Horror Show


Steve A. Wiggins

The horror film history narrative runs something like this: although there had been some scary movies in the silent era, the term “horror” was first used to describe Universal’s 1931 release of Dracula and Frankenstein. Some other studios got in on the action and creature features were a staple of US cinema until the fifties when they began to peter out. By that point a UK horror industry took off, largely due to Hammer Studios. While these Hammer offerings often remade the standard creature features, they also branched out into less commonly explored areas such as films set in contemporary times focused on the occult. This phase faded in the sixties just as “modern horror” was taking off with classics like The Night of the Living Dead and Rosemary’s Baby. Modern horror quickly grew. Further divisions can of course be made, and the modern period has gone through…

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