Photo courtesy of Nosterafu
Horror movies have been around for what feels like forever, but the monsters within them have been changing and morphing ever since the beginning.
One of the first movie monsters can be traced back to 1915 with the movie “The Golem” which was based on a legend where a clay man was brought to life by someone with magic. The movie follows an antiques dealer who discovers a four-century-old golem and uses it as his own personal servant. The monster goes on a rampage at a party at the mansion of a man named Count Graf. The Golem has a star in the center of his chest and
In 1922 the movie Nosferatu was made and became incredibly influential. It was a silent horror film about a man named Count Orlock who calls Thomas Hutter to his secluded Transylvanian castle. Orlock soon shows his vampiric nature such as being vulnerable to the sun, pointed teeth, and drinking the blood of humans. Hutter and his wife realize they have to escape his castle. The monster is bald and has very big eyebrows and pointed teeth.
Then in 1931, the film adaptation of the novel Frankenstein came out and was widely acclaimed, becoming known throughout America. It was about Dr. Frankenstein and follows him as he tries to reanimate a corpse made from other deceased body parts. It works, and the monster wakes up confused and traumatized and starts destroying the countryside. The ’30s were a big decade for monster movies with Bride of Frankenstein, King Kong, The Mummy, and The Invisible Man coming out later in the decade. All these movies had a profound impact on the horror genre and pop culture.
When the ’50s rolled around that was an even bigger decade for the genre With the release of Creature from the Black Lagoon, Godzilla, and Rodan, monsters got bigger and bigger over time. Godzilla was originally released in Japan and a second movie was made for the states which introduced america to Godzilla. Both were incredibly well-received, the american version making two million dollars at the box office when it came out. Both have very similar plots, with the original being about a giant fire breathing monster that terrorized Japan after a nuclear bomb awakens it and the American one being about a U.S. newsman in Tokyo who recounts the story of Godzilla after an atomic blast awakens him.
After the ’50s, however, monster movies began to fall out of fashion. While they were still being made, they weren’t nearly as popular as they used to be, with new genres of horror such as slasher movies taking the limelight. While they influenced much of pop culture today monster movies just aren’t as popular as they used to be.