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Horror Film Essay

997 words - 4 pages

The house is dark, and you think you’re all alone until you hear a small creak. You hear the steps get closer and closer, and you pray that they wont find you. The doorknob turns and the door slams open to reveal… What? Imagine exactly what you would see. Does your heart race? Has your breathing quickened? Are your senses heightened? Perhaps you are even intrigued as to what will happen next. Horror film is a popular genre, but shouldn’t seem to have any real appeal. Horror lures its audience by lingering on the fears of man, manipulating emotions, affecting one’s mind.
Those creepy-crawlies on the big screen usually reflect the common fears of the times. These societal fears can be ...view middle of the document...

The reflection in the world was substantial. The 1960’s were dominated by race riots, assassinations of notable figures, and everyday bloodshed in the streets. Innocent bystanders had been killed from a Texas tower and nurses were killed in Chicago (Derry 164).
The popularity of these films prolonged through the 1970s and 1980s. Carnage and bloodbaths were overlooked by the media since they had become conventional (Derry 164), seen in Friday the 13th (I, II, II, and IV; 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1984) and Halloween (I, II, and III; 1978, 1981, and 1982) (Derry 164-165). Films in this period are, instead of having just random violence, punishing those who are seen as deserving of it. The 70s and 80s had to deal with the consequences of the sexual revolution and a record outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases, so the films of the age executed teen promiscuity (Derry 165). Women are also a common victim, as a “direct response to the feminist movement” (Derry 165).
Another fear is the fear of the demonic and contains such films as The Exorcist (1973) and The Omen (1976) (Derry 166). Personality fears say life is terrible because people are insane, and demonic fears are that evil is present in the world (Derry 166). These films include recurring elements: children as a view of innocence, vengeance of Satan against God, possession, and Christian symbology which supports and depraves the Christian aspect (Derry 166). This was a response to the cataclysm of spiritual demolition in the 1960s. Priests and nuns left the Catholic Church, a newly elected pope in 1964, interest peaked in eastern religion, and church attendance had majorly decreased, and children were out in the streets protesting against the Vietnam War (Derry 166-167). “If we could not find God reflected in the modern world, perhaps we could at lest find the devil” (Derry 167). Though eventually, these films became less popular due to a religious reform in the United States, especially through the new Pope, Pope...

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