Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Creative Fiction: Horror
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Critical Portfolio.  2000 words (or equivalent video essay)  50%
Semester Assessment Creative Portfolio  4 Minutes  50%
Supplementary Assessment Critical Portfolio.  2000 words (or equivalent video essay)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Creative Portfolio  4 Minutes  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Display good knowledge of the genre studied;

Discuss the historical development of the horror film genre with attention to the social, historical and cultural influences on it;

Be able to apply issues and methods of film theory to films within that genre

Brief description

This module combines critical and creative practice in an innovative and exciting programme that offers students the opportunity to explore key horror concepts and techniques via interactive lectures and hands-on production workshops.

In recent years, horror has taken over from the western as perhaps the most enduring and consistently popular of film genres, and has also become the genre that has been most written about by genre theorists and academics. While horror has prevailed as a mode of filmmaking in Hollywood, it has also become a staple genre within other filmmaking contents too – most prominently in Britain, Italy, Japan, France and Spain. However, despite its popularity and prolific nature, horror is also the film genre that has been most dismissed and attacked by the popular press, film critics and the public. Horror films, throughout cinema history, have either courted controversy for being potentially harmful to audiences or have been dismissed as commercial trash, constructing fantasy worlds that have little relation to real life and society. But, conversely and at the same time, many critics and theorists have defended the cultural importance of horror films – the way they speak to and dramatise people’s changing fears and anxieties, and the way that, through the disguise of fantasy or the depiction of horrific events or extreme states, they are able to more radically critique the social, cultural or political tensions, problems and issues that characterise the world we live in.

The module builds on the skills and production techniques acquired during FM10420/FM10520 Introduction to Media Production and FM10340 Media Production Project, as well as the analytical skills acquired during the critical theory components of Year 1. The module also provides a pathway through to advanced fiction production work, as well as the range of advanced critical theory modules available in Year 3.


This module is taught through a series of lectures, practical workshops and seminars. Each week is organised around specific areas of interest within the horror genre that will be explored via both theory and practice. You will develop a portfolio of practical experiments, including a complete short film, which is rooted in an enhanced appreciation and understanding of the history, context, tradition and techniques of the horror genre.

Weekly topics include:

• The monster in horror
• Sound design and music in horror
• Horror and expressionism
• Comedy horror
• International horror
• Documentary and found-footage horror
• Censorship and the Video Nasties
• Alternative conceptualisations of horror
• The Horror Industry – Festivals and Careers

Workshop projects include:

• Fake blood – ingredients and recipes
• Lighting for horror and thriller
• Wounds and prosthetics
• Sound design for horror and suspense
• Creative camerawork for horror
• Editing for horror and suspense

Due to the subject matter and content of this module, some films and clips are, by their nature, gory or feature explicit content relating to sex and violence, and therefore may be offensive to some.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students' written communication skills will be developed (e.g. appropriate language and style, accuracy, precision and ability to be concise). Students will develop oral communication skills in an intensive, team-based environment during planning and execution of workshop tasks. Opportunities will be given, through seminar sessions, for students to develop confidence in using their speaking and listening skills when communicating their ideas.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will develop their critical thinking and creative practice skills. Through team-based activities and group discussion, students will be given opportunities to develop an awareness of the opinions of others and reconsider initial ideas if necessary. Students will be able to develop their skills of information location and retrieval. Students will be given opportunities to develop effective note-taking skills.
Information Technology Students will be given the opportunity to develop their authorial and note-taking skills when planning and preparing for the written assignment, and will be encouraged to develop their note-taking skills in lectures and workshops, where appropriate. Students will be given opportunities to develop their skills in searching for relevant reading, viewings and other materials. E-mail and Blackboard will remain the main forms of communication and information sharing in this module, so students will be encouraged to actively engage in these processes.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be given the opportunity to evaluate current knowledge and skills and set targets for self-improvement. Students will be encouraged to take increasing responsibility for managing their own learning. Students will be encouraged to build upon the knowledge gained from lectures and workshops through developing skills in self-study.
Problem solving Students should be able to identify tensions and debates in the field, and will encounter a range of technical and creative challenges during workshop exercises in effective control of light, sound, camera and special effects.
Research skills Students will be able to develop their skills of information location and retrieval. Students will be able to develop their textual analytic skills. Students will also develop research capability in preparing suitable materials and appropriate equipment for practical exercises.
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop subject specific skills in research and writing for horror, as well as production skills in camera, lighting, sound, editing and special effects.
Team work Students will collaborate on weekly workshop tasks, including preparation for those tasks. Seminar sessions will involve group work where students will be able to collaborate through discussion, and then feed back their ideas to the seminar group as a whole.


This module is at CQFW Level 5