Horror films had its roots from the cave paintings in late 18th century which projected frightening sculptures that placed Sublime canvas population in fear. There are several films in the horror genre that stand to demonstrate national identity and project significance of such movies in the mainstream cinema.
Horror films and national identity
Case study 1:
Frankenstein is one such example that states the crisis of modernity and the way the frightening creature solves them. It is an evidence to inform that the nation is experiencing problems in morality and ethics.
Case study 2 – Germany Movie:
Weimer films between 1918 and 1930 were wonderful examples to assert the point that such films spoke better about national identity (Kracauer, 2004). It had introduced the movement on German expressionism. If it was not filmed, it would not have been possible to show the art, music and culture of the country after the First World War. The film also featured new shapes and the movement towards modernistic perspectives. Cabinet of Dr Caligari is yet another movie that speaks a lot about the character of people in the nation.
Case study 3 – UK Movie:
Hammer Horror studio had produced over 9 films in the past (1958-74) and all the movies were reflections of society and nation on the whole. First of all, the setup was not the same in the films as the director had tried to change and display the cultural development. Though the Dracula series had high degrees of fear and uncertainty, they also had informed the audience about national identity, fascination of Victorians on science, authority and values. The characters were chosen in such a way that the social differences were clearly projected to the viewers. The males were authoritative and most of them belonged to upper class or middle class (Maxford, 1996). This showed that there was a difference in the social statuses of the people. The realistic approach towards filmmaking was the reason for continued success.
Importance of national identity through films
Films largely influenced the audience in their perspectives and actions. Horror films in the past have also gained attention from the masses not because of the genre but due to the storyline and their crucial message to the nation. Powers of Horror by Julia Kristeva are yet another example where woman is portrayed as monstrous and this representation affects the identity of woman as seen by people in that nation.
When horror movies were only regarded as mainstream, horror films from Germany and Australia also attempted to gain recognition through the expressionism movements. Such movements informed people of the cultural and social infrastructure of the countries. It also demanded for support to develop the nation. It is possible to gain insights from “The Russians are coming” note where it speaks about the nature of a girl who is observed by Ben Peterson. The crime is happening in the society which can have an impact on the national identity and the reaction of a girl.
Soon after the Hammer movies hit the scenes and created a revolution, horror films were also utilized as a medium to professionally convey the crisis or wellbeing of the society. This has been used as an expression for other countries to gain insights.