By Kiley Brown
Fall is quickly approaching, and Halloween will be here before anybody knows it. With all the excitement of this spooky season, there’s always that one scary movie that everyone loves and can’t resist the urge to watch. The horror movie genre has been around for a long time and lots of people enjoy it.
Scary movies have come a long way, with the first ones dating back to the late 1800s, and those were silent. Filmmakers and audiences had a fascination with screams and death from the very start, even though the “horror” genre wasn’t coined until the 1930s. Before then, scary movies were referred to as “Spook Tales.”
Some of the most well known horror movies were made in the 1930s: “Dracula,” “Frankenstein,” “The Mummy,” “King Kong,” and “Bride of Frankenstein.” “Dracula” and “Frankenstein” are both based off of books just like many other horror movies.
The 1930s was where horror movies were truly reborn. Sound impacted horror movies and changed the whole nature of cinema forever. Sound can build suspense, with heavy breathing, growling, or grunting and defining the screams of the scared. Sometimes composers do not want the audience to be aware of their technique, and the most obvious is called “mickeymousing,” which is when the music subtly matches an action, such as when King Kong climbs the Empire State building.
Fast forward to the 1970s, it was a grim period for the decade. Many controversies arose in the world at this time, such as Apollo 13, which was an accident when it traveled to the moon, and women were fighting for equal rights. However, when society went through tough times, the horror movies continued to thrive. Children were the key focus of horror movies. The main well- known movies in the ‘70s are: “The Exorcist,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and “Jaws”, where children were exorcised, murdered, and swallowed whole or chopped in half.
The genre faced a recession in the 2000s because of 9/11. Filmmakers struggled to come to terms with what was now acceptable for the public to view. By 2005, scary movies were more popular than ever and topped the box office and still continue to today They focus on clowns and other creatures, such as the movie “It,” which had the highest opening weekend of profit since “Deadpool.”