1. Types of horrors
Horrors all tend to have similar
conventions/narratives, however they can
be categorized into different sub-genres,
here are the majority (if not all) the sub-
2. Supernatural/paranormal horrors
• Supernatural/paranormal horrors is the sub-genre that most people think off
when the topic of horror films come up. These types of horrors is a horror that
focuses on devices/ themes that go against the natural world (so events
occurring which are unexplainable). They focus on themes such as witchcraft,
the spirit world and the afterlife, with the antagonist typically coming in the
form of a ghost, spirit, zombie or demon. Or in some cases the antagonist
comes in human form, however it would be through a possession (an example
being ‘The devil inside’ in which the antagonist survives/lives by
possessing/living inside a human body. The victims within these kind of horrors
tend to people at a natural disadvantage, so for example,
• children or the elderly.
• (a good example being Sinister.)
3. Comedy horror
• Whether comedy horrors can actually be considered a certified sub-genre of
the official horror genre or is just simply a comedy film has always been sparked
up for debate. However, despite this, it is still technically a horror. Comedy
horrors tend to take a mockery out of typical horror conventions by mimicking
the stereotypical (or notoriously ‘predictable) storyline of a horror but in an
absurd or ridiculous way – basically being a spoof. Comedy horrors are basically
invented to mock the predictability that comes with horror films. Despite this,
comedy horrors do use typical horror conventions, just adding a little twist to it
and not being as intense as your conventional horror film, as the aim of these
type of horrors is mainly to make the audience laugh however still creating a
little fear factor. A good example would be the scary movie films.
Comedy/spoof horrors tend to include conventions such as the ‘typical blonde
bimbo’, oversexualised teenagers and over exaggerated violence.
4. Psychological horror
• Next up we have the psychological horror genre, which sometimes fits into the
same genre as thrillers as they have typically similar conventions. The intentions
and aims of psychological horror is basically in the aim, they are here to
challenge and create fear within the audience mentally. The majority of these
films are basically brain puzzles which have big twists/cliff hangers that leave the
audience not only most of the time confused and shocked at the ending but also
having unanswered questions. Most people tend to find this genre scarier than
the typical supernatural horror, simply because the narrative focuses on
everyday, real life relatable situations with a dark twist to them (they expose the
evil that hides behind normality). This type of horror relies on the audience’s
fears and emotional instability to build tension with the antagonist generally
appearing normal in most cases.
5. Slasher and body/gory horrors
• A slasher horror film is a horror that focuses on a psychotic (usually masked) killer who
usually kills of his victims with a use of a weapon such as a knife. The antagonist tends to
remain unknown/anonymous typically till the end of the film in which their identity is
revealed. The victims of these type of films tend to fit into the age bracket of teenagers.
These horrors also have a huge specific convention of having a ‘final girl’, this being a
female protagonist who confronts/defeats the antagonist at the end of the film or the
last standing female survivor (an example being Sydney in Scream). The final girl tends to
be less attractive then her peers, very studious, less sexually appealing and a virgin, the
final girl being a basic representation of innocence.
• On the other hand, body and gore-filled horrors do also focus on a psychotic killer, but
the only difference is that the way they kill their victims is usually a form of torture and
grotesque. These films tend to show people with missing body parts or being mutated –
basically there will be a lot of blood!
6. Gothic horror, action horror
• These two are also sub-genres of horror films, however,
they tend to not be as relevant as the ones mentioned in
the previous slides.
• Action horrors are basically described in the name, a horror
that is mainly just action packed, the antagonist being
human and using typically weapons. However this is
debated as just being an action film.
• A gothic horror however is a horror that focuses on gothic
themes such as vampires, werewolves and zombies. It
usually combines themes of romance and horror. A good
example of this being Dracula or Frankenstein.