MY TOP 5 HORROR SUB-GENRES

I don’t know about you guys but I LOVE Horror movies. With Halloween looming, and so many Horror movies out there to see, I started to think about what kind of Horror movies I like the best. Here are my Top 5 (in order):

5. SLASHER FILMS.

Examples: Prom Night, Black Christmas, Scream

I don’t know about you but, aside from burning alive and drowning, being stabbed has always seemed like the worst way to go out. I’ve often said I could die a happy man if I could just manage to avoid being stabbed in my life. While the Slasher Film has lost a lot of what made it so popular in the 70’s and 80’s the films featuring mad men lurking in the shadows with a large butcher’s knife still get my goat!

4. MOVIE MONSTERS.

Examples: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Child’s Play

I touched on this in our Top 15 Horror Movie Baddies post. There’s something great about a Horror movie that is set around an interesting villain with a rich mythology. In a way, by creating a deep back story for these movie maniacs, we feel compelled not only to root for their victims but for the baddies themselves. Plus, it makes everything they do seem justifiable in a twisted way and all the more creepy. 

3. TORTURE PORN.

Examples: Hostel, Wrong Turn, Midnight Meat Train, Saw

Gorefests like these aren’t for everyone but for someone as tainted as me they are pure bloody candy! I must admit that they have begun to grow a bit wearisome. I still don’t mind the more mainstream gorefests out there but the secondary market on these films has gotten really bad. The fact that someone is having their arm sawed off or their eye removed in a slow and arduous manner is not what makes these films fun. It’s the story surrounding why. Still, I love seeing some limbs unnecessarily amputated in interesting new ways!

2. “REAL-LIFE” FOOTAGE FILMS.

Examples: The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity

Films like these are hard to do. The 2 above are the only 2 I can think of that have completely got it right. When these films fail, you feel like you’re watching a movie the second the first image hits the screen. When it mildly succeeds, you get  something like the 4th Kind. However, when a filmmaker nails it, you get some of the most terrifying images ever caught on film. The realism is what makes these films work and if it’s done right, well, good luck sleeping tonite.

1. END OF THE WORLD SCENARIOS.

Examples: Night of the Living Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, [REC], 28 Weeks Later

I don’t know if these are the scariest films out there but I still LOVE any film that grapples with the topic of humans trying to survive in a world they have lost control of and that is slowly trying to consume them. Be it an alien invasion, an infectious outbreak, Zombies or pod people, these movies are money in my book!

What about you guys? What are your favorite types of Horror films?

27 Responses to “MY TOP 5 HORROR SUB-GENRES”

  1. We are in a different path here 😉
    I like watching those sub-genres (minus slasher) but I don’t consider them as horror just thriller.
    The one that I enjoy the most and considered to be Horror is Ghost story, like Horror movies from Japan, Korea, China and Thailand…From hollywood will be The 6th sense, The poltergiest, The Others, and other ghost stories. I enjoy being goosebumped by those movies.

    • You don’t think of the Jason or Freddy films or films like Hostel as being Horror?

      • Nope…for me that kind of movies are exciting, it thrills me but it doesn’t make me look back over my shoulder.

        I guess culture makes big different, I believe there is ghost but I don’t believe there is monster like freddy.

  2. Paragraph Film Reviews Says:

    Great list dude. I’m all about the B-Movies, despite never rating one higher than a 5-6 they’re just so awesome, and it’s totally worth sitting through 3,000 cheesy/shit ones to find that golden nugget. Can’t believe Zombie Flicks didn’t get their own slot here though.

    Video Nasties / Women in Prison / Grindhouse / Shock / J-Horror – so many to choose from!!

    • Bruce Wayne Says:

      Kai called it end of the world instead of zombies because he wouldn’t have been able to put [REC] or 28 days later in there because THEY ARE NOT ZOMBIES!

    • I had to lump Zombies into a type. I like all different takes on those kind of films.
      As far as B-movies, I watch ALL the Zombie ones and they’re always soooo bad but I gotta see them! Love me some friggin Zombies!

  3. Great top 5. I’m not a fan of the torture porn films though. I think my favourite horror genres are things like the contemporary vampire films (Near Dark, Martin, From Dust Till Dawn, Fright Night, The Lost Boys), modern ghost/devil stories (The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, The Omen), and slasher films (but the old ones including Scream…none of the remakes). Oh, and the stuff coming out o South Korea is pretty good too!

