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Horror sub genres

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Horror sub genres

  1. 1. Horror - Sub-genres William Jones
  2. 2. Subgenres Some of the main subgenres are: • Slasher • Psychological • Supernatural • Possession • Gothic • Sci-fi • Comedy
  3. 3. Slasher Slasher films are the most common type of horror films due to the impact they had between the 60s and 70s. This demand for slasher horror has led to the creation of some of the most well known horror films. These include Scream and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
  4. 4. Common Conventions • Antagonist is a masked killer and usually psychotic (Ghostface/Leatherface/Jason Voorhees) • Normally a sacrificial lamb at the beginning of the film to set the tone and introduce the killer. Likely a dumb bimbo. (Casey from Scream or Tina from Nightmare on Elm Street) • Most of the main characters are usually stereotypical teens, with lots of drinking and sex. This is usually used against them, as slasher villains usually kill as punishment for acts of irresponsibility. • The main character is usually a goodie two shoes female (Sidney from Scream)
  5. 5. Common Conventions Cont. • The main female (or the final girl) will survive to the end, usually because she is more intelligent and brave than the other characters. • As name of the sub-genre suggests, the main weapons used are things like knives, stabbing and slashing weapons. However, the genre is well suited to over-the-top weapons, like a chainsaw, an axe or a scythe. This is to • Very bloody and gory (usually as bloody as film ratings will allow at the time of release)
  6. 6. Psychological Psychological horror films are a more intellectual type of horror movie, relying on the mental and emotional instability of the antagonist for most of the horror value. The antagonist can appear to be normal on the outside, and they don’t normally commit vicious crimes, but they can be however one of the scariest and most twisted horror villains.
  7. 7. Common Conventions • The antagonist looks normal but has a twisted mind (i.e. Hannibal Lecter) • Main source of the horror is from the twisted mind of the antagonist. • Audience can be tricked into thinking the antagonist is innocent, or forget that he is guilty. (American Psycho – where he believes what he is doing is morally justifiable) • Death may occur, but will not be as brutal or gruesome as they are in slashers. • Can sometimes be from the antagonist’s perspective, i.e. American Psycho, he is simultaneously the killer and main character of the movie
  8. 8. Common Conventions Cont. • Events may be shown as the antagonists flashbacks. • TWISTS IN NARRATIVE. • Usually a more sophisticated SUB-genre meaning that they offer more of an intellectual challenge to the audience, instead of the “mindless violence” of some slasher films
  9. 9. Supernatural Movies like the Sixth Sense and the Amityville Horror are good examples of a supernatural horror movie. In films within this sub-genre, an unknown force terrorises an unwitting and seemingly “normal” family, usually in a remote location.
  10. 10. Common Conventions • Narrative focuses on the presence of some kind of ghost or spirit. • Some supernatural phenomena are also present like curses and miracles • Characters try to make contact with the spirits using séances and Ouija boards. • Third parties like psychics, mediums and priests are called upon, as characters strive to remove the supernatural presence from their lives. • Most of the action happens in a normal, yet isolated suburban area with a young couple or family who have normally just moved in, this is usually because the spirit was there to begin with and also to ensure the family cannot send for help easily, so they are the ones who must find an answer to the problem.
  11. 11. Common Conventions Cont. • Contrapuntal sound and loud sudden diegetic noises like creaking floorboards and squeaking doors are common. • Everyday objects like mirrors, baths and windows are commonly used for jump scares. • Everday, innocent objects are transformed into something sinister or as conduits of evil. • This genre is where the found footage style is found most commonly, as it further involves the audience and makes it feel grounded in reality.
  12. 12. Possession The possession SUB-genre is the second most popular behind slasher. Most cult classic horror movies are either slasher or possession. Practical (and gruesome) effects are used very commonly in possession films and can usually be made with much smaller budgets than some horrors.
  13. 13. Common Conventions • Both adults and children (usually young for added effect) are possessed by evil demons or spirits. • Religion often has a strong role, either in the possessions or when trying to get rid of the demon. This is because religious forces act as a binary opposite to demonic forces, so they often go hand in hand. In addition to this, characters often go down the religious route to try and deal with the demonic force. Demonic forces may even make a mockery of religion and religious icons. • The spirit can be contained in boxes or books at the beginning of the movie. • Exorcisms are usually performed mid way through the movie but are unsuccessful.
  14. 14. Common Conventions Cont. • Experts are usually bought in, either Priests or pastors are common, however their attempts are usually unsuccessful, a suggestion that the force cannot be defeated or controlled, an idea that will terrify the audience.. • Contortion of the body, self harming and levitation are all common symptoms of being possessed. • The eyes of the victim usually roll or glaze over. Usually appearance is affected
  15. 15. Common Conventions Cont. • The victim is usually young or otherwise innocent and naive. She may be particularly religious or may have lived a sheltered existence. Children often become vessels of evil too, as being young and vulnerable they are easier to overtake and control.
  16. 16. Gothic Gothic horrors are what most of the earlier horror films were. Films like Nosferatu and Dracula are considered gothic, because they are dark, feature strange/mythical characters and take place in far off lands.
  17. 17. Common Conventions • Often set in the past. • Sometimes in far off, mystical lands. • Dark and gloomy mise-en-scene. • Castles, graveyards and forests are common settings. • Fog and mist usually fills the air, adding atmosphere and creating a sense of foreboding. • Mythical monsters can be found such as werewolves and vampires.
  18. 18. Common Conventions Cont. • Male character is usually the stereotypical good looking action hero (The Huntsman - Chris Hemsworth - in Snow white and the huntsman.) • Female characters are usually the damsel in distress, thus presenting a traditional representation of gender. • They often put a dark twist on fairytale stories and events. (i.e. Red Riding Hood - 2011)
  19. 19. Sci-Fi This sub genre has given birth to some of the most well known horror films, with films like Alien, Predator and Pitch Black all earning cult status and inspiring several sequels, prequels and video games for each.
  20. 20. Common Conventions • Main characters start being killed off by some unknown force, and the monster is only revealed later in the movie. • Can be very gory. • Normally very high budget but high grossing too. • Enemy is usually some form of alien creature or infection. • The main character is usually accompanied by a group of people that will get smaller in numbers until only a small number remain (two or three)
  21. 21. Common Conventions Cont. two or three are left at the end. • Usually have a final resolution, the good guy wins, the alien is dead. • The almost mandatory sequel is not usually as good as the original. • The creature usually hunts the humans and stays in the dark. • Jump scares can be common.
  22. 22. Comedy Comedy horror movies have only recently become popular and after the success of films like Zombieland and Shawn of the Dead. They usually rip off famous scenes from already well known horror films for added value and to spark recognition in the audience’s mind.
  23. 23. Common Conventions • Usually overplay certain conventions for laughs. • Main character is usually a nerd or layabout and generally not suited for the situation. • Main character is usually paired with an attractive female (who can normally protect herself but will, at one point, be a damsel in distress,) and a handsome, strong hero character who will help him out ( like Tallahassee in Zombieland)
  24. 24. Common Conventions Cont. • Main character will make some slip ups along the way (like the unintentional killing of Bill Murray in Zombieland) but will usually rise to the challenge and prove himself. • Many of the things that other horrors take seriously may be used satirically in this genre.
  25. 25. • This scene from Zombieland is when the main character (Jesse Eisenberg) is laying down his basic rules for surviving an apocalypse. • These are done for comedy value, but also show an awareness of zombie sub- genre conventions and play off of them for added comedy value. (i.e. The zombie isn’t actually dead jump scare – double tap)

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