Dark Angel's Realm of Horror

A History of Horror

A look at the history of horror cinema.

Dracula Frankenstein Psycho Night of the Living Dead Halloween Scream


"Fear is the most powerful emotion in the human race and fear of the unknown is probably the most ancient. You're dealing with stuff that everybody has felt; from being little babies we're frightened of the dark, we're frightened of the unknown. If you're making a horror film you get to play with the audiences feelings"

John Carpenter : Director, Halloween


In the Beginning...

Since w-a-a-a-a-y back before cinema was even invented, man has always enjoyed the thrill that goes with the sudden shock and prolonged anxiety experienced when we're afraid. From reading ghost stories, to telling scary tales around the campfire, there seems to be some bizarre pleasure derived from playing with our fears.

Edgar Allen Poe, a horror writer from the mid 1800's, is still acknowledged as being the godfather of modern day horror fiction. Even today his tales continue to inspire horror directors from all over the world, proving that although societies and social attitudes may change, peoples fears remain constant

It was with this in mind that when cinema first appeared, the earliest horror films were based on characters from early folklore, such as vampires, werewolves and monsters. A trend that actually continued right up till the 1970's, when the more infamous gory slasher pics finally took over the genre.

The following sections chronicle how horror has changed throughout the years, starting with the very first horror film ever made and continuing through to the present day. The information compiled here is a result of many weeks worth of research through various horror books and publications, and countless hours searching through the "Internet Movie Database".

1900 - 1930 Silent Fear.
1930 - 1940 Classic Creations.
1940 - 1950 Chills and Chuckles...
1950 - 1960 Sci-fi, B-Movies and Hammer Horror.
1960 - 1970 Psycho's and Zombies.
1970 - 1980 The Birth of the Slasher.
1980 - 1990 Modern Horror Begins.
1990 - 2000 Scream until you like it.