In this statement I will argue about Horror genre that has changed over the time. Genre is one of the important key concepts of Media. At basic level ‘Genre’ means Type. In this way we can identify films and television programs such as docudrama or film genre Action/Adventure. Genre is important because it helps to create expectorations in an audience and it allows media producers to use certain conventions of iconography and narrative to segment audiences into categories and meet the audience needs and expectations.
Horror genre has changed over the time in different ways. When we talk about Horror genre we expect fear, pleasure created by aural and visual characters, blood, freaks, Evil(s)/monster(s), Vampire(s), Werewolves etc. The character(s) in a film represent Horror genre and are the codes and conventions of Horror genre. According to Chandler; A text(s) that are grouped by genre when they have a number of shared characteristics. Given the variety of characteristics that could identify a text as horrors, this approach is not wholly useful when attempting to define the genre. A common thing that is shared by Horror genre is “To scare the target audience.”
Horror films have been around for long time. When we look back in the history, the first Horror novel ‘Dracula story’ was written by Bram Stoker in 1897. Nosferatu (1922), the German Horror film produce in the beginning of the history of cinema. Now watching texts from other eras such as Saw 3 (2006), we as modern audience find that those old Horror genre has lost their impact. The earliest Horror films represent concerns about supernatural but easily identifiable threats which have come from elsewhere such as monsters, werewolves and mummies, the Horror genre is now primarily concerned with threats closer to home and less obviously ‘evil’ such as characters who may appear to be typical neighbors but who are actually serial killers. However, it soon becomes clear that it is not possible to view the horror genre in terms of a straightforward continuum like this when we look at the number of recent films that re-tell old stories albeit in different ways.
Horror genre has not only changed in terms of narratives but also technology has moved on from Black & White to colored TV and digital HD (High Definition) qualities. When we compare and analyze “Nosferatu” (1992) with the modern era film “The Grudge” (2004), we see many different things such as technology has changed, modern visual and aural work has done more perfectly, more Horror is represented, and different monsters for different fear is represented. In Nosferatu (1992) the main monster character is represented as Vampire (The External Monster) who’s not even a member of the community and they invaded the safe peaceful environment where as in The Grudge (2004) a Japanese Ghost is represented in female. We see another difference here in terms of sex that in Nosferatu (1922) the monster is represented as male where as in The Grudge (2004) a female is represented as a Ghost.
The Location for these two films is completely different. This is because both films create different fear. Nosferatu (1992) has used studio where as The Grudge (2004) is filmed in a traditional Japanese house. However the shooting timings are different as well. In Nosferatu (1922) some scenes are represented in modern day light, alone in the studio and some scene(s) in dark basement where a monster shadow is only presented. In The Grudge (2004) the film is mostly made in night where a female ghost wonders around and hunts her targets.
There are more examples of modern Horror genre with more visual effects such as The Host (2006) and Underworld (2003). These examples signifies that how a Horror genre is presented in more contemporary style of Horror from those that harks back to Black & White films such as Frankenstein (1931).
To conclude, whatever the monster represents and whatever the monster is located, normality is threatened by monster. Horror texts can be seen as metaphors for things perceived as different or outside the cultural norms. The representation of gender has also been changed as well. We seen in many Horror films that Male is always represented as main character either way, Hero or Villain and female is represented as slave but the media representation is challenged by external social and political forces and that’s how Horror genre has changed over the time.