Max Schreck as Count Orlok in the 1922 film Nosferatu. Critic and historian Kim Newman declared it as a film that set the template for the horror film.
A scene from the Grand Guignol, a format some critics have cited as an influence on the slasher film
Depiction of the usage of mirrors in horror films.
Dorothy McGuire in The Spiral Staircase (1946)
Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931), a film noted as inspiring a wave of subsequent American horror films in the 1930s.
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) was a huge success on release, and a critical influence on the slasher genre
George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968) led to what Newman described as a "slow burning influence" in independent and thoughtful horror films in the 1970s.
The masked killer in Mario Bava's giallo film, Blood and Black Lace (1964)
Some cast and crew members of The Blair Witch Project (1999), one of the highest grossing horror films of the 1990s.
Park Chan-wook, the director of Thirst (2009), one of the many varied Korean horror films from the early 21st century.
French director Julia Ducournau (centre) won the Palme d'Or for horror film Titane. She is pictured with actors Agathe Rousselle and Vincent Lindon, who star in the film, at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
Jörg Buttgereit in 2015. Buttgereit was described by Kai-Uwe Werbeck as "arguably the most visible German horror director of the 1980s and early 1990s"
Still from Dario Argento's Suspiria (1977). Curti described the film as developing an "artistic rebirth" and "irrational dimension" to the Italian gothic from its "set pieces to the color and the music."
Filmmaker and composer John Carpenter, who has directed and scored numerous horror films, performing in 2016.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980) uses a found footage style.
Still of Madhubala in Mahal (1949), considered one of the first Indian horror films.

A slasher film is a genre of horror films involving a killer stalking and murdering a group of people, usually by use of bladed tools.

- Slasher film

Many sub-genres emerged in subsequent decades, including body horror, comedy horror, slasher films, supernatural horror and psychological horror.

- Horror film
Max Schreck as Count Orlok in the 1922 film Nosferatu. Critic and historian Kim Newman declared it as a film that set the template for the horror film.

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Max Schreck as Count Orlok in the 1922 film Nosferatu. Critic and historian Kim Newman declared it as a film that set the template for the horror film.

Jump scare

Max Schreck as Count Orlok in the 1922 film Nosferatu. Critic and historian Kim Newman declared it as a film that set the template for the horror film.

A jump scare is a technique often used in horror films and video games, intended to scare the audience by surprising them with an abrupt change in image or event, usually co-occurring with a loud, jarring sound.

Prior to the 1980s, jump scares were a relatively rare occurrence in horror movies; however, they (in particular the Lewton Bus) became increasingly common in the early 1980s as the slasher subgenre increased in popularity.

A genre painting (Peasant Dance, c. 1568, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder)

Psychological horror

Subgenre of horror and psychological fiction with a particular focus on mental, emotional, and psychological states to frighten, disturb, or unsettle its audience.

Subgenre of horror and psychological fiction with a particular focus on mental, emotional, and psychological states to frighten, disturb, or unsettle its audience.

A genre painting (Peasant Dance, c. 1568, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder)

Psychological horror films generally differ from traditional horror films, where the source of the fear is typically something material, such as grotesque or horrifying creatures, monsters, serial killers, or aliens, as well as the splatter and slasher film genres, which derives its frightening effects from gore and graphic violence, in that tension in psychological horror films is more frequently built through atmosphere, eerie sounds and exploitation of the viewer's and the character's psychological fears.

Letícia Román in The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963), considered by most critics to be the first giallo film.

Giallo

Italian term designating mystery fiction and thrillers.

Italian term designating mystery fiction and thrillers.

