10 Different Types of Horror Movies and what makes them, different
I have been a fan of different types of horror movies since quite some time. When I was kid, I used to watch horror shows with my eyes closed (as if that really helped anyone), and since then I was always fascinated by the unknown. Having watched countless horror films from various sub-genres, I thought what better way to put a list of 10 different types of horror films, and the best in that genre so as to make the comparison between them a bit fairer. (Though there is a lot of overlap in genre, I have tried my best to make each one a unique identity)
1. The One that Spooks!
Probably one of the most popular kind of horror, the spooky ones will generally involve a family moving to a suburban location, a haunted house and maybe a possessed kid thrown in for good measure. These movies thrive on jump scaring the audience, most often the doors will open slow, and of course the biggest cliché in this genre is the protagonist checking for the source of the ‘sound’. Various movies come to mind when I think of the spooky genre in different types of horror movies, but only a few stand out.
Here are some great spooky horror films.
The Best: It Follows (2014)
Brilliant premise and a near flawless execution, It follows is a movie without a single jump scare. Yes, you read that right! There’s not one. And yet, it manages to give you the scare in every scene that matters. Easily one of the best horror film of all time. We’ve had discussed this movie at length in our It Follows review last year
The Sixth Sense
(come to think of it, why do horror movies have ‘the’ in the title)
2. The Suspense/Thriller Horror
This type of horror film may or may not have a ghost or another worldy being. Maybe, it’s all happening inside your head. It usually involves a crime or mystery that needs to be uncovered and so begins the drama and thus the horror creeps in.
Here are some great suspense horror films
The Best: The Conjuring (2013)
This film stands apart for the simple reason that, though it’s filled with clichés, in it’s pure form, is a suspenseful horror. You are a part of an investigation, through the eyes of Ed and Lorraine Warren and unravel the mystery. What makes it better is that this movie is inspired by a true incident that took place in the early 70s and works like a good investigative film as well. Last year we covered the review of The Conjuring in detail.
Silence of the Lambs
The Woman in Black
3. The Monster Horror
Monsters are scary! We all have heard stories of the boogieman hiding under our beds or maybe a gigantic lizard crawling through the city turning people into their dinner. Most of the early horror films like Dracula, Nosferatu, Attack of 50 ft Women, Godzilla belong to this genre and these days it’s a rare occurrence. However here’s the pick from the best.
The Best: The Mist (2007)
Mist starts off as a I-know-whats-gonna-happen kinda horror flick, but after a group of citizens are trapped inside a supermarket, things turn from bad to worse in a matter of minutes. It’s very rare to see that a monster movie can create such deep and enthralling moments even without showing the monster. And that’s for most part of the film. It’s engaging because you are involved in an escape plan along with the group and what they have to go through to survive what they don’t even know lurks outside the Supermarket.
The Hills have eyes
4. The Zombie Horror
I don’t think this genre type needs any explanation. The apocalypse has struck and the world is in chaos. Zombie movies are mostly made for entertainment than scare. It’s the thrill of a chase or an escape in the midst of the disaster and it kinda overlaps the survival horror genre because that’s what zombie types of horror movies are generally all about. Survival.
The Best: 28 Days Later (2002)
Easily the best zombie horror film ever made, 28 Days later is pure masterpiece when it comes to showing the zombie apocalypse in it’s full form. You have zombies ambushing you are every corner, running behind you, strategizing to attack you and doing everything what you did not expect a zombie to do, cause you know, they are supposed to be dumb. But 28 days later turn the tables on its head and gave us one adrenaline rush of a film.
Dawn of the Dead
28 Weeks Later
Train to Busan
World War Z
5. The Survival Horror Film
Most types of horror movies are survival stories, so why have a separate category? There are a number of such films where the idea of survival was presented in a very unique way itself.
The Best: Gravity (2013)
Before you go guns-blazing on me, I have really thought about this a lot and there is no better genre that ‘Gravity’ fits into, than a survival horror film. The vast emptiness of the space and the plain passion for survival makes this an intense tale of a woman who wants to stay alive. It’s a horrifying film that still gives me the shudders to even think of.
