The Father of the Horror Movies

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Dreams and nightmares bring a world of experimentation for those who can lift the veil.

I was visiting my dentist when a magazine got into my hands and told me a fascinating story. This is how I came to learn about the life of George Méliès.

A French illusionist laid hands on a cinematograph and produced over 500 short movies in around 17 years. His filming methods are still widely used by the cinema industry nowadays. This pioneer in producing charmed me instantly, so I kept reading the unusual article forgetting about time and space.

Here we are back in time, a century ago or so (who would even count the years? ), when photography was evolving on a whole new level.  There were inventors across Europe working on a machine that could use multiple photos in order to create motion.  The first steps in projecting movements were made. Exactly then and there appears George Méliès, just like the illusionist he is, and takes the audience to an amazing journey. The fun travels are not only about destinations or off the regular track, sometimes they are hidden in stories or behind the curtains in their art form.

They name Méliès a magician, an illusionist, film maker, toy maker, custom designer, dreamer and also one of the fathers of horror movies. It is very tricky to define who was the first and original ‘Father’. However, this very film pioneer certainly has an immense contribution to this particular movie genre. He used his dreams, his vision, his gift to create customs and decors, his talent and knowledge as an illusionist, all of which formed his innovative mindset.  This twisted wonderful combination of skills were brought together in order to bring life to the stillness of photography.

Shall I start naming the movies he made, I’d need a good old research (for some are lost) and extra ink, plus paper. I would love to share some of them with you, though.  The 1890s are registered to be filled with the first horror movies releases. The ones that belong to our magician are as follows:

House of the Devil

House of the Devil (Link to YouTube)

A Terrible Night

A Terrible Night (Link to YouTube)

The Vanishing Lady

The Vanishing Lady (Link to YouTube)

The Bewitched Inn

The Bewitched Inn (Link to YouTube)

The Accursed Cavern

The Accursed Cavern (Link to YouTube)

Astronomer's Dream

The Astronomer’s Dream (Link to YouTube)… and many, many more.

They are short, they are fun, they are here to run. Take your time to explore, if you are curious about the ancestors of the horror movies we know nowadays.

I wish you movie nights filled with wonderful, unexpected and thrilling surprises, my dear fellow wanderers.

Your always wandering,

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