March 15, 2023

Exploring the Horror Genre: An Analysis of the 1932 Film "Freaks"

The 1932 film Freaks is often associated with the horror genre, yet its themes and narrative structure are far more complex than meets the eye. By examining the film's characters, tone, and style, it is possible to understand why it is considered a horror movie.


The characters in Freaks are primarily “freak show” performers, who differ from the traditional horror movie monster. These characters are in many ways more sympathetic than the typical horror movie villain. They are often portrayed as victims of circumstance, rather than agents of evil. This creates a unique dynamic that is not found in other horror films.


The tone of the film is both frightening and sympathetic. There is a sense of dread throughout the movie, as the characters are constantly under threat. At the same time, there is a sense of compassion, as the audience is able to empathize with the characters and their plight. This combination of horror and empathy is what sets Freaks apart from other horror films.


The style of Freaks is unique, as it combines elements of melodrama, comedy, and horror. This creates a sense of unease, as the audience is never quite sure what to expect. This uncertainty is part of the horror of the film, as it adds to the tension and keeps the audience on the edge of their seat.

In conclusion, Freaks is a unique horror movie that combines elements of melodrama, comedy, and horror in a unique way. Its characters are sympathetic and its tone is both frightening and empathetic. This combination of elements creates a unique horror movie experience that is unlike any other.

The Unsettling Themes of "Freaks": Examining the 1932 Film's Place in Horror Cinema

Released in 1932, "Freaks" is both an anomaly and a classic. It's a movie that is simultaneously disturbing and intriguing, and is often cited as one of the first horror movies. But is it really a horror movie?

The plot of "Freaks" is simple. A beautiful trapeze artist named Cleopatra is courted by a sideshow performer called Hans. He's part of a travelling circus that consists of a variety of "freaks," including a dwarf, a giant, and a conjoined twin. Cleopatra's plan is to marry Hans for his money and then murder him, but she gets more than she bargained for when the other freaks discover her plan and enact a gruesome revenge.

The movie is certainly unsettling, even by today's standards. The use of real-life circus freaks and deformed people as actors is disquieting, as is the graphic violence against Cleopatra in the climax of the film. What makes the movie particularly disturbing is the underlying message that the "freaks" are more human than the so-called "normal" people. This is a theme that has been explored in many horror movies since, including "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "American Horror Story: Freak Show".

It's this message that makes "Freaks" stand out from other horror movies. It's not just a movie about monsters and the supernatural, but one that delves into the depths of the human condition. The movie is a commentary on how society treats those who are different and how easily people can become victims of prejudice and cruelty. It's a horror movie, yes, but it's also a movie about acceptance and understanding.

So, can "Freaks" be considered a horror movie? Yes, it can. While it's certainly not a traditional horror movie, it has all the elements of one - suspense, fear, dread, and a dark, disturbing atmosphere. It may not have the same jump scares and gore that more recent horror movies have, but its themes of prejudice, fear, and revenge make it a horror movie in its own right.

The 1932 film "Freaks" is a classic, and its place in horror cinema is undeniable. It's a movie that deals with difficult and unsettling themes, but also one that shows us the true horror of human nature. It's a horror movie that continues to be relevant today, and a movie that will never be forgotten.

Exploring the Impact of the 1932 Film "Freaks" on Horror Movie Culture

The 1932 film "Freaks" is often cited as being one of the earliest horror movies, but is it really a horror movie? While it may not contain the same elements found in modern horror films, there is no denying the impact that "Freaks" has had on the horror genre and culture. In this article, we will explore the influence of "Freaks" on horror movie culture and how it has shaped the landscape of horror.

A Brief History

"Freaks" was released in 1932, and it tells the story of a group of sideshow performers who are being targeted by a group of malicious outsiders. The film was created by filmmaker Tod Browning, and it starred a cast of real-life sideshow performers, including conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton. The film was controversial at the time of its release due to its unique subject matter, but it has since become an important part of horror movie culture.

The Impact of "Freaks" on Horror Movie Culture

The impact that "Freaks" had on horror movie culture is hard to overstate. The film was revolutionary in its depiction of "freaks" as sympathetic characters, and it was one of the first films to challenge the idea that monsters must be evil or villainous. The film also helped to popularize the concept of the "outsider" in horror, a trope that is still seen in horror films today. Additionally, "Freaks" helped to pave the way for other horror films that featured casts of misfits, such as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "The Lost Boys."

The Legacy of "Freaks"

The legacy of "Freaks" is still felt today in the horror genre. The film has inspired numerous remakes and homages, as well as influenced countless other horror films. Additionally, the film has been studied by scholars and horror enthusiasts alike, with many noting its impact on the genre. "Freaks" has become a cult classic, and its influence on horror movie culture is still being felt today.


The 1932 film "Freaks" is often cited as one of the earliest horror movies, and its influence on horror movie culture is undeniable. From its depiction of "freaks" as sympathetic characters to its popularization of the "outsider" trope in horror, "Freaks" has had a huge impact on the genre. The legacy of "Freaks" is still seen in modern horror films, and its influence on horror movie culture is still being felt today.