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Introduction to horror genre

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Tanya Allaire

on 1 February 2016

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Transcript of Introduction to horror genre

The Horror Genre
Objectives of this unit:
What we will cover in our Horror Short Story Unit:
Gothic/Classic Horror Fiction
- Characteristics and Conventions
- The author in question: Edgar Allan Poe

Modern Horror
- Characteristics and Conventions (how the horror genre has changed)
- The author in question: Stephen King
Throughout the unit, we will be making thematic connections

Minds On
Gothic Horror Fiction
Gothic/Classic Horror Fiction:
is a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. As a genre, it is generally believed to have been invented by the English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel
The Castle of Otranto
. The effect of Gothic fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror.

By the end of this unit, you should be able to:
Apply the elements of the short story to the horror genre
Identify the specific codes and conventions for horror
Develop a new appreciation for the skill required to write a "scary story".
As we watch the following video, write down all the things that make horror movies scary.
Characteristics of Horror Stories
 When authors of horrors write, they hope to achieve particular
reactions from their readers: fear, amazement, disgust, wonder
or a combination of several emotions

 The central focal point in a horror story is based on something that
the reader fears, something that will shock and surprise the
reader, or something that preys on the emotions for the reader

 Authors will often write about the supernatural, or about
unanswered phenomena (Ex. Ghosts)

 Some horror stories will examine insanity or lack of control through
hallucinations, nightmares, visions, dreams, or seizures

Examples of Gothic/Classic Horror Fiction
Horror Movies through the Years
Watch these three movie trailers, and as you watch, use the chart on your handout to jot down what you notice about setting, character types, types of conflict, and any other observations
Gothic Horror vs. Modern Horror

Gothic/Classic Horror
is quite different from what we relate to as HORROR. Classic horror depends upon atmosphere and what individuals cannot see. It is meant to generate feelings of terror.
*Refer to Ingredients of the Gothic Genre Handout

Modern horror
has much more graphic violence and includes many scenes of blood and gore. Modern horror movies have been dubbed “slice and dice” movies. Modern horror tends to generate disgust rather than terror and becomes fairly predictable.

What characteristics of the horror genre do you notice in these clips?
Do you notice any differences between the earlier films and the more modern films? Has anything changed?
Why do you think that people go to see these films?
Are horror movies, stories and novels a genre worthy of study in a class? Why or why not? Can a horror film or story be considered on the same artistic plane as, say, a play by Shakespeare?

Modern Horror Defined By Edgy Realism Of The 1970s
October 08, 2011
"To some extent you could say that modern horror started with the Universal classics, but I do think there is this significant turning point starting in 1968," says Jason Zinoman, author of the new book Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror.

One of the major changes in horror films was the transition from the classic monster movie, good vs. evil style of film, to a more confusing and morally ambiguous story, Zinoman says.

"There were many more unhappy endings," Zinoman says. "It became much more realistic. Horror moved from being very remote about a spooky house in Transylvania to [a story] about the prom queen in your local high school."

Zinoman has many theories about why people like horror movies; one of them is the nostalgic pleasure of being scared as children. But he also says that perhaps a connection to the present is what keeps audiences coming back.

Exit Ticket:
Write down 10 characteristics of a horror story that you learned from this lesson

 Objects/items associated with horror:
- Spider
- Rat
- Cat
- Webs
- Cliffs
- Candelabras
- Dust
- Large or hidden staircases
- Storms
- Cellar
- Coffin
- Torch
- Curtains
- Large Windows
- Chainsaw (modern)
- Fog
- Fire

 Character Types: Innocent Female, guilty female, helpless female, heroic male, victim male, innocent male, supernatural character, psychotic character
 Atmosphere: Gloomy, dark, depressing, dangerous, neglected, isolated, mysterious, weird, threatening
The Setting of horror stories should maintain a mysterious, eerie or uncertain mood. They usually include:
- cemetery
- mansion
- castle
- cliff
- lake
- ocean
- house
- forest
- office
- prison
Full transcript