Letícia Román in The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963), considered by most critics to be the first giallo film.
Mondadori's 1933 translation of Edgar Wallace's 1920 novel Jack O' Judgement (rendered in Italian as Il Fante di Fiori, The Jack of Clubs), with the characteristic yellow background and the figure of a masked killer.
Eye in the Labyrinth (1972) features a female outsider whose own private investigation leads her into a strange environment.
A scene from Death Walks on High Heels (1971) showing excessive violence associated with many gialli.
Anita Strindberg in The Case of the Scorpion's Tail (1971), showing giallo trademarks: a black-gloved killer's POV, vivid colour and a vulnerable young woman.
Orgasmo (1969) features a female protagonist (Carroll Baker) who becomes embroiled in a psychological, sexual conflict.
What Have You Done to Solange? (1972) incorporates themes of female sexuality and past psychological trauma, depicted prominently through flashbacks.
A scene from A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971) utilizing visual flair and strong cinematography.
Colette Descombes in a scene from Orgasmo (1969), an example of stylish visual and close-up emphasis on eyes.
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972) is noted for its interiors and colorful early '70s fashion.
Alan Cunningham's (Anthony Steffen) living room decor in The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971).
Goffredo Unger (doubling for the murderer revealed at the end of the film) as The Masked Killer from Blood and Black Lace (1964) would serve as the visual template for the stock giallo killer. Tim Lucas has noted that the film's depiction of a "split identity" villain - an evolution from the split personality antagonist present in such films as Psycho - predates its later use in the Scream franchise, while Michael Mackenzie has noted that the disguising of the character(s)' gender would become a recurring element in other gialli.
Jean Sorel and Elsa Martinelli in One on Top of the Other (1969); an erotic thriller of the late '60s, released before the giallo explosion.
Barbara Bouchet, Rosalba Neri and Farley Granger in Amuck! (1972), released during the peak popularity of gialli.

In the context of 20th-century literature and film, especially among English speakers and non-Italians in general, giallo refers specifically to a particular Italian thriller-horror genre that has mystery or detective elements and often contains slasher, crime fiction, psychological thriller, psychological horror, sexploitation, and, less frequently, supernatural horror elements.

This particular style of Italian-produced murder mystery horror-thriller film (known more specifically in Italy as giallo all’italiana, roughly translated as "Italian-style giallo") usually blends the atmosphere and suspense of thriller fiction with elements of horror fiction (such as slasher violence) and eroticism (similar to the French fantastique genre), and often involves a mysterious killer whose identity is not revealed until the final act of the film.

Poster art for Blood Feast (1963), considered to be the first splatter film

Splatter film

Poster art for Blood Feast (1963), considered to be the first splatter film
The 1980 mockumentary Cannibal Holocaust, an influential example of splatter cinema.
Bijou Phillips in Eli Roth's 2007 film Hostel: Part II, portraying a woman being tortured.

A splatter film is a subgenre of horror film that deliberately focuses on graphic portrayals of gore and graphic violence.

In the 2000s – particularly 2003–2009 – a body of films was produced that combined elements of the splatter and slasher film genres.

Craven in 2010

Wes Craven

American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and editor.

American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and editor.

Craven in 2010

Amongst his prolific filmography, Craven was best known for his pioneering work in the horror genre, particularly slasher films, where he mixed horror cliches with humor and satire.

Bava in 1975

Mario Bava

Italian filmmaker who worked variously as a director, cinematographer, special effects artist and screenwriter, frequently referred to as the "Master of Italian Horror" and the "Master of the Macabre".

Italian filmmaker who worked variously as a director, cinematographer, special effects artist and screenwriter, frequently referred to as the "Master of Italian Horror" and the "Master of the Macabre".

Bava in 1975
Bava in 1962

He was a pioneer of Italian genre cinema, and is regarded as one of the most influential auteurs of the horror film genre.

1971's A Bay of Blood is considered one of the early slasher films, and was explicitly imitated in Friday the 13th Part 2.

The "King of the Bs", Roger Corman, produced and directed The Raven (1963) for American International Pictures. Vincent Price headlines a cast of veteran character actors along with a young Jack Nicholson.

B movie

Low-budget commercial motion picture.

Low-budget commercial motion picture.

