Topic: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

hi,

i'm writing a thesis on something in which i maybe would like to shortly mention something about what it says in the thread title.

the question is... today, we have slightly creepy movies (take e.g. "the others" and various other pg-13 rated...) and horror movies. if one watches the original "nosferatu" nowadays, it doesn't exactly send shivers down one's spine...
i'm wondering if people even made that distinction back then or if movies, that just seem slightly creepy to us now were already horrific for them and they didn't really have a lot of inbetween?

and to be more exact about early 20th century - i'm talking about the 20s and 30s.

Last edited by sh4dow (2009-09-05 15:48:19)

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

Sure their reference points concerning cinema were few, so early forays into the genre were undoubtedly effective in causing alarm in viewers considering the whole idea of "moving pictures" was novel just in itself, not to mention something like Nosferatu - that's still some creepy stuff visually IMO.  You're bound to be impressed by something you have little exposure too. Good luck with the thesis smile

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

exactly... smile (and thanks)

maybe i should also mention that the whole field in this section of the thesis is basically about... horror movie of today, surrealistic movies of the 20s - horror vs. uncanny and such.

clive barker claims that horror movies today would be the last refuge of surrealism and i'm asking why. because surrealistic images are supposed to be shocking? people are talking about "shock montage" when it comes to the kind of montage used in surrealistic movies. but is it really shocking? or simply uncanny? i'm pretty sure that most people nowadays might find surrealistic movies weird but not shocking. but how was it back then...
if anybody knows about an article or something, i'd appreciate it but of course i'm interested in simply hearing your opinions as well smile

Last edited by sh4dow (2009-09-05 16:04:15)

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

You should consider the fact that the reason a viewer from now wouldn't find Nosferatu frightening is because the cultural mindset is completely different. Consider that Nosferatu was released a mere 25 years after Bram Stoker had published Dracula, and that the people who had grown up in an era where people still, from time to time, unearthed graves to kill suspected vampires were now seeing on screen the things that were very real fears to them.

Now consider the cultural mindset of today. Relative to the 20's and 30's there is relatively little that we don't know about the natural world today. Our knowledge and the manner of the cultural climate allays the fears of the unknown, as well as making the fears of things we know to be false that much more difficult to find fear in.

When Nosferatu was released, there was still a very real threat int he minds of people about vampires. We don't have the benefit of that mindset.

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

although surrealism can be a strong component in Horror I think surrealistic films can easily exist in all genre of film for different effect.
Horror should exclusively elicit fear by proxy - surrealism is much more open to interpretation and intent

I personally like the notion that Horror cinema is the folklore of the 20th Century too

Last edited by deadhorse13 (2009-09-05 16:20:40)

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

hm, i think i'll just leave it at that that while surrealistic movies were supposed to disturb people and challenge their moral views, that doesn't mean that they should've (or did) frighten them. and that while horror movies nowadays might seem the best way to disturb people in a way that surreal movies did back then, they mostly lack things essential to surrealism like non sequiturs, time/space distortion, disparate pictures and sound/music and so on - and that's just the aesthetics part, not even talking about story. (to summarize the whole thing wink )

thanks a lot for your perspectives on things guys smile

Last edited by sh4dow (2009-09-05 16:46:16)

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

deadhorse13 wrote:

I personally like the notion that Horror cinema is the folklore of the 20th Century too

that really is a nice thought, although... horror movies aren't usually about the little things people still don't know about. mostly they are about things people simply know aren't true. so can they even be considered folklore?

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

Folklore does not differentiate between fact or fable. That being said.... horror films are decidedly not folklore, as folklore is passed on through oral, not ocular tradition.

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

loosen up EBK these kids barely even read nowadays lol lol

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

I swear, if you got any funnier, you'd probably explode.

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

in my defense I hear if you say Candyman into the mirror 5 times you can summon him

yup I'm toast lol

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

deady, you make me sad to be alive....

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

you say such sweet things

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

What can I say? I'm a romantic.

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

that explains the scented candles you sent me

edit  - thesis shmesis lol

Last edited by deadhorse13 (2009-09-05 17:07:40)

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

I said I'm a romantic... not gay. Slight difference.

Maybe go a with a new thesis... like somehting on the latent homosexuality of horror fans.... lol:lol::lol:

Last edited by EasterBunnyKiller (2009-09-05 17:08:28)

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

so I was just supposed to light them, huh?

oops

edit - and EBK score's a big loller!

Last edited by deadhorse13 (2009-09-05 17:10:32)

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

wow....

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

I wanna say "that's what I said" but I'm showing restraint for once
wait... hmm

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

**backs slowly out of thread** I'll come back in here later... hmmlol

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

That's swell of you.... Now if you could kindly put your pants on....

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

hey I'm just being me tongue
ask me the time and tell ya how to build a watch,
and probably an amusing anecdote about a donkey show lol

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

deadhorse13 wrote:

loosen up EBK these kids barely even read nowadays lol lol

well... EBK did say "oral"... and considering the recent couple of postings in here, i'm not so sure i should point that out wink

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

Darn it... sh4dow, you've just given them the opening they needed, expect a showdown of mega proportions lol I'll be in the corner watching this all smile

Re: perception of horror movies in the early 20th century?

I think I shall start referring to you as HM's Resident Animal Love Exhibitionist.

edit: ooh... sh4dw can be snarky too.... join in on the fun.

Last edited by EasterBunnyKiller (2009-09-05 17:26:08)