The horror classics

October 24, 2017


The horror genre like Halloween, has roots in folklore and religion and focuses on topics surrounding the devil, evil and death; on which the fear of death is a predominant concern. Alongside the multiple ways in which it can occur, and the untimely nature of its occurrence. The origins of the horror genre are hard to place as Kawin states: ‘Horror is old, an old concern and an old source for tales. It is far older than the Gothic novel, let alone science fiction […]; it may even be said to have been part of the narrative arts before horror was given a name’.


The genre aims to evoke a physiological reaction within the viewer through the use of fear, which tends to come in the form of suspense - waiting for the monster. By the early 1920s many of the traditional monsters had already made their first appearances on our screens, such as werewolf, vampire, doppelgänger, ape-man, ghost-woman, lunatic, and hellhound. With the most famous and reproduced character today being Dracula, based on Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, written in 1897.

Since the book was released it has enjoyed enormous popularity. There have been multiple adaptations of the novel, not only for film but for stage, radio, audio and TV and today over 200 films feature the character. If you would like to see the early life of the character of Dracula, we would suggest watching of course the first adaptation available: Nosferatu, released in 1922 by F. W. Murnau, Tod Browning and Karl Freund's Dracula, released in 1931 and finally Bram Stoker's Dracula, released in 1993.


Alongside Dracula, another iconic figure in the classic horror genre is Frankenstein's Monster from Mary Shelley's novel: Frankenstein, published in 1818. Similarly to Dracula, the character of Frankenstein has inspired numerous films, tv programmes and games. Frankenstein is an early example of science fiction and over the years has gained enormous popularity and acknowledgement across the world alike. If you would like to see the early life of the character Frankenstein, the earliest adaptation was created by Edison Studios: Frankenstein, released in 1910. Alongside this you should definitely add James Whale's Frankenstein,1931 and The Bride of Frankenstein, 1935, to your list.


Other iconic horror characters that have largely influenced pop culture are: The Wolf Man, 1941, The Invisible Man, 1933, The Mummy, 1932 and Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde, 1941.


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