, as for instance with a documentary film over medical operations. If the informative component is omitted and is shown the terrible around its sake, it becomes the horror film. Horror films hardly cause like another film category zwiespältige reactions and clear refusal. ThatHorror film illusioniert and polarizes the spectators more strongly than for instance the Kriminalfilm. - The ritual Nachvollzug of strong emotions without didactical component has however his tradition. Platons criticism at the Greek tragedy differs not in principle from the modern reproach that the horror film with frightening joke floats.

Many effect theories assume either the spectator is freed from aggressions or that he gets accustomed in reverse at force.

Almost in each country the representation is controlled by force in the film and censored if necessary. Therefore hardly a horror film the public becomes completeshown, what explains, why the Lauflängen of the films in different countries it differs.


the classical horror film

already around 1910 gave it the first Franconia stone - filmings, from which only few are received until today.

Max fright as a count Orlokin Nosferatu.

1921 became in the silent movie Nosferatu, a Symphonie of having a horror of the Friedrich Murnau the Dracula - motive uses for the first time, although the Vampir was renamed because of disputes over the rights at the material in count Orlok. This was played convincingly of max fright so thatsome spectators were convinced to have a genuine Vampir before itself. On this rumor as well as on the turning work to Nosferatu the 2000 turned horror film Shadow OF the Vampire with Willem Dafoe in the role of the max fright was based.

Until into the 1930er knows yearsone on sides of the spectator expectation yet of a category of the horror film does not speak, since there was not an appropriate basic stick at films yet. Only the filmings of Bram Stokers novel Dracula from the years 1921 and 1931, that to the most successful material of horror film history andfilm history at all became, and of Mary Shelleys Franconia stone activated the production of numerous variants.

In the classical horror film the threat, „the different one came “, usually from exotic countries, for example from Transsilvanien (Dracula) or Egypt (the mummy), and threatened frequently the bride of the hero.It to be brutally destroyed or killed, thus the order of the society with their classical, conservative rolling and moral conceptions be restored could.

Only into the 1940ern the enthusiasm diminished slowly, for which the sinking quality of the filmings could be responsible, above all however probably the materialFright of the Second World War.

Into the 1950ern the horror film was mostly a variant of the gruseligen Sciencefiction film. Target group were mostly children or young people, for example I which A dte-gnaw who wolf.

the postmodernism horror film

in the middle of the 1960er came with Peeping Tom, Psycho and the night of the living dead ones (1968) the first category films for adults, in whom explicitly to the everyday life of the spectators was referred. The threat came no longer from another time or another world, but was into the normal environmentintegrated. The borders between the bad ones and the allegedly good ones were smeared. From the visions of the taboo injury as danger for the individual (for example in Franconia stone monsters:If you want to exceed the border between lives and death, your plan turns out to have a family,in danger) a Apokalypse for the whole society becomes, i.e. the error of a particular can kill all. The good end is not any more certainty. Frequently is over powerful the threat (for example by Zombies) and the Protagonisten remains only the “choice” between escape andDeath.

Later John Carpenter with the first Halloween justified - film the Subgenre of the modern Slasher film and kicked loose a wave of series like Friday of the 13. or A Nightmare on Elm Street, in those young unknown actors an ideal Projektionsfläche for a juvenile publicoffered. Trip was the success wave of the horror literature. 1987: The Nekromantik bezeichenete as the first post office-modern horror film did not place threat there into regular sense, but rather a subversion. In this film it concerns not around it, which the spectator fear gets, but rather a social taboothat is explicitly shown here. In Nekromantik there is no threat for the main character, no escape and no Happy ends. Only with the film one recognized Scream end of the 1990er that there was interest Slasherfilmen. The consequence: Two continuations of Scream as well as severalParts of I knows, what you did last summer, dark ones legends or finally Destination. This horror wave essentially addressed itself to a juvenile public and set therefore also on just as young actors. After Splatter would ferment, Slasher and Mondo - horror films the bordersthe representable one had to a large extent expenditure-provoked and a turning over into the Parodie had taken place (Braindead and Ricky Oh), came it with the asiatic, primarily Japanese film series ring to a new idiom in the category.

