Title: A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss (2010– )

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss speaks to BBC Breakfast about his latest project which is to look into a history of horror films for BBC Four.

A History of Horror

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  • A dysfunctional family moves into an old house, a house with a history of horror. For the main characters, history is what the first episode is all about: the husband's history of infidelity, the wife's history of having a bloody stillbirth, the daughter's history of cutting herself -- for each a long history of pain and resentment and longing for change, though it quickly becomes apparent the only change coming will leave them hysterically screaming to the sudden, violent, gory end. The one sure thing this show promises is that people will die horribly, and we will all be terrified by it.

    The characters are not likable; they may not even be redeemable. Even the suffering wife is bitter and cold and hateful. But do they deserve what horrible things will assuredly happen to them? Nope. Which means their fight is our fight, and their fear is our fear.

    American Horror Story is interesting, entertaining, suspenseful, and ambitious. After watching the first episode, I want to watch some more.

    Also in 1957 was another seminal event in the modern history of the horror genre itself. Ed Gein, a Wisconsin farmer, was arrested for the murder of Bernice Worden. When authorities searched Gein's home, they discovered the remains of at least fifteen different women--in small pieces. Gein admitted to exhuming bodies and committing acts of cannibalism. The story shocked--and fascinated--the nation. (.) Much earlier Fritz Lang's 1931 movie, M, marked the first serious film about a serial killer and was based on the real-life serial killer Peter Kürten, the "Vampire of Dusseldorf." But the serial killer hadn't found its way into fiction yet. The Gein story would inspire Psycho (1959) and pave the way for works like Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter series. The serial killer has since become an indispensible archetype for the genre.

  • The history of horror is a vast and perhaps foolhardy thing to tackle. No matter how hard you try, there are films and horror subgenres that will slide through the cracks..

    The history of horror is a vast and perhaps foolhardy thing to tackle. No matter how hard you try, there are films and horror subgenres that will slide through the cracks..

    Filename Size
    A Pictorial History of Horror Stories [ZomBiRG].pdf 145.5 MB

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    But as we look at how the genre changes over time, we must not think of the history of horror as being a rigid one way street. New films borrow from old films all the time, a constant remix of subgenres and new techniques to make something for the contemporary culture.

A History of Horror Classics from Universal Pictures

Whether you're currently working on a horror film or just a fan who watches a ton of them, learning a little bit about the history of horror is not only the most fun history lesson that exists in life, but it will also help filmmakers put certain horror concepts into a much clearer context. John P. Hess unfurls the last hundred years of horror filmmaking, covering everything from German Expressionism to independent slasher films. Continue on to watch yet another excellent film course from Filmmaker IQ: