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The Horror Genre

The horror genre

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  • 1. The Horror Genre

2. Genre
What is genre?
A genre is essentially the type of film. The various aspects of a film decide which genre the film is. Some films can fall into more than one category (e.g. Romanic comedy is both romance and comedy) these are called hybrid genres.
3. Genre
Example of horror hybrids are:
The Cottage
Shaun of the dead:
Army of darkness
These are all both horrors and comedies, so they are horror comedy hybrids
4. D.I.S.T.I.N.C.T
Technical code
5. Setting
The setting is where the film is set, for a horror film are usually isolated, abandoned or locations with a hidden past, this can create a sense of tension and how they are alone, these are usually set at night time. However the setting for a horror genre is varied and can be set in almost any location at any time of day.
6. Setting
Clich examples of films with these settings would be:
Silent hill:
Set in a village that Has a hidden past
Secret window:
Set in an isolated area
Friday the 13th:
Set in an abandoned location
7. Setting
Films with more original setting locations would include:
The Thing:
Set in Antarctica
Ghost ship:
Set aboard a ship
28 days later:
Set in broad daylight London
8. Technical code
Camera work is expressive rather than naturalistic. Using weird angles and canted cameras are common in horror movies. As well as this horror films often use extreme close ups and Point of view shots in order to express fear or to make the audience feel more involved or to add tension.
9. Technical code
Examples of this camera work would include:
The Blair witch project:
Constant use of close and extreme close ups to display fear
The silence of the lambs:
Uses point of view shots to add tension
Clover field:
Uses point of view and canted angles to make the audience feel more involved
10. Iconography
Visual things that signify the genre, colours like black and red often do this on movie posters and use blue filters are used in the film in order to show that this is a horror film. The mise-en-scene of any horror film also help show that the film is a horror film by using such props as Knives, axes, guns and of course blood.
11. Iconography
Notice how all three of these horror films have a blue filter? It's called digital colour correction. Back in the day, if you wanted your movie to have an artistic, stylish colour palette, you had to go through the process of using filters on your lights and camera, or get the footage exposed just the right way. It was expensive, it was difficult and it was limited to people who really knew what they were doing. Now days due to advances in computer technology all horror films can have this eerie blue effect with some simple computer editing.
The ring
Night mare on elm street
12. Iconography
The same applies to other genres and settings
Films set in the desert are yellow
Films where the reality is off-kilter are green
Fight club
Smokin' Aces
The hills have eyes
The Matrix
13. Iconography
Notice how often axes are used as weapons in horror films? They are a iconic prop in horror films and a Clichexample of horror mise-en-scene, other examples would include almost any bladed weapons but also certain creatures, costumes and even certain actors.
Friday the 13th
The Shinning
14. Narrative Structure
The narrative structure is basically how the story is told and in horror films they usually have a cliff hanger at the end of the movie and a kind of never ending plot.
15. Narrative Structure
Examples of this kind of narrative structure would include:
Nightmare on Elm street:
Has been remade and squealed countless times
Plot always cliff hangs
Friday the 13th:
The antagonist always survives at the end
16. Character Types
These are the different types of characters which make up a film and how the audience identifies them.
17. Character Types
Such characters include:

  • The Protagonist: This is often a female role, they are usually the most morally standing and smartest of the group, they almost always survive in order to pave way for a sequel

18. The Sex appeal: This role is often filled by a promiscuous blonde women, they are often the first to be killed and are the first to exposes their body 19. The Irritating guy: This role is often partnered with the sex appeal they to are often the first to go and due to their behaviour the audience is usually happy when they are killed off. 20. The Token Black guy: Almost every horror film now days has at least one black guy, they are often the one to sacrifice them selves to save others or to act as the muscle of the group but can sometimes also take the role of The Irritating guy 21. The one who gets his comeuppance: This role is sometimes a side kick of the antagonist they are only interested in their own well being but they are always killed off before the end. 22. The unlikely hero: This character is usually the one the audience suspects to be the antagonist due to their behaviour and/or appearance but they are often the one to save the day 23. The antagonist: The Bad Guy of the film, its not always clear why there are doing what they are doing but they are rarely killed off all together at the end, they are often just wounded to allow the protagonist to escape but still leave room for a sequel