How does the media affect the direction of horror films to refresh the fear factor presented in them?

Horror Films over the last 60 years have went through a plethora of changes in order to stay fresh and relevant to the open minded and often critical horror target audience. Although rehashing old ideas is considered an instant draw, (take for example the remakes of Halloween in 2007 and Nightmare on Elm Street in 2010) the makers of the films must find new ways to wow, entertain, and most of all frighten the viewers. Society as a whole is constantly changing with on growing technology and post modern thinking; horror films noticeably change their creative direction according to current fears or situations in Western society.

Take for example the attitudes of civilians post WWII. When people discovered the nuclear bomb and its effect on the world, people began to be afraid of radiation and its effect on wildlife etc. This lead to a series of horror films depicting insects and various animals suffering from radiation poisoning killing civilians. Godzilla and Them! were among the most popular. Many other changes have ushered since then and the media must find new and unique ways to terrify the audience.



19 thoughts on “How does the media affect the direction of horror films to refresh the fear factor presented in them?

  1. Very interesting, especially when you mention about radiation and fears of nuclear warfare, but you could explain what era of horror films we are in now? and why the media may have an affect on horror films

  2. 1)like the word ‘plethora’
    2) nice selfie
    3) good use of examples and a start to explain what these changes in society are which cause the media to have to refresh the fear factor, which i’m sure will continue. Maybe you should consider the introduction of advanced technology which enables film companies to use a new type of horror.

  3. i enjoyes this it was abit short but still i ebnjoyed the read but maybe aswell you could talk about the intergration things such as cabin in the woods with the organised killing instead of mass murderl.

  4. kingemma96 says:

    Hi callum, Emma and Sam here
    We think you should rephrase your question and make it more clearer. Other than that, your introduction is written well.

    • Hi emma and sam, Callum here
      How does the media affect the direction of horror films to refresh the fear factor presented in them?
      Is that a more clear question? It basically means that the media and current fears can affect what people find scary, this could influence horror films.

  5. Look back on the work we did at the start of AS…lesson 2 was on genre and I gave you a sheet of theoretical approaches and references about audiences and the construction of genre. This would give you immediately a starting point for an academic approach which will help you to explain how audiences keep coming back to the same things.

  6. abiclaytonx says:

    Hi Callum.

    This introduction is interesting and I can see your essay forming, although some sentences don’t make sense due to either no punctuation or wrong tenses being used.

    Your question is good but it needs to be re-written as starting it with ‘how’ may cause you to not really answer the question or reach a conclusion. Maybe ‘Is the fear factor in horror films still relevant?’ or something similar – this will sound harder but you can still mention the affect of the media etc.

    The history about WWII is great and talking about different periods of time could help structure your question as you could go through up until the present day and explain how the development of the media has affected horror as well as audiences needing something different from the film. As Phipps says above; theories are really key here and we did loads on audiences last year. (I still have the sheet if you need it lol).

    I think maybe you should look at parody horror films or horror comedy, the fact that films have been made to make fun of the original films. This could be important in the development of horror and how we as an audience receive it. Films such as: ‘Shaun of The Dead’, ‘Army of Darkness’ or even ‘Gremlins’. Look at who they appeal to and why they are made the way they are – look at time of release and how that may have affected them too.

    This year ‘Warm Bodies’ was released in January…

    Rotten Tomatoes site:
    Youtube trailer:‎
    – This could be watched and compared with other similar films or older horror films.
    ‘Warm Bodies’ also has a facebook page: and a Twitter page: ‎‎

    You could look at how social media has effected horror and how the use of viral marketing could also effect it. is a wordpress account worth a follow as it includes lots of info on films and viral marketing campaigns – many of them for horror films.

    Hope this has helped a little. 🙂 🙂

    • This is actually been very helpful feedback, I have went over some sentences and rephrased some things (you grammar freak)… I have looked at some theories I could use such as Two Step Flow and User and Gratifications theory. Parody horror’s are quite important when considering how audiences react to certain aspects of horror so it is helpful to know what people think of these. Cheers geeezzaaa

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