Horror is one of the oldest and most popular of all film genres. From the monsters of the 1930s to 1980s and beyond, the horror film has evolved and adapted. Its focus on fright as entertainment has remained constant. As an emotion, horror evokes extreme fear, disgust and revulsion. Horror films might also try to bring about more subtle reactions in their viewers.
Horror films appeared even during the silent-film era. The supernatural would play a large part in horror films for most the twentieth century. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons and other paranormal creatures provided most of the scares. In the middle of the century, creatures from outer space and atomic-age mutants came on the scene. Flesh-eating zombies joined the party in the late 1960s.
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is often credited for introducing a new horror-movie villain: the unhinged serial killer. The slasher films of the late 1970s and 1980s solidified the psychopath as the most common nightmare fuel in horror films. Those films set the stage for the ultra-violent serial-killer films-the ones that critics have dubbed "torture porn"-at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Another twist in contemporary horror movies online is the supernatural romance. Although these films throw a few elements of horror into the mix, inducing fright is rarely their main concern.