I Am Legend
Cabin in the Woods
6. The Spiritual Horror
It’s the age old idea of good vs evil that gives birth to this type of horror in our list of different types of horror movies. You have forces of evil vs the forces of good engaged in battle which either involves possession of a human being or a thing. It’s mainstream, but very rarely do these work.
Yet, there is no better film than…
The Best: The Exorcist (1973)
An evil spirit possessing the body of a girl is enough of a plot to keep me intrigued. William Friedkin’s this classic tale is a lesson for anybody looking for a good horror film. The inclusion of religious sentiment and the evil dark force together is a battle that sometimes need telling in a compelling manner as is done in The Exorcist.
Exorcism of Emily Rose
7. The Footage Horror
This genre is not really a genre, but more so the style of execution of the film. Relies on the idea of making the audience believe that everything that is happening happened for real. It was pioneered by Blair Witch Project and since then has been adapted in a list of different types of horror movies.
But then again, there is a film that is a better than the pioneer itself
The Best: [REC] (2007)
Rec takes the idea of found footage and brings it to us in a neatly wrapped television report for a documentary. A night of news coverage for a local news channel, turns into a fight for survival as the crew is trapped in a building that is set up for quarantine. What happens next is both, bold and unnerving as the crew captures everything that happens in the building premise through their hand-held. It’s a movie you wouldn’t want to miss if you love movie making on a low budget.
The Blair Witch Project
8. The Slasher
Another genre that became quite common in the 70s & 80s. They are usually less on storytelling and more about the action involved. A group of friend on a vacation and a murderer on the loose. That’s essentially the plot of most slasher films. But here too, there are some that have stood their ground in their own right.
The Best: Halloween (1978)
Can you expect any less from John Carpenter? Well, the answer is no. 4 years before he made the very terrifying The Thing, Carpenter already had an A-cred for himself with the legendary, Halloween. The movie follows the story Mike Myers, a killer on the loose. A group of tourist, can they survive the night? It’s a classic tale that has since been adapted all along.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Friday the 13th
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
9. The Gory Horror
Even though you may not like it, there are a number of people who really love this shit. Gory types of horror movies are probably the most disgusting piece of cinema that’s there for viewing. It’s also known as torture porn. However, though I may not be a big fan of this genre, there is no denying that some movies have really created a great niche for themselves out here. And might I add, well deserved.
The Best: Saw (2004)
Saw defines Gory Horror, yet it’s much more. I have seen all 7 of them, but none come close to the classic first installment of James Wan. It’s a mind-game between the audience and the movie. You sit through the torture of other people on screen, nail-biting, squirming, but never withdrawing from it, simply because it is intense. And, it’s intense because of the question is throws at the viewer – What would you do if you were in this situation? The Saw series’ antagonist, Jigsaw, plays a torture puzzle game from which the victim has to escape – but – there’s a catch – the person has to complete the puzzle within a set time, or time.
10. The Comedy Horror
It’s an oxymoron, really! You really require a twisted sense of humour to really pull this one off. These movies could be spoofs, or spin-offs or really independent ideas of supernatural, but nonetheless these kinda films are rare and mostly turn out to be real bad attempts at generating laughs.
But there are some that shine in this genre, and I don’t think my favourite movie here, needs any introduction.
The Best: Shaun of the Dead (2004)
This is what I call a cult film. You take an idea and turn it over completely mix it with the combination of Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and of course British Humour and you have a laugh riot of a zombie apocalypse. Shaun of the Dead is probably one of those movies that I can watch again and again and never get bored. It’s entertaining to see a group of ‘survivors’ struggling their way in the apocalypse and behaving so unlike heroes. Makes me think, I’ll probably be like them if the zombies ever strike.
Dale and Tucker vs Evil
The Final Girls
What we do in the shadows
Horror genre is really a diverse one and there could be many variations and techniques to make these, however all these different types of horror movies have become more of a laughing stock than being the scare fest. There is a need for innovation in horror, as I think it’s being loaded with crap movies with clichés thrown around all the time. My next article is going to be covering the aspect of Innovations in Horror that are needed and why? So, subscribe for our next post – Depart with your email id.
Meanwhile, tell us what’s your favourite genre of horror and your favourite types of horror movies. And yea, do tell me whether you agree with my list or not. It’s always a pleasure to read comments.