The genre of a film has an impact on determining who the target audience will be for the film. Subgenres within the film share similar characteristics that anticipate what the audience will like thus targeting them. Think of the main genre as the top of an umbrella with all the other subgenres beneath. A subgenre is a specific category for things that fall under the main genre category. For example, the main genre of horror has many subgenres such as slasher, psychological, supernatural, and much more. The purpose of the horror genre is to scare the audience that is consuming the material. Many key elements go into making a horror film. One key element is the gore and violence shown throughout the story. Uneasy images and blood are used throughout horror movies to make the audience scared of the characters in the film. A second key element used in horror films is jump scares. Jump scares are used during a horror film to scare the audience with an abrupt change in image with loud sound effects. A third key element in horror films is the villain. This can be supernatural, paranormal, or a human being. These three key elements are used in every horror film not depending on the subgenre.
There are many subgenres within horror such as slasher, psychological, supernatural, found footage, and much more. Slasher films involve masked killers who stalk and terrorize their victims which are most likely teenagers. In slasher films, the weapon is handheld giving the murder a personal feeling. There is a common trope that is brought up in many slasher films being the final girl. The final girl is the main character who usually defeats the killer at the end of the film. Psychological horror makes the audience uncomfortable by showing certain anxieties or phobias people may have. The use of emotional horror and mind games plays throughout the character’s storyline. The main characters in the films can be unreliable which makes it a guessing game to believe the truth. Supernatural horror has the villain being something supernatural such as ghosts and demons. The characters in these films can become possessed by these supernatural entities which leads to an exorcism. The setting in these films can also contain a bad past making them haunted by anyone who steps in. Found Footage Horror is a film discovered by someone after a terrible incident happens to the characters in the film. The film is handheld having the camera shake and be unsteady. Films that include or are based around found footage make the audience feel as if this could happen in real life. Sub-genres in horror allow the audience to categorize what type of film they prefer seeing. Such as someone who likes ghosts would like a supernatural film. This is the main target of the audience throughout films.
In my podcast, I summarize and recommend certain horror films within these different subgenres. I do this without spoiling the content.