Horror Horror Sub-Genres


An Old Friend
Dec 6, 2004
Gulf Coast
Some subgenres of horror include action horror, comedy horror, body horror, disaster horror, holiday horror, horror drama, psychological horror, science fiction horror, slasher horror, supernatural horror, gothic horror, natural horror, zombie horror, first-person horror and teen horror.

Action horror
A subgenre combining the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage of horror movies with the weapon fights and frenetic chases of the action genre. Themes or elements often prevalent in typical action-horror films include gore, demons, aliens, vicious animals, vampires and, most commonly, zombies. This category also fuses the fantasy genre.
Aliens ( 1986 )
Aliens: The planet from Alien has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?

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  • Currently 3.88/5
(1599 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 8.4/10 Metascore: 87% RT: 98%
July 18, 1986
Runtime: 137 mins
Genres: Action Horror Sci-Fi Thriller
Countries: USA UK
Director: James Cameron
Actors: Al Matthews Alan Polonsky Alibe Parsons Bill Paxton Blain Fairman Daniel Kash Jenette Goldstein Lance Henriksen Mark Rolston Michael Biehn Paul Maxwell Paul Reiser Ricco Ross Sigourney Weaver Tip Tipping Valerie Colgan William Armstrong William Hope

Horror adventure -
A film that blends expeditions, exploration, exotic places and other adventure elements in a horror setting.
The Descent ( 2005 )
The Descent: A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

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  • Currently 4.02/5
(767 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 7.3/10 Metascore: 71% RT: 85%
March 11, 2005
Runtime: 99 mins
Genres: Drama Thriller Horror Adventure
Countries: UK
Director: Neil Marshall
Actors: Alex Reid Craig Conway MyAnna Buring Natalie Jackson Mendoza Nora-Jane Noone Oliver Milburn Saskia Mulder Shauna MacDonald

Comedy horror
Combines elements of comedy and horror fiction. The comedy horror genre often crosses over with the black comedy genre and are occasionally also horror films with a lower rating aimed at a family audience. The short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving is cited as "the first great comedy-horror story".
Slither ( 2006 )
Slither: A small town is taken over by an alien plague, turning residents into zombies and all forms of mutant monsters.

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  • Currently 3.76/5
(455 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 6.5/10 Metascore: 69% RT: 86%
March 31, 2006
Runtime: 95 mins
Genres: Comedy Sci-Fi Horror Zombies
Countries: Canada USA
Director: James Gunn
Actors: Bart Anderson Ben Cotton Brenda James Darren Shahlavi Dee Jay Jackson Don Thompson Dustin Milligan Elizabeth Banks Gregg Henry Haig Sutherland Iris Quinn James Gunn Jenna Fischer Jennifer Copping Kathryn Kirkpatrick Lloyd Kaufman Lorena Gale Malcolm Scott Mary Black Matreya Fedor Michael Cromien Michael Rooker Nathan Fillion Nicholas Podbrey Rob Zombie Robert Musnicki Stephen Park Tania Saulnier Tom Heaton William MacDonald Xantha Radley

Body horror
In which the horror is principally derived from the graphic destruction or degeneration of the body. Other types of body horror include unnatural movements, or the anatomically incorrect placement of limbs to create 'monsters' out of human body parts. David Cronenberg is one of the notable directors of the genre.
The Thing ( 1982 )
The Thing: Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.

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  • Currently 4.18/5
(1038 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 8.2/10 Metascore: N/A RT: N/A
June 25, 1982
Runtime: 109 mins
Genres: Thriller Sci-Fi Horror Mystery
Countries: USA
Director: John Carpenter
Actors: Adrienne Barbeau Charles Hallahan David Clennon Donald Moffat Joel Polis John Carpenter Keith David Kurt Russell Norbert Weisser Peter Maloney Richard Dysart Richard Masur Thomas G Waites TK Carter Wilford Brimley

Horror drama
A film that focuses on imperiled characters dealing with realistic emotional struggles, often involving dysfunctional family relations, in a horror setting. The film's horror elements often serve as a backdrop to an unraveling dramatic plot.
The Babadook ( 2014 )
The Babadook: A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

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  • Currently 3.71/5
(488 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 6.9/10 Metascore: 86% RT: 98%
November 28, 2014
Runtime: 93 mins
Genres: Drama Horror Thriller
Director: Jennifer Kent
Actors: Adam Morgan Essie Davis Tiffany Lyndall-Knight

Holiday horror
Involves a psychopathic killer stalking a sequence of victims in a violent manner during Christmas. The murders are often committed by someone dressed as Santa Claus, a snowman, an elf, or other Christmas character.
Black Christmas ( 1974 )
Black Christmas: A sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break.

