Δευτέρα, 30 Απριλίου 2012

The History of Horror Cinema Part 2


The early days of Horror Cinema - Silent Films Part 2


The cornstone of horror films - the fearful surprise


It’s difficult to believe but the reader has to travel back in time and to imagine the first time when moving pictures were showed in France in 1895. The silent and super short film of Louis and Auguste Lumiere “Arrival of a Train at la Ciotat” - Lumiere N0 653 created the first fear full surprise to audience.

“women screamed, while men tried to hold on their reserve”

It was the reaction of the audience when they watched for the first time in their lives, a train to coming at them.

This reaction of the audience, fear because of an extraordinary surprise is the corn stone for the horror films creation.

You can see the historical film "Arrival of the train at la ciotat" Lumiere No 653



George Melies


George Meiles was a famous stage illusionist, inspired by the possibilities of the new medium of the kinetoscope (an invention of Thomas Edison) he bought a camera and started to create moving pictures of magic tricks.

He created the first film Studio in the Paris suburn of Montrevil and devised the first special effects. Sound simple, but during the early days of horror cinema the only available effect was to stop and restart the camera. By using this manual technique George Melies created the affect of appearance and disappearance of people or the affect to transform characters into skeletons and evil supernatural creatures.   

You can see an example of Lumiere's speciall effect works in his silent film Cinderella (1889)





Also in Melies classic film "The Haunted Caslte", the first horror film ever, uses this technique of closing and restarting camera many times. 

You can see the film "The Haunted Castle" on youtube  



To be continued 

Elias Stoikos 


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