Production Notes


The slash and stab horror film, which relies primarily upon graphic violence to gain a viceral reaction from audiences, reached the height of its popularity in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Films such as 'Halloween', 'Friday the 13th' and their sequels and imitations, continued to shock and amaze audiences with scenes of decapitations, slashings and assorted mayhem, while racking up huge numbers at the boxoffice.

House  MontageRecently however,there has been a new trend within the horror film genre, a trend which has seen blood and gore replaced by humor and the shock of surprise. Among those filmmakers who have the adopted the new trend is Sean Cunningham, producer of New World Pictures 'House' and the originator of the 'Friday the 13th' series of pictures.

" I think the slash and stab film has pretty much run its course" says Cunningham. "For a while that particular genre achieved a great deal of popularity. It seemed that people were going to the theatre to be amazed and shocked, but after a period of time, audiences started to become sensitized to the violence. Once you take away the shock value of the violence, the story must carry the picture. In most cases, that is just not possible."

Roger CobbAmong the pictures adopting the horror/humor combination are 'Fright Night', 'American Werewolf in London' 'The Return of the Living Dead' and now 'House'

"Steve and I worked to make a film that could reach a broad based audience, and could be scary and fun, rather than scary and gruesome" says Cunningham. "It's kind of like when you're a child and walking home at night and someone jumps out of the bushes and says 'Boo!' First you are scared and then you laugh. That's different from the guy jumping out of the bushes saying 'Boo!' then hitting you over the head with a tire iron. That's painful and not much fun. It's very important to us that people have fun with this film."



Behind the Scenes