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  • Currently 3.61/5
(182 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 7.2/10 Metascore: N/A RT: 63%
October 11, 1974
Runtime: 98 mins
Genres: Thriller Horror Mystery
Countries: Canada
Director: Bob Clark
Actors: Andrea Martin Art Hindle Bob Clark David Clement Doug McGrath Jack Van Evera John Rutter John Saxon John Stoneham Sr Julian Reed Keir Dullea Les Rubie Leslie Carlson Lynne Griffin Marcia Diamond Margot Kidder Martha Gibson Nick Mancuso Olivia Hussey Robert Hawkins Robert Warner

Psychological horror
Relies on characters' fears, guilt, beliefs, eerie sound effects, relevant music, emotional instability and at times, the supernatural and ghosts, to build tension, scare and further the plot.
The Shining ( 1980 )
The Shining: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

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  • Currently 4.18/5
(1264 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 8.5/10 Metascore: 61% RT: 92%
May 23, 1980
Runtime: 142 mins
Genres: Horror Thriller
Countries: UK USA
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Actors: Anne Jackson Barry Dennen Barry Nelson Burnell Tucker David Baxt Derek Lyons Jack Nicholson Jana Shelden Joe Turkel Manning Redwood Philip Stone Scatman Crothers Shelley Duvall Tony Burton

Science fiction horror
Often revolves around subjects that include but are not limited to killer aliens, mad scientists, and/or experiments gone wrong.
Frankenstein ( 1931 )
Frankenstein: Horror classic in which an obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

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  • Currently 3.41/5
(132 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 8.0/10 Metascore: N/A RT: 100%
November 21, 1931
Runtime: 70 mins
Genres: Thriller Sci-Fi Horror
Countries: USA
Director: James Whale
Actors: Arletta Duncan Boris Karloff Carmencita Johnson Cecilia Parker Colin Clive Dwight Frye Edward Van Sloan Ellinor Vanderveer Francis Ford Frederick Kerr Inez Palange Jack Curtis John Boles Lionel Belmore Mae Clarke Marilyn Harris Mary Gordon Michael Mark Paul Panzer Pauline Moore Rose Plumer Seessel Anne Johnson Soledad Jimenez Ted Billings William Dyer

Slasher film
Often revolves around a serial killer who systematically murders people through violent means.
Psycho ( 1960 )
Psycho: A young woman steals $40,000 from her employer's client, and subsequently encounters a young motel proprietor too long under the domination of his mother.

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  • Currently 3.97/5
(548 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 8.6/10 Metascore: N/A RT: 96%
June 16, 1960
Runtime: 109 mins
Genres: Horror Mystery Thriller
Countries: USA
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Actors: Alfred Hitchcock Anthony Perkins Chief Tahachee Fletcher Allen Francis De Sales Frank Albertson Frank Killmond Fred Scheiwiller George Dockstader George Eldredge Helen Wallace Janet Leigh Jeanette Nolan John Anderson John Gavin John McIntire Kit Carson Lillian O'Malley Lurene Tuttle Martin Balsam Mort Mills Pat McCaffrie Patricia Hitchcock Sam Flint Simon Oakland Ted Knight Vaughn Taylor Vera Miles Virginia Gregg

Splatter film
These films deliberately focus on graphic portrayals of gore and graphic violence. Through the use of special effects and excessive blood and guts, they tend to display an overt interest in the vulnerability of the human body and the theatricality of its mutilation.
Saw ( 2004 )
Saw: With a dead body laying between them, two men (Whannell and Elwes) wake up in the secure lair of a serial killer who's been nicknamed "Jigsaw" by the police because of his unusual calling card.

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  • Currently 4.05/5
(671 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 7.7/10 Metascore: 46% RT: 48%
January 19, 2004
Runtime: 103 mins
Genres: Horror Mystery Thriller
Countries: USA Australia
Director: James Wan
Actors: Alexandra Bokyun Chun Avner Garbi Benito Martinez Cary Elwes Danny Glover Dina Meyer Hans Raith Ken Leung Leigh Whannell Makenzie Vega Michael Emerson Mike Butters Monica Potter Ned Bellamy Paul Gutrecht Shawnee Smith Tobin Bell

