How would I categorize horror movie sub-genres?

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Answered by: Walter, An Expert in the Sub-Genres of Horror Category
According to Wikipedia horror is a film genre seeking to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's primal fears.

This is a very good description, however saying horror is too broad a generalization. We all have different things that scare us and no two of us are exactly alike. What I would like to do here is take a few of the general horror film categories and break them down making a list of horror movie sub-genres. When you are seeking a movie to give you the shivers these sub-categories can help you find a more satisfying film experience. When you read below you will see that some sub-genres can appear under more than one type of horror film.

Category:Slasher: A lot of people will lose their lives in a violent manner.

Sub-Genres or categories if you prefer:

Inhuman Killers: These are the slashers that have superhuman ability and cannot be killed. One example is Michael Meyers from the "Halloween" films.

Psychopaths: These are average people with mental problems and an urge to kill. I suggest "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" (1986) as an option.

Revenge Killers: The people in these films murder to right a wrong-doing. "Prom Night" (1980) and "I Spit on Your Grave" (1978) and (2010) illustrate this point.

Category: Killer Animals: Animals are on a killing rampage


Killer Animals: These are ordinary animals that seem to have developed a taste for human flesh. "Jaws" (1975) is a prime example.

Extinct Animals: These are animals that were thought to be dead for hundreds of years. "Piranha 3-D" (2010) will give you a taste of that.

Genetically Altered: These are animals man has experimented on creating a new breed. "Man's Best Friend" (1993) and 'Sharktopus" (2010) display these types of animal

Category: Eco-Horror: These are horror films that deal with ecology (nature) so the horror comes from our surroundings.


Killer Animals: I told you that a sub-genre can repeat and in this case all 3 of the animal sub-genres apply here as well.

Cryptids: These are about animals that are rumored to exist but that existence has not been proven like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. A shining example is "Abominable" (2006)

Nature Itself A: This is a type of horror film where things in nature like plants or mountains can have dire consequences if you encounter them as shown in the movie "The Ruins"(2008)

Nature Itself B: This is where man has done something to nature like dump toxic chemicals into water with deadly results. Two examples are "The Crazies" (2010) and "Prophecy" another killer animal (1979)

These are just a few examples. There are many more that we could cover and may at another time. The real trick is deciding what type of horror film you want to see. Then you need to think of horror movie sub-genres that apply to that particular subject. Now think about which of the sub-genres are most appealing to the fear sensors in your brain. Than sit back and enjoy being frightened out of your skin. If you want more information of horror movie sub-categories surf the web. There are many sites exclusively dedicated to horror films. Enjoy!

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