Let’s get scary with some Horror movies starring Peter Lorre, John Carradine, Vincent Price, Howard Keel, Lee Montgomery, Rock Hudson, Duane Jones, Joseph Cotton, Paul Sorvino, Michael Beck; and actresses Marilyn Eastman, Mary Louise Weller, Beatrice Straight, Susan Anspach, Olivia d’Abo. Some of our famous Horror Movie directors include Wes Craven, William Castle, Ralph Nelson, George Romero, Mel Welles, Herk Harvey and Richard Jefferies.
Horror is a film genre or category seeking to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience’s primal fears. Inspired by literature from authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, horror films have for more than a century featured scenes that startle the viewer. The macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Thus, they may overlap with the fantasy, supernatural, and thriller genres.
Horror films often deal with the viewer’s nightmares, hidden fears, revulsions and terror of the unknown. Plots within the horror genre often involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage, commonly of supernatural origin, into the everyday world. Prevalent elements include: ghosts, aliens, vampires, werewolves, demons, dragons, gore, torture, vicious animals, evil witches, monsters, zombies, cannibals, and serial killers. Conversely, movies about the supernatural are not necessarily always horrific.
Some of the sub-categories or sub-genres of Horror films are:
- Action Horror- A subgenre combining the intrusion of an evil force, event, or supernatural personage of horror movies with the gunfights and frenetic chases of the action genre. Themes or elements often prevalent in typical action-horror films include gore, demons, vicious animals, vampires and, most commonly, zombies. This category also fuses with fantasy.
- 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.
- Comedy horror– Combines the elements of comedy and horror fiction. The comedy horror genre usually features some black comedy. The short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving is cited as “the first great comedy-horror story.”
- Gothic horror– Gothic horror is a type of story that contains elements of Goth and horror. At times, it may have a romance sub-plot that unfolds in the setting of a horror tale, usually suspenseful. Some of the earliest horror movies were of this subgenre.
- 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/adventure
- 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 and further the plot.
- Science fiction horror– Often revolves around subjects that include but are not limited to killer aliens, mad scientists, and/or experiments gone wrong.
- Slasher film– Often revolves around a psychopathic killer stalking and killing a sequence of victims in a graphically violent manner, mainly with a cutting tool such as a knife or axe. Slasher films may at times overlap with the crime, mystery and thriller genre, and they are not all the entire horror genre.
- Splatter film– These films deliberately focus on graphic portrayals of gore and graphic violence. With 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. Not all splatter films are slashers, and not all splatter films are horrors.
- Zombie film– Zombie films feature creatures that are usually portrayed as either reanimated corpses or mindless human beings. Distinct subgenres have evolved, such as the “zombie comedy” or the “zombie apocalypse.”