A large and heterogeneous group of films that, via the representation of disturbing, violent, and dark subject matter, seek to elicit responses of fear, terror, disgust, shock, suspense, and, of course, horror from their viewers. Horror is a protean genre, spawning numerous subgenres and hybrid variants, including gothic horror, supernatural horror, monster movies, psychological horror, splatter films, slasher films, body horror, comedy horror, serial killer films, and postmodern horror.
The horror film’s antecedents in the European gothic literary tradition and Grand‐Guignol theatre are evident in its archaic settings, its fascination with the supernatural, and its melodramatic narratives. Early examples include L’Auberge ensorcelée/The Bewitched Inn (Georges Méliès, France, 1897), Frankenstein (J. Searle Dawley, US, 1910), and Der Golem/The Golem (Paul Wegener and Henrik Galeen, Germany, 1913). The roots of the genre can be traced back to German Expressionism, which influenced the mise‐en‐scene of Das Kabinett des Dr Caligari/The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920) and Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens/Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (F.W. Murnau, 1922). Influences have also been noted in the Surrealist movement, as seen in films such as La chute de la maison Usher/The Fall of the House of Usher (Jean Epstein, US/France, 1928) (see surrealism). ...
To find horror films in the Library's collections, you can click on the subject headings below:
Articles and other writings about horror movies can be found in many publications. We don't have journals that look exclusively at horror films. However, you can use Film & Television Literature Index to find relevant articles.
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