An Introduction to the horror film

Course Dates: 27/04/22 - 29/06/22
Time: 19:45 - 21:30
Location: Online
This course explores the horror film through a range of key themes, concepts and critical accounts of the genre. In doing so it will consider areas such as silent horror cinema, the classic Universal cycle of films, Hammer films, the modern American horror film, European and East Asian horror cinema, developments in the contemporary horror film, and the genre's leading films and filmmakers.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00

This course has now started

Course Code: HF236

Started Wed, eve, 27 Apr - 29 Jun '22

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This online film studies course explores the horror film's history and development and the various ways in which the genre has been understood by both audiences and critics. It will look at a range of areas and historical moments in the development of the genre while also thinking about a range of key films and filmmakers.

The following is a list of some of the films that will feature on the course though no prior viewing is required. A full list of films will be provided at the start of the course: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1919), Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (1922), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Vampyr (1932), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), The Mummy (1959), Eyes Without a Face (1960), Black Sunday (1960), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Exorcist (1973), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Suspiria (1977), Halloween (1978), The Evil Dead (1981), Ring (1998), The Blair Witch Project (1999), Scream (1999), [REC] (2007),Let the Right One In (2008), Insidious (2010), The Conjuring (2013), Hereditary (2018).
No prior reading is required but you may wish to consider the following:
• Kim Newman, Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s, 2nd edition (Bloomsbury, 2011)
• Paul Wells, The Horror Genre - from Beelzebub to Blair Witch (Wallflower, 2000).

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

• The horror film and genre
• Themes and concepts in horror cinema
• Critical accounts of horror cinema
• The history and development of the horror film
• Key films and filmmakers in horror cinema
• Film style and the horror film
• Regions of production (e.g., Hollywood, Britain, Japan etc.)
• 'Remakes' of horror films
• The series/franchise film and horror cinema.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Evaluate the horror film as a major film genre
• Identify and assess a range of themes and concepts in horror cinema
• Evaluate a range of critical accounts of horror cinema
• Describe key areas in the history and development of the horror film
• Identify and assess a range of key horror films and horror film directors
• Assess a range of approaches to style in the horror film
• Identify key regions of horror film production and their impact on the genre
• Evaluate the phenomenon of the 'remake' in relation to the horror film
• Evaluate the series/franchise film and horror cinema.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is suitable for all levels and you do not require any particular skills - just an enthusiasm for film and discussing film. The course will provide an introduction to the subject but will also be useful for those wishing to build on existing knowledge in the subject area.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Screenings of extracts from films, talks by the tutor, reading materials, small and large group discussions. It might also be a good idea to see what you can find out about the subject in advance of the class (see the reading and films mentioned above) but this is not essential.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will require a pen and paper (or laptop/device) but the tutor will provide all other materials such as handouts. The tutor will show extracts from films and you do not have to obtain them.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please look for other film studies courses on our website at, culture & humanities/film studies.

Jon Wisbey

Jon Wisbey teaches film at City Lit and Morley College. He was for many years a committee member and vice-chair of Chelmsford Film Club, screening contemporary and classic world cinema releases. He has an MA in Film Studies from the University of East Anglia. His teaching focuses on classical and post-classical Hollywood, European cinema, British cinema, film noir and horror cinema.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.