Supernatural horror
Includes menacing ghosts, demons, or other depictions of supernatural occurrences. Supernatural horror films often combine elements of religion into the plot. Common themes include vengeful ghosts, witches, the devil, and demonic possession.
The Exorcist ( 1973 )
The Exorcist: When a teenager is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

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  • Currently 4.14/5
(983 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 8.0/10 Metascore: 82% RT: 87%
December 26, 1973
Runtime: 122 mins
Genres: Drama Thriller Horror
Countries: USA
Director: William Friedkin
Actors: Arthur Storch Barton Heyman Dick Callinan Donna Mitchell Eileen Dietz Ellen Burstyn Jack MacGowran Jason Miller John Mahon Kitty Winn Lee J Cobb Linda Blair Mary Boylan Mason Curry Max von Sydow Mercedes McCambridge Peter Masterson Robert Gerringer Robert Symonds Ron Faber Roy Cooper Rudolf Schündler Titos Vandis Wallace Rooney

Gothic horror
Gothic horror is a type of story that contains elements of goth and horror. At times it may have romance that unfolds in the setting of a horror tale, usually suspenseful. Some of the earliest horror movies were of this subgenre.
Dracula: The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

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  • Currently 3.25/5
(425 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 7.6/10 Metascore: N/A RT: 91%
February 14, 1931
Runtime: 75 mins
Genres: Horror
Countries: USA
Director: Tod Browning
Actors: Bela Lugosi Carla Laemmle Charles K Gerrard Daisy Belmore David Manners Donald Murphy Dorothy Tree Dwight Frye Edward Van Sloan Frances Dade Geraldine Dvorak Helen Chandler Herbert Bunston Joan Standing John George Michael Visaroff Nicholas Bela Tod Browning Wyndham Standing

Natural horror
A subgenre of horror films "featuring nature running amok in the form of mutated beasts, carnivorous insects, and normally harmless animals or plants turned into cold-blooded killers." This genre may sometimes overlap with the science fiction and action and adventure genres.
Jaws ( 1975 )
Jaws: When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

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  • Currently 3.98/5
(615 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 8.1/10 Metascore: 79% RT: 98%
June 20, 1975
Runtime: 124 mins
Genres: Thriller Adventure
Countries: USA
Director: Steven Spielberg
Actors: Allison Caine Ayn Ruymen Carl Gottlieb Chris Anastasio Denise Cheshire Duncan Inches Jeffrey Kramer Lorraine Gary Murray Hamilton Richard Dreyfuss Robert Shaw Roy Scheider Steven Spielberg Susan Backlinie Ted Grossman

Zombie film
Zombie films feature creatures who are usually portrayed as either reanimated corpses or mindless human beings. Distinct subgenres have evolved, such as the zombie comedy, which may or may not retain a significant horror theme, and often crosses into black comedy.
Night of the Living Dead ( 1968 )
Night of the Living Dead: A group of people hide from bloodthirsty zombies in a farmhouse.

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  • Currently 3.81/5
(304 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 8.0/10 Metascore: N/A RT: 96%
October 01, 1968
Runtime: 96 mins
Genres: Thriller Sci-Fi Horror Zombies
Countries: USA
Director: George A. Romero
Actors: Charles Craig Debbie Rochon Duane Jones George A Romero Grant Cramer John A Russo John Simpson Robert Harvey Russell Streiner S William Hinzman

Found footage horror:
A film "technique" sometimes referred to as a subgenre which involves giving the audience a first person view of the story that is discovered from an original recording source within the plot. Recording film in this way merges the audience with the character’s experiences inducing suspense, shock, and bafflement.
The Blair Witch Project ( 1999 )
The Blair Witch Project: In October of 1994, three student film makers disappeared in the woods near Burkittesville, Maryland. One year later, their footage was found.

  • Currently 3.39/5
(925 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 6.4/10 Metascore: 81% RT: 87%
January 25, 1999
Runtime: 81 mins
Genres: Thriller Horror Mystery
Countries: USA
Director: Daniel Myrick
Actors: Heather Donahue Joshua Leonard Mark Mason Michael C Williams

Teen horror
A horror subgenre that victimizes teenagers while usually promoting strong, anti-conformity teenage leads, appealing to young generations. This subgenre often depicts themes of sex, under-aged drinking, and gore.
Scream ( 1996 )
Scream: A psychopathic serial killer is stalking a group of teens just like in the movies!