    • Bruce Wayne Says:

      Rosemay’s Baby is one of my all time favorites. I showed my wife that movie and she has never forgiven me for it; perhaps it was because she was pregnant at the time.

      • Koreans and Japanese do GREAT Horror.
        I love modern day Vampires (check back Tuesday for that list!) but there not my tops in Horror.
        I have mixed reactions toward demon movies. Can’t watch Exorcist all the way thru but love Paranormal. Ghosts are the worst for me as I rarely find them scary!

  4. End of the world scenarios are always the best! I have never seen any real-life “footage” horror movie unless you count Cloverfield (muahah yea don’t laugh, it was creepy for me lol). I’m not really into Torture porn though, never thought much of Saw and other related films.

  5. Think I could do without torture porn, but all about End of the World. Love that Body Snatchers remake with Sutherland, too. I feel everyone forgets that one.

  6. End of the world tops, no contest. In my opnion. Yeah.

  7. I agree with your list, but not your examples. Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Child’s Play are slasher movies, not monster movies. The monster subgenre is like… Godzilla, Cloverfield, The Fly, almost 90% of Sci-Fi Channel original movies.

    I’ve also strongly disagreed that the first Saw is torture porn. I can give you most of the sequels, but not the first one. I also wouldn’t categorize Midnight Meat Train as torture porn. It’s a supernatural slasher (in the same vein as Freddy or Jason, just not as iconic).

    • Completely agree about Saw. Brilliant film!
      Midnight Meat Train is a torture porn with a Supernatural ending but along that line of thought wouldn’t Child’s Play be Supernatural due to all the Voodoo?
      Couldn’t disagree about Freddy and Jason more but don’t have the enrgy so soon off our Zombie discussion! 🙂
      You do have me on the monster designation though. I wanted to reference a toy line and call them Movie Maniacs but thought people would find that more confusing. Also, don’t think of Godzilla as horror.

      • I’m not sure how Midnight Meat Train is more torture porn than slasher… you’ll have to explain that one to me. To me, torture porn is senseless, brutal killing in creative ways just for the sake of excessive blood/gore. Midnight Meat Train is bloody, but it wasn’t senseless, and it was a serial killer scenario, which typically falls under slasher. It’s no worse than the Nightmare on Elm Street films.

        I agree with your Child’s Play comment. In fact, I was gonna make mention of Child’s Play, Elm Street, and Friday the 13th were all Supernatural Slashers (except the first and arguably second Friday the 13th films, which are just regular slashers). I mean, I know where you’re coming from calling them monsters. I’m not gonna argue that point, and I’m not adamant about it or anything. But I see them first and foremost as slasher films before I’d categorize them as monster movies.

        As for Gozilla… I don’t think of the original Frankenstein as horror–as it’s kinda silly and not scary–but it still is.

  8. I’m not a fan of the “torture porn” films in even the slightest degree. In fact I’d rather sit around counting the number of individual hairs on a cat than bother with them. Then again, I’m a weird person so that may not be saying much.

    End of the World films are always fun, though I tend to enjoy post-apocalyptic films (even if they aren’t generally “horror” films). Slasher films are good fun, but they tend to approach Monster films as they go on in the series.

  9. I’d agree with Slasher and End of the World. I find torture porn and monsters movies to rely too much on gore and shock value instead of true horror. There’s nothing really scary about them for me. As for found footage films, I usually find them terrrifying the first time, but they lose some of their effect after mulitple viewings, more than any other sub-genre.

    Creative list for this time of year, Kai!

  10. Horror comedy, duh!

  11. I’m a sucker for Movie Monsters – even if I’m a yeller belly and don’t wantch them all that much. From the classic Wolfman, Dracula, Frankenstein triumvirate – but it’s ghost stories that really freak the crap out of me – the unseen menace… The Shining is technically a ghost story – one that turns into kind of a slasher film.

    • I guess I need to rewatch Shining because it never scared me and I remember not loving it but everyone goes ape shit for it every Halloween so I think I’ll go back and give it another watch!

      • In this, we are same Kai, I also don’t like the shining. The reason is simple, I love the book too much and the movie let me down.

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