Intro to Horror Film

What we fear and who we think will save us from those fears speak to deeper psychological, spiritual and emotional planes of existence. Horror films make us rethink our surroundings and remember that there are darker underbellies of society that we would be better than not to avoid.

Setting the Stage

  • FW Murnau, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)

Classic Universal Monsters

  • Tod Browning, Dracula (1931)—based on Dracula, Bram Stoker (1897)
  • James Whale, Frankenstein (1931)—based on Frankenstein, Mary Shelly (1823)
  • Karl Freund, The Mummy (1932)

Hitchcock and Those He Inspired

  • Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho (1960)
  • Lee Thompson, Cape Fear (1962)
  • Stanley Kubrick, The Shining (1980)—based on The Shining, Stephen King (1977)

Blood and Demons

  • William Friedkin, The Exorcist (1973)—based on The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty (1971)
  • Wes Craven, Last House on the Left (1972)
  • Tobe Hooper, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

They Live!

  • George A. Romero, Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • Sam Raimi, Evil Dead (1981)
  • Tommy Wirkola, Dead Snow (2009)

80’s Horror Classics

  • John Carpenter, Halloween (1978)
  • Sean S. Cunningham, Friday the 13th (1980)
  • Wes Craven, Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Caught on Tape

  • Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sanchez, Blair Witch Project (1999)
  • Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza, Rec (2007)
  • Drek Lee, Clif Prowse, Afflicted (2013)

Screams From Japan

  • Hideo Nakata, Ringu (1998)—based on Ringu, Koji Suzuki (1991)
  • Sion Sono, Suicide Club, aka Suicide Circle (2001)
  • Kinji Fukasaku, Battle Royale (2000)—based on Battle Royale, Koushun Takami (1996/1999)

The Send Ups

  • Scream
  • Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
  • Cabin in the Woods

Recommended Reading

  • Rick Worland, The Horror Film: An Introduction (2006)
  • Peter Hutchings, The Horror Film (2004)
  • Mark Jancovich, Horror, The Film Reader (2001)

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