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  • Currently 4.01/5
(746 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 7.2/10 Metascore: 65% RT: 78%
December 18, 1996
Runtime: 111 mins
Genres: Crime Horror Mystery Thriller
Countries: USA
Director: Wes Craven
Actors: Courteney Cox David Arquette David Booth Drew Barrymore Frances Lee McCain Henry Winkler Jamie Kennedy Joseph Whipp Kevin Patrick Walls Liev Schreiber Linda Blair Matthew Lillard Neve Campbell Roger Jackson Rose McGowan Ryan Kennedy Skeet Ulrich W Earl Brown Wes Craven

A horror film is a movie that seeks to elicit a physiological reaction, such as an elevated heartbeat, through the use of fear and shocking one’s audiences. Inspired by literature from authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, the horror genre has existed for more than a century. The macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Horror may also overlap with the fantasy, supernatural fiction and thriller genres.

Horror films often deal with viewers' nightmares, fears, revulsions and terror of the unknown. Plots within the horror genre often involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage into the everyday world. Prevalent elements include ghosts, aliens, vampires, werewolves, demons, satanism, gore, torture, vicious animals, evil witches, monsters, zombies, cannibals, psychopaths, natural or man-made disasters, and serial killers.


An Old Friend
Dec 6, 2004
Gulf Coast
I find that Horror is mainly Fictional but there are Horror Films that are NON-FICTION.
I class non-fictional horror films into its unique sub-genre I call Life Horror.

Life Horror -
A classification sub-genre of horror dealing with films depicting the true horrors of society and the actual failure of morality affecting others. The NEWS is full of this sub-genre. Not only are real people capable of horrific deeds, society is focused on horrifying events and attracted to any media depicting such things.
Any person with morality and conscious will find these true films horrific.

Zodiac ( 2007 )
Zodiac: A San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac killer.

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  • Currently 4.01/5
(586 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 7.7/10 Metascore: 78% RT: 89%
March 02, 2007
Runtime: 157 mins
Genres: Drama Thriller Crime Biography
Countries: USA
Director: David Fincher
Actors: Adam Goldberg Adam Trese Anthony Edwards Barry Livingston Betty Murphy Bill Seward Bob Stephenson Brad Carr Brett Rickaby Brian Cox Cabran E Chamberlain Candy Clark Charles Fleischer Charles Schneider Chloë Sevigny Christopher John Fields Clea DuVall Danielle McKee David Alan Hodges David Lee Smith David Winston Barge Dermot Mulroney Donal Logue Ed Setrakian Elias Koteas Felix J Boyle Geoff Callan Ione Skye J Patrick McCormack Jake Gyllenhaal James Carraway James LeGros Janis Jones Jason Wiles Jeffrey Daniel Phillips Jimmi Simpson Joel Bissonnette John Carroll Lynch John Ennis John Getz John Hemphill John Lacy John Mahon John Terry Jules Bruff June Diane Raphael Karina Logue Lee Norris Mark Ruffalo Martin Andris Matt Winston Paul Schulze Pell James Peter Quartaroli Philip Baker Hall Richmond Arquette Robert Downey Jr Shane Woodson Thomas Kopache Tom Verica And a bunch more ....

12 Years a Slave ( 2013 )
12 Years a Slave: Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by ), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist () will forever alter his life.

  • Currently 4.10/5
(1398 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 8.1/10 Metascore: 97% RT: N/A
November 01, 2013
Runtime: 133 mins
Genres: Biography Drama History
Countries: UK USA
Director: Steve McQueen
Actors: Alfre Woodard Benedict Cumberbatch Brad Pitt Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender Paul Dano Paul Giamatti Sarah Paulson Scoot McNairy Taran Killam

Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield ( 2007 )
Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield: Inspired by the true story of one of the most gruesome killers in American history. Now, years after inspiring "Psycho's" Norman Bates...

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  • Currently 3.26/5
(54 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 3.7/10 Metascore: N/A RT: N/A
March 06, 2007
Runtime: 90 mins
Genres: Crime Horror
Countries: USA
Director: Michael Feifer
Actors: Adrienne Frantz Amy Lyndon Caia Coley Corbin Timbrook Jay Wilkins John Burke Kane Hodder Matteo Indelicato Michael Berryman Mike Korich Paige Rowland Priscilla Barnes Sean Stanek Shawn Hoffman Stan Bly Timothy Oman

City of God ( 2002 )
City of God: Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

  • Currently 4.16/5
(1346 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 8.7/10 Metascore: 79% RT: 90%
August 31, 2002
Runtime: 130 mins
Genres: Drama Thriller Crime
Countries: Brazil France
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Actors: Alice Braga Charles Paraventi Edson Montenegro Gero Camilo Graziela Moretto Matheus Nachtergaele