Origins of the Horror Films Part 4
I want to emphasize at the importance of horror fiction as a source of inspiration for the development of Horror Cinema (Horror Films). At the first part I highlight the importance of religious texts and mythology, the second part is about the Age of Enlightenment, the third part is about the influence of Industrial Revolution in horror fiction and publications.
The “sensational novel” reached the highest level of popularity in the 1880s and 1890s.
The Woman in White
During the period of 1880 – 1890, the Irish J. Sheridan Le Fanu created a series of supernatural tales with emphasizes on the mystery and the inexplicable. Among his famous works are Uncle Silas (1864) and his most famous story, the vampire tale Carmilla (1871).
The recognition of the horror literature
In the 1880s and 1890s the supernatural achieved a recognition and became a respectable literary subject. Horror literature attracted the interest of a large number of authors.
Robert Louis Stevenson
In 1886 Robert Louis Stevenson published his famous tale of a hubristic scientist. The master piece with the classic name “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, the story of the book is about a divided or repressed personality.
In France Auguste Villiers del'Isle - Adam published the famous Contes Cruels (1883). In 1891, the co-work of between Villiers de L’ Isle – Adam and Joris-Karl Huysmans (J.K. Huysmans) had as result, the production of the Satanist novel La bas (1891).
The classic book of Oscar Wilde – “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1890) is a masterpiece (a modern point of view of Faustian legend), it’s believed that was inspired by Huysman’s work.
In 1889 Henry James enriched the gender by publishing the deeply ambiguous “The turn of the Screw” (1898) a story about Child abuse. Henry James wrote a large number of tales most of them about ghosts. “The Turn of the Screw” (1898) is the most significant of all.
In 1897 Bram Stoker published the all time classic horror book Dracula (1897). A great book, it is written by using the point of view of many different characters. Dracula must be the most influential book in history of horror cinema.
The Real Crime case of Jack the Ripper
A series of women murders between August 1888 and July 1889 in London’s White chapel area that remain unsolved to this day were the inspiration for the development of Jack the Ripper legend.
The fictionalization of Jack the Ripper started almost immediately. Among the numerous book inspired by the legend of “Jack the Ripper”, is the “The Lodger” (1913) by Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes known also as Belloc.
Later, Aflred Hitchcock in 1926 filmed the silent horror film “The Lodger : The story of the London Fog ” based on the book of Belloc “The Lodger”.
To be continued
1. The rough guide to Horror Movies (Alan Jones)
2. 101 Horror Movies you must see before you die (Steven Jay Schneider)
3. Fangoria's 101 Best Horror Movies you have never seen : A celebration of the world's most unheralded fright flicks (Adam Lukerman)
4. Horror Movie Freak (Don Summer)
5. Monsters in the movies (John Landis)