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How did Alfred Hitchcock change the Horror genre?

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Introduction

´╗┐How did Alfred Hitchcock change the Horror genre? Alfred Hitchcock?s ?Psycho? (released in the mid-1960) altered the way in which people view Horror films ? ?expecting the unexpected?. As it is now possible to distinguish the difference between the present and the past of the Horror genre, it has without a doubt gradually evolved into something gorier, disturbing, and less conventional as the audiences fear levels have decreased overtime. Hitchcock started this evolution by redefining the Horror genre; giving birth to the psychological Horror sub-genre from the idea of a monster coming from within the human. A modern audience would not have the same reaction as a 1960?s audience would towards Psycho as the Horror genre had evolved, changing the way we think, act, and feel towards a Horror film. ...read more.

Middle

Hitchcock did this through advice and the help of his music composer Bernard Hermann. The tragic murder we witness in the famous shower scene is not as graphic as the audience first thinks! The non-diegetic sound created by Hermann?s variety of strings makes us feel just as terrified and uncomfortable as watching a graphic scene. Hitchcock has managed to achieve this by replacing graphic content with quick close ups of Marion?s limbs and a large imposing overtore. Without the non-diegetic sound contributing to this, the ionic scene loses all of its effective impact on its audience. This technique of using non-diegetic sound to cover up the explicit action has been adopted in many modern films: notably Stephen Spielberg?s shark in ?Jaws? In addition to this masterpiece, the knife attack in the famous shower scene became a phenomenon, not only from the effective non-diegetic sound ...read more.

Conclusion

As previously stated, the idea of a ?monster? coming from within the human redefined the Horror genre and gave birth to the psychological Horror sub-genre. Hitchcock altered the history of Horror after proving that Horror is not always about having a science-fiction or supernatural element: ?Them?, ?The Blob?, and ?Godzilla?. Many films have adopted the techniques founded and used by Hitchcock; killing the protagonist before the end of the film, non-diegetic sound, and also the variety of camera shots in one scene. Modern Horror has used non-diegetic sound, editing sequences, and a variety of shots that reflect the essence of Psycho. For instance, many Horror films have had a curtain ripped back to reveal a knife bearing murderer. Overall, Psycho has influenced many Horror films and continues to do so, which is why it is, undoubtedly, 'The Mother of Modern Horror?. ...read more.

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