Topic: Late 19th Century: The True Originals In Horror Film History
Hello, gang. I thought it would be a good idea to make a thread on horror's earliest film inputs, since these films do not get much attention despite their significant positions as one of the firsts of the genre, and their important influence on the films to come years later.
So, what is the first ever horror film? Many claim it to be "The Haunted Castle", a French film directed by Georges Melies in 1896. As far as I can tell, it's about some dude summoning demons, ghosts, and a vampire (perhaps even the first vampire on film, nonetheless). He also can't seem to be able to find a place to sit down, so it also has comedic elements. Because of that, I consider this to be the very first horror comedy, too. It's only 3 minutes in length, and can be viewed here:
Now, others say the first horror film came out one year earlier in 1895, a film produced by Thomas Edison titled "The Execution of Mary Stuart". It's only 18 seconds in length, and shows Mary Stuart being brought to the chopping block and beheaded. What do you think?
Just some food for thought.
Here are some other early pieces that could be considered horror:
The Cave of the Unholy One (1898). Can't find any clips of this, so it must truly be a lost film.
Two Japanese films from 1898, Jake Bizo (aka, Jizo the Spook - a ghost movie) and Shinin no Sosei (Resurrection of a Corpse). These are long gone, either destroyed in the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923, or from the fire bombings of WWII, where a LOT of Japense films were supposedly destroyed, and no other copies were found.
Esmeralda (1905), the very first adaption of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. If Quasimodo is considered a monster, then I guess it is one of the first monster films. This is a lost film, but pictures of it can be seen here:
I also want to give a mention to the first adaption of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein in 1910. This is 12 minutes in length (or, from what I can find of it on youtube), it's not great but it is one of the first, true originals. Film quality starts out extremely poor, but gets a lot better one minute in or so:
Boy, Frankenstein sure looks pretty weird, eh?
So, any thoughts, opinions, speculations, Etc? I would love to hear from you guys about this.