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Horror film sub-genres


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  • Finally a horror subgenres classification that make sense, I still do not understand why body horror is always considered as a major horror genre (I mean, how many real body horror film is there really?).
    Still, I am a bit sceptic about whether 'Action Horror' is really a genre. Indeed, there are action in almost every horror...and pretty much everytime you'll be able to fit the movie in another genre. It is a little bit the same for Sci-fi horror, like for example Aliens or Event Horizon...what they really are is Monster, and Paranormal movies respectively.
    Anyway. I am very interested in the subject and this was a great article. I myself build a horror classification with the subgenres of horror films. Maybe you could tell me what you think of it??
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Horror film sub-genres

  1. 1. Horror Film Sub Genres.Horror has many sub-genres. These include:Action Horror: This sub-genre combines an evil force, event or a supernaturalbeing typical of horror films with gunfights and frantic chases which is typicalof the action genre. Themes include gore, demons, vicious animals, vampiresand the most common for this genre, zombies. The sub-genre fuses thefantasy genre also. Examples are Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil and Blade.Resident Evil is based off the well-known Capcom survival horror video gameseries of the same name.Body Horror: This is a sub-genre in which it features the graphicdestruction/degeneration of the body. Other types of body horror includeunnatural movements or the anatomically incorrect placement of limbs tocreate monsters, such as Frankenstein, out of body parts. Examples of thissub-genre are The Thing, Hellraiser and Teeth. Clive Barker is one of themost notable directors of this genre.
  2. 2. Comedy Horror: This sub-genre combines the humorous elements of comedyand horror. This sub-genre crosses over to black comedy the majority of thetime. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving is cited as the firstcomedy-horror. Examples of this sub-genre include Shaun of the Dead,Gremlins and An American in Werewolf in London. Tim Burton directedSleepy Hollow, which is loosely based on “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”,released in 1999.Gothic Horror: This sub-genre combines both goth and horror. At times it mayhave romance that unfolds within the film, which is usually suspenseful. Someof the earliest horror films were of this sub-genre. Examples of this are ThePhantom of the Opera, Dracula and The Mummy. Bram Stokers novelDracula is probably the most well known film of this sub-genre.
  3. 3. Natural Horror: This sub-genre normally features mutated beasts, carnivorousinsects and animals/plants turned into cold-blooded killers. Sometimes it mayoverlap with science fiction and action/adventure genres. Examples includeSnakes on a Plane, Jaws and Piranha 3D.One of the most known directors ofthis sub-genre is Steven Spielberg, as he was the director of Jaws.Psychological Horror: This sub-genre relies on the characters’ fears, guilt andbeliefs. It also relies on eerie sound effects, relevant music, emotionalinstability and sometimes the supernatural to build tension and to allow theplot to go further. Examples include Sinister, The Exorcist and Silent Hill. TheExorcist was a highly controversial film released in 1973 based on the book ofthe same name, and was directed by William Friedkin.Science-fiction Horror: The science-fiction sub-genre often includes killeraliens, mad scientists and/or an experiment gone wrong. Examples includeAlien, Apollo 18 and Doom. The director of Alien was released in 1979 andreleased by Ridley Scott.
  4. 4. Slasher film: Slashers often revolve around a psychopathic killer who kills asequence of victims in a graphic/violent manner, often with a cutting tool suchas a knife and/or an axe. They often overlap with crime, mystery and thriller.Examples are Halloween, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street.Halloween was re-released by Rob Zombie, a musician who is influenced byhorror films.Splatter film: These often focus on graphic use of gore and violence. Usingspecial effects and excessive blood and guts, they tend to show an over-the-top interest in the vulnerability of the human body and its mutilation. Not all ofthem are slasher films and they are not all horrors. Examples include Hostel,Saw and Cannibal Holocaust. George A. Romero coined the term “splattercinema” to describe his film Dawn of the Dead, henceforth Splatter Film wascreated.James Wan, who returned to the third installment as a writer, firstdirected the Saw franchise.
  5. 5. Zombie film: This sub-genre usually portrays creatures who are either areanimated corpses and/or mindless human beings. This sub-genre has alsoinfluenced sub-genres such as zombie comedy and the zombie apocalypse.Examples include Day of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead and I AmLegend. The most influential zombie film director is possibly seen as “TheGodfather of Zombies”, George A. Romero.