342 CHAPTER 9 Film Genres ' [Producer Arthur Freed) came to me and said, 'What are you going to do with it?' I said, 'Well, Arthur, I don't know yet. But I do know I've gotta be singing and it's gotta be raining.' There was no rain in that picture up to then." -Gene Kelly, actor/choreographer, on Singin' in the Rain modern audiences. The interest in producing horror films is global, with Europe and Asia adding to the repertory with Anatomy (Germany), 28 Days Later (UK), Nightwatch (Russia), The Host (South Korea), The Ring (Japan), The Devil's Backbone (Spain), Let the Right One Jn (Sweden), and many more titles. The centrality of horror to modern American cinema has set scholars looking for cultural explanations. Many critics suggest that the 1970s subgenre of family horror films, such as The Exorcist and Poltergeist, reflects social concerns about the breakup of American families. Others propose that the genre's questioning of traditional categories of normality is in tune with both the post-Vietnam and the post-Cold War eras: Viewers may be uncertain of their fundamental beliefs about the world and their identity. Fans are also drawn by the imaginative special effects and makeup, so filmmakers compete to show ever gorier and more grotesque imagery. For all these reasons, horror-film conventions grew so familiar that parodies such as the Scary Movie franchise and Shaun of the Dead became as popular as the films they mocked. Through genre mixing and the give-and-take between audience tastes and filmmakers' ambitions, the horror film has displayed the interplay of convention and innovation that's basic to any genre. The Musical The Western is largely based on the subject matter of the Ame1ican frontier, and the horror film is characterized by the emotional effect it wants to arouse. By contrast, the musical came into being in response to a technological innovation. Although there had been attempts to synchronize music and song with moving images during the silent era, the notion of basing a feature-length film on a series of musical numbers did not emerge until the late 1920s with the successful introduction of recorded sound tracks. One of the earliest features to include the human voice extensively was The Jazz Singer (1927), which contained almost no recorded dialogue but had several songs.