When it all started?

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Horror movies has been around for almost as long as movies have been made. Before looking at the horror movie it may be best to look into horror in literature. Knowing this can help our understanding of horror films and where they come from.

Horror in literature left a legacy that helped to propel this genre into films. If there had not been such a legacy of literary works then we may not have the same movies we do now.

The term horror was first coined in 1764 in a book by Horace Walpole's called The Castle of Otranto which was full of the supernatural. In the following centuries literary giants like Edgar Allan Poe championed this genre with great works like The Raven. Some of the great horror movies of today are based on old horror stories like Frankenstein and Dracula which were both written in the 1800's.

At the beginning of horror movie history these movies were often ones that had the supernatural in there. In the late 1890's short silent films was where these movies start. The Frenchman Georges Melies is thought to be the creator of the first horror film with his 1896 short silent Le Manior du diable. Around this time the Japanese also tried their hand at this genre with Bake Jizo and Shinin no Sosei.

The first full horror film was an adaptation of the hunchback of Notre-Dame. Many of these first horror films were created by German film makers as the early 1900's were the time of the German expressionist films. These films have influenced horror film makers for decades to Tim Burton. During the 1920's Hollywood started dabbling in the horror genre with Lon Chaney Sr. Becoming the first American horror star.

It was in the 1930's that the horror film was first popularized by Hollywood. Along with the classic Gothic films Frankenstein and Dracula there were also films made with a mix of Gothic horror and the supernatural. In 1941 The Wolf Man was an iconic werewolf movie created by Universal studios. This was not the first werewolf movie made but is known as the most influential. During this era other B pictures were created like the 1945 version of The Body Snatcher.

In the 1950's there had been many innovations in the technology used to make films. Additionally in this time the horror film was divided into two categories being Armageddon films and demonic films. During this time social ideas and fears were placed into movies but in such a way that it was not direct exploitation.

The 1960's were the time when many iconic movies came about. Hitchcock's movie The Birds was against a modern backdrop and was one of the first American Armageddon films. Perhaps one of the most influential films of this time was Night of the Living Dead. This movie brought zombies into the mainstream and it also moved these movies from the Gothic horror to what we know today.

The history of horror movies goes back to the beginning of movies. The long history shows how they changed from Gothic classics to what we know today.

Online scary films

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Sometimes turning to the net for a film is great idea. If you are looking for horror movies online, you're going to be in for a thrilling surprise. No matter what your scary desire is, you are bound to find a movie to suit your taste. The internet is slowly but surely becoming the premier destination to watch movies, the reason being the limitless selection. This is definitely the case with regard to to the horror genre.

There is something about being scared that we really enjoy. Not always of course in reality though, but there is something thrilling about being on the edge of your seat throughout a story. People tell scary stories around campfires or when the power goes out and the house is dark, these stories work best when we seem vulnerable.

A classic book like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein even has its roots in this type of story telling. It was during terrible storms in Switzerland that she was cooped up inside with her husband and Lord Byron. They would sit around the fire reading German ghost stories, which gave Byron the idea that they should each write their own supernatural tale.

The history of the horror movie is almost as old as cinema itself, George Melies directed the short silent film La Manoir du Diable in 1896. This vampire movie was only two minutes long, but it was loved by audiences. For the next thirty or so years it would mainly be German filmmakers who dabbled in horror, with 1922's Nosferatu by F. W. Murnau, the first feature-length vampire movie and Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr Cagliari the most memorable.

By the time the 1930's started, Hollywood had joined the scaring game, and so began the era of Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy. Actors like Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi became household names in these films and their many sequels. By the 1950's the horror genre added aliens into the mix and the genre continued to evolve. There were film studios that were making horror movies exclusively and we began to a see a slew of low budget shock cinema.

What is significant is that many of the movies from this generation are actually available to watch online. Whether it be Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or Christopher Lee as Dracula, a number of online movie sites offer a huge range of these classic films. For the film buff the net is a treasure chest, with the ability to movies that are almost impossible to rent in video stores.

The modern generation of horrors began to evolve in the 1960's and 70's with classics like Hitchock's The Birds and Psycho and Rosemary's Baby and in 1973 The Exorcist became the highest grossing horror movie ever. And then in 1975 Jaws made by the young Spielberg became the highest grossing film of all time. On the the other side of the scale, independent movies like Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and George Romero's Dawn of the Dead began a sub-culture of horror films that would lead to movie franchises today like Saw and Hostel.

Of course the seventies and eighties also saw the introduction of Horror legends like Wes Craven and John Carpenter and film adaptations of the works of Stephen King. The work of Craven (Nightmare on Elm Street), Carpenter (Halloween) and Sean Cunningham (Friday the thirteenth) introduced the teens in jeopardy plot lines that would dominate horrors for the next two decades. More lately they have been influenced by the emergence of the Asian horror movies, with many even being remade in Hollywood. Movies like The Ring and The Grudge are both actually re-makes of excellent Japanese films.

