Generating $733 million in ticket sales alone, 2017 was the largest year for horror films ever (Murphy). While this is exciting for fans of horror, it also is a dangerous period for the genre. The success of recent films tempts creators to replicate current horror models. How can creators produce unique content while still building on prior success? One solution is to look to the past. Our approach to horror has changed greatly since the genre appeared in the 1800s (Twitchell). Maybe looking at early horror themes and techniques and evaluating how they both have been and can further be adapted to contemporary film will uncover new inspiration, perhaps even a guide, for horror. How might gothic horror be adapted for modern audiences, and what are the implications of doing so?
To answer these questions, one must study works of gothic horror, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Using other scholarship on horror and Frankenstein as a guide, the following work analyzes horror themes and techniques in Frankenstein and implements them in a screenplay for contemporary audiences. Ultimately, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein utilizes horror techniques and themes that are still applicable to this day and demonstrates the impact that such methods have upon society.
Top photo: Dark-Surreal by Shadowsystem (DeviantArt)