The explicit force disappeared first again from the canvas, new kind of soundand optical effects prepared that for grey ones.The Eye (2002) was a positive horror film with several remarkable characteristics: There were A) nearly no men - and no father figures, b) no explicitly bad power, but only unfortunate dead ones and C) differently than in the post office-modern horror filma positive, life and society-affirming end. While the today's horror cinema Suspense films more and more on Remakes, and gives it sets Horrothriller still some films, which represent force explicitly and merciless, for example Rob Zombie 's of two films house of the 1000 corpses & TheDevil's Rejects or James Wan 's Saw, not less, if are not even more artful made than today's Suspense films like e.g. The Dark or The Skeleton key or Remakes such as The Fog or also Dark Water. Zombies of films are the original “hard” filmsfrom the 70's more near than so some Remake of a film from this time.

remarkable horror films

(those with * did not mark films are occupied with supernatural antagonists and/or. Phenomena.)

title director year topic/threat
before 1940
Nosferatu, a Symphonie of having a horror Friedrich Murnau 1921 Vampir
Dracula death Browning 1931 Vampir
Franconia stone James Whale 1931 creature
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Rouben Mamoulian 1932 who wolf
* Freaks death Browning 1932 revenge
the mummy Karl friend 1932 curse, mummy
King Kong and the white Mrs. Merian C.Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack 1933 creature
of Franconia stone bride James Whale 1935 creature
cat people Jacques Tourneur 1942 who wolf
Godzilla Ishirô Honda 1954 creature
* the night of the hunter Charles Laughton 1955 greed
the Dämoni - invasion OF the Body Snatchers Don seal 1956 subversion
Dracula Terence Fisher 1958 Vampir
* Psycho Alfred Hitchcock 1960 insanity
* which happened really with baby Jane? Robert Aldrich 1962 insanity
to the blood freezes - for The Haunting Robert meadow 1963 Spuk, insanity
the man with the Roentgen eyes Roger Corman 1963 superhuman
* Cradle song for a corpse Robert Aldrich 1964 insanity
Rosemaries baby novel Polanski 1967 subversion
the night of the living dead George A. Romero 1968 Zombie
* duel Steven play mountain 1971 revenge
of the Exorzist William Friedkin 1973 Dämonen
phase IV Saul bass 1973 creature
* Blood court in Texas raves Hooper 1974 series murder
* the white shark Steven play mountain 1975 creature
Eraserhead David lynches 1976 insanity
the Körperfresser comes - invasion OF the Body Snatchers Philip Kaufman 1977 subversion
* Halloween - the night of having a horror John Carpenter 1978 series murder
Zombie - Dawn OF the DEAD George A. Romero 1978 Zombie
* Friday of the 13. Sean S. Cunningham 1979 series murder
The Fog - nebulas of having a horror John Carpenter 1979 curse, revenge
The Shining Stanley Kubrick 1979 insanity
Alien - the uncanny nature from onestrange world Ridley Scott 1979 creature
dance the devil - The Evil DEAD SAM Raimi 1981 Dämon
the thing from another world (1982) John Carpenter 1982 creature
rumbling spirit raves Hooper 1982 revenge
Nightmare: Mörderi dreams Wes Craven 1984 revenge
Zombie 2 - DayOF the DEAD George A. Romero 1985 Zombie
the fly David Cronenberg 1986 mutation, superhuman
* Nekromantik Jörg Buttgereit 1987 Sexualität
Hellraiser Clive Barker 1987 sin
Chucky - Child' s Play Tom Holland 1988 Voodoo
The Church - La Chiesa Michele Soavi 1989 Dämon
Braindead Peter Jackson 1992 Zombie
Bram Stoker' s Dracula Francis Ford Coppola 1992 Vampir
* filters David finch ago 1995 series murder
* Scream - cry! Wes Craven 1996 series murder
Hemoglobin Peter Svatek 1997 mutation
Ringu Hideo Nakata 1998 Dämon
Vampire John Carpenter 1998 Vampir
The Blair WitchProject Daniel Myrick / Eduardo Sánchez 1999 witch
Sleepy Hollow Tim Burton 1999 curse, revenge
spiral - Uzumaki Higuchinsky (Akihiro Higuchi) 2000 insanity
after 2000
Jeepers Creepers Victor Salva 2001 creature
The Others Alejandro Amenábar 2001 Spuk, reality
Dark Water Hideo Nakata 2002Spuk
The ring would ferment being ski 2002 curse, Spuk
house of the 1000 corpses Rob Zombie 2003 series murder
* Saw James Wan 2004 series murder
country OF the DEAD George A. Romero 2005 Zombie
of the Exorzismus of Emily rose Scott Derrickson 2005 Fanatismus
The the cent Neil marshal To 2005 creature

see also

work on] literature

(selection) would ferment

  • William K. Everson: Classical author of the horror film (OT: Classics OF the horror film). Goldmann, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-442-10205-7
  • Norbert Stresau: The horror film. Of Draculato the Zombie Schocker. Heyne, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-453-86098-5
  • Rainer thick: Star of the horror film. Tilsner, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-910079-63-6

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Wiktionary: Horror film - word origin, synonyms and translations

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