But the best thing about finding horror movies online is that you are capable of finding that sub-culture that has existed since the 1950's. Horror fans make movies and the internet has given them a medium to show them to the world. There are hundreds of spoof movies, slasher flicks, "gore-nography", zombie films, and so much more out there. So if you want to get scared tonight, turn on the computer and start the search. Wait, didn't a horror movie start like that?

Popular horror movies character

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Choosing the main character in the horror movie is the thing that makes that movie famous. A proper "bad character" makes the tone of the film. Here are some scary characters that we can not forget:

Freddy Krueger

Taking part as a character in the movie "Nightmare on the Elm Street" Freddy Krueger makes the movie horror classic.

During the movie Freddy is not shown as a person that exists in the real world. You don't see Freddy's face. You can only see his shadow and his hands.

The focus is not on his physical characteristics. It's on the specific methods and the way that he treats the victims. He does not just choose to kill. His way of killing is in the dreams. As soon as you close your eyes and fell sleep, you will be dead. That makes the movie so terrifying.

John 'Jack' Torrance

"The Shining" is movie that proves the fact that everyone has the capacity to become monster. After the battle with alcoholism John is becoming a victim to his supernatural forces. His past comes to surface and he goes insane. He lives in his own world of terrifying rules. As a result he holds his son and wife as hostages.

Pinhead

In "Hellraiser" Pinhead is shown as supernatural entity. Although he has special physical ability, is not usual for him to choose actual physical attack on the victims. Instead, he prefers caring the victims with chains. He doesn't want just to kill. He wants to enjoy while he is doing that for a long time. As long as you sacrifice other people's lives you will be living.

Regan MacNeil / Pazuzu

In the "Exorcist" when Pazuzu took control over Regan's body, it was clear that nothing is safe from the evil. No matter how good person you are or how flawless your life has been, you are not safe. What makes the viewers speechless is the making of this girl's life real hell and the possession of her soul.

Norman Bates

In "Psycho" Norman Bates is normal person on a first look. However, the early childhood left deep scares in Norman's live. That leads to creation of a disturb person living in madness. You will be surprised when you find out that he took on his mother's persona. It's unforgettable that this character turns the normal things into horrifying violence.

Dr. Hanniball Lecter

In the movie "The silence of the lambs" Dr.Hannibal Lecter reached the heights of pure evil. He requested conversation about Clarice Straling's childhood traumas in exchange for his help. Can you image his perversity? He is human only on the surface - his human body. That is proven with the fact that even when he is behind bars, he can still torture those on the other side. The thoughts what he can do to you if he wasn't behind bars is terrifying everyone.

Different horror movies choose different "bad characters" which gives the movie the real scary atmosphere. No matter in what kind of shape the character comes in (human body or just like shadow, it really scares the viewers and makes them want more horror.

Genres of horror movies

There are different genres of horror movies, and knowing they types can help you find the one that is perfect for you. It is not all blood and guts, there is a diverse range of these films for you to enjoy.

Slasher films are where the villain kills the victims in gruesome manners and they get more and more violent. Usually they leave one survivor, and many spin off into sequels, many of which are long lived. You will either see the killer from the beginning, usually in a mask or you will be left with a mystery to figure out who the killer is. These are some of the most popular and common types that are found.

Thrillers tend to use a psychological angle to cause suspense. In this genre, they tend to have more blood and guts than the typical one, although they contain suspense and mystery throughout the film. These are designed to leave you on the edge of your seat during the entire movie with many plot twists and turns to keep you guessing as to what is occurring on the screen.

Those that are called exploitation films often introduce methods of torture and are some of the most gruesome on the market. These rely more on the shock value of the film rather than imagined threats, and is often very controversial in both the sights it shows on the screen and the subject matter because it makes the idea of these acts glamorous and frequently sexualize the methods of torture and murder.

Monster films, or creature features, take a being from the movies like a vampire or werewolf and center the film around them. They can be dark humor or serious films, and usually culminate in the monster being killed or otherwise controlled in some way.

Zombie films, while technically monster oriented, have gained popularity on their own, and have properties that are different from the others. These can incorporate more than one type, but they all deal with the undead and the survival of an outbreak of them. These are either very dark and graphic or full of humor and campy, and each has a high following of fans.

Paranormal films deal with ghosts and other things that cannot be seen. Many of these rarely show the object of terror, instead relying on the idea or the effects that they cause. It can include ghosts, phenomena and magic as a method of creating the suspense and many of these are effective with what they don't show versus what they do.

You are likely to get a diverse viewership for horror films, and each one has their own favorite sub genre. Whatever you find that you like, there are movies that come from the golden age of Hollywood to modern offerings that can make seeing these films entertaining and scary for the viewer. Some are bad, but a surprising number of these have well thought out plots and great special effects to make them worth watching.

 
 
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