lunes, 18 de mayo de 2009

About Horror Movies

Once upon a time... in the Middle Age, when they lived and worked in the woods, it was very dangerous and people didn't need a scare for amusement. So, do you know where the horror comes from? Horror like a hobby began in the 19th century with the novels of writters like Lord Byron, Polidori or Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. After the years were made theatre representations and after that come the horror movies just with the same monsters of the tales. So, let's talk about horror films!
Mainly the birth of these movies is the Expresionism, in Germany. It consists of schocking images with violent forms and shadows and also unreal perspectives. Some examples are "The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari" ("Das Cabinet der Dr. Caligari") and "Nosferatu".
After that comes the Clasicism, they're Hollywood monster films like "Dracula", "Frankenstein" or "The Mummy". The main actors are Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, there's also great films directors like Tod Browning or James Whale.
Unfortunately there's a long bad moment in horror cinema and after that the Clasicism comes again at the end of the 50's with the Hammer Films in the UK. They rescue classic monsters with actors like Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and film directors like Terence Fischer. The main contribution of the Hammer is the sensuality of the images and even of the monsters -in the case of Dracula for example. Other quality the Hammer has is the special use of colour. There were be Hammer Films until the last years of the 70's.
On the other hand in the 60's a lot of historic changes like the Vietnam War, the Hippie Movement or the Cold War will be reflected on the birth of a new concept of the horror and that is the Gore. We got examples like "The Night of the Living Dead" and "The Texas Chainsaw Masacre". Other very important and rupturist movies of these years are "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Fearless Vampire Killers or pardon me but your theeth are on my neck" both were made by Roman Polansky.
Actually, there are a lot of creation centers like Japan (these movies are specially scary) and the USA (in this case what they really do is remakes of japanese and classical movies). But we must remember that nowadays all the arts are very individual and culture is very global so we can find very interesting fusion works.
Any examples of actual great film directors are:
-The mexican Guillermo del Toro, with "Cronos", "The Devil's Backbone" and "Pan's Labyrinth". He works with mythology elements and fix them with horror stories.
-The american singer Rob Zombie with "House of 1000 Corpses" and "The devil's rejects" makes a tribute to the origins of the gore.
-The indian Michael Night Shyamalan with "The village" and "The sixth sense" gets a special sense of the temperature of the colour.
-The american Tim Burton with films like "Sweeney Todd", "Sleepy Hollow" or "Beetlejuice" where he blends horror and fairy tales with a very visual and funny result.
-And the last film director I want to mention is the italian Dario Argento. Films like "Suspiria", "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Deep Red" ("Rosso profondo") are examples of his artistic sensibility.
These films I mentioned are just a few instances of the whole world of the horror movies.
If we value the extremely special aesthetic sense, the treatment of the colours, the shadows, the voices and specially the noises, then we realize that all these sensations can make us feel fear and pleasure at the same time. That's the reason because I have chosen this topic. And I really hope from now on, instead of just watching horror movies for a simple scare, we can watch them and appreciate them as art.

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