The "King of the Bs", Roger Corman, produced and directed The Raven (1963) for American International Pictures. Vincent Price headlines a cast of veteran character actors along with a young Jack Nicholson.
Columbia's That Certain Thing (1928) was made for less than $20,000 (about $297,791 today). Soon, director Frank Capra's association with Columbia helped vault the studio toward Hollywood's major leagues.
Stony Brooke (Wayne), Tucson Smith (Corrigan), and Lullaby Joslin (Terhune) did not get much time in harness. Republic Pictures' Pals of the Saddle (1938) lasts just 55 minutes, average for a Three Mesquiteers adventure.
Often marketed as pure sensationalism, many films noir also possessed great visual beauty. Raw Deal (1948), writes scholar Robert Smith, is "resplendent with velvety blacks, mists, netting, and other expressive accessories of poetic noir decor and lighting". Directed by Anthony Mann and shot by John Alton, it was released by Poverty Row's Eagle-Lion firm.
Rocketship X-M (1950), produced and released by small Lippert Pictures, is cited as possibly "the first postnuclear holocaust film". It was at the leading edge of a large cycle of movies, mostly low-budget and many long forgotten, classifiable as "atomic bomb cinema".
Motorpsycho (1965) was not hard to market. It had director Russ Meyer's reputation for eroticism; the biker theme ("MURDERcycles") that soon proved its popularity in historic fashion; and that trendy title word—psycho.
Piranha (1978), directed by Joe Dante and written by John Sayles for Corman's New World Pictures, is an action-filled creature feature, an environmentalist cautionary tale, and a humorous parody of Jaws. It was one of many exploitation films to mimic the design of Jaws [[:File:JAWS Movie poster.jpg|famous poster]], "with its promise of titillating thrills".
"Too gory to be an art film, too arty to be an exploitation film, funny but not quite a comedy": 168 private investors backed the Sundance winner Blood Simple's $1.5 million budget. Brothers Joel and Ethan Coen brought a striking visual style to the 1984 noir. In one repeated motif, writes David Denby, "automobile headlights threaten people doing surreptitious things in the dark."
Not all B movies are necessarily "schlock" or of shock value. Shane Carruth made the sophisticated Sundance-winning science fiction film Primer (2004) for $7,000. According to critic Adam Lemke, Carruth's "cramped, claustrophobic mise-en-scene" exemplifies a "subtle yet austere visual style that never succumbs to the restrictions of his limited budget".
Ed Wood's ultra-low-budget Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) is often called "the worst film ever made"

In either usage, most B movies represent a particular genre—the Western was a Golden Age B movie staple, while low-budget science-fiction and horror films became more popular in the 1950s.

Castle's first film in the Psycho vein was Homicidal (1961), an early step in the development of the slasher subgenre that took off in the late 1970s.

Carpenter in 2010

John Carpenter

American filmmaker, actor and composer.

American filmmaker, actor and composer.

Carpenter in 2010
Carpenter in September 2001
Carpenter performing live in October 2016
Carpenter with Bruce Robb (right) and son Cody Carpenter (middle) in 2005
Carpenter at a signing in Chicago, 2014

Halloween (1978) was a commercial success and helped develop the slasher genre.

Being a graphic, sinister horror film, it did not appeal to audiences during the summer of 1982, especially when E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which presented a much more lighthearted and family-friendly depiction of alien visitation, was released two weeks prior.

Theatrical release poster by Philip Gips

Alien (film)

Theatrical release poster by Philip Gips
The principal cast members of Alien (left to right: Holm, Stanton, Weaver, Kotto, Skerritt, Cartwright, and Hurt)
Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon
Director Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott filmed model shots of the Nostromo and its attached ore refinery. He made slow passes filming at 21⁄2 frames per second to give the models the appearance of motion.
Jerry Goldsmith composed the music for Alien.
Sigourney Weaver became the star of the Alien films, reprising her role as Ripley in three sequels between 1986 and 1997. She did not appear in either of the Alien vs. Predator crossovers of the 2000s, but has expressed interest in doing a fifth Alien film.

Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Dan O'Bannon.

Along with Halloween and Friday the 13th (1980), he describes it as a prototype for the slasher film genre: "The reason it's such a good movie, and wowed both the critics, who normally frown on the genre, and the casual cinema-goer, is that it is a distillation of everything that scares us in the movies."

D'Amato at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival

Joe D'Amato

D'Amato at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival

Aristide Massaccesi (15 December 1936 – 23 January 1999), known professionally as Joe D'Amato, was an Italian film director, producer, cinematographer, and screenwriter who worked in many genres (westerns, decamerotici, peplum, war films, swashbuckler, comedy, fantasy, postapocalyptic film, and erotic thriller) but is best known for his horror, erotic and adult films.

After his return from the Caribbean, D'Amato also co-founded Filmirage and used the companies to produce and direct the gore film Antropophagus (1980, produced through P.C.M. and Filmirage) and its follow-up, the slasher film Absurd (1981, co-produced by Filmirage and Metaxa), both of which starred George Eastman and later became cult films for fans of extreme cinema.