Saturday, August 22, 2009

Horror Movies Defined

     I have not seen every horror movie ever made, so there are going to be some exclusions that I must apologize for. I do not know what those exclusions are, since I can only tell you about those horror movies I have actually watched. There are thousands of different horror movies and due to the large amount, it is too broad a category to signify with one list. Thus, it is necessary to subcategorize the genre known as horror. These subcategories are my opinions, based on what I have seen. Someone else would likely make different subcategories, or make none at all.

    These are my subcategories of horror movies, along with my top picks:

          A realistic horror movie is based on events that happened sometime in the past or could happen right now. It does not invoke any monsters, aliens, ghosts, dinosaurs, or zombies for scaring crowds. However, it can use viruses - because viruses are real.
Top Pick: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Other significant releases : Silence of the Lambs, The Last House on the Left (1972), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Hostel, Hostel II, Devil's Rejects, Audition, Blue Sunshine

          A supernatural horror movie uses ghosts, demons, bogeymen, trolls, gods, etc. This type of movie can also rely heavily upon possession. Vampires seem to be a main theme in this category, however. And Asian horror heavily invokes the supernatural.
          Top Pick: Hellraiser (1987)
          Other Significant Releases: The Exorcist, The Shining, Amityville Horror II, Hellraiser II, A Tale of Two Sisters, The Ring, Mirrors, Whispering Corridors, The Eye, Uzumaki (Spiral), Demon Knight, Phantasm II, An American Werewolf in London, Scarecrows

          I would guess there are more than 100 different zombie movies, so this is complicated enough to deserve its own subcategory. A zombie is not a cannibal nor a virus infected person. If zombies were cannibals then they would eat each other and if they were infected with a virus, then they would be alive. A zombie is a dead human that eats living humans.
          Top Pick: Dawn of the Dead (1978)
          Other Significant Releases: Return of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Bangkok Zombie Crisis, Shaun of the Dead

          This type of horror movie involves something that did not originate on the Earth or takes place on an environment that is not the Earth. Supernatural environments do not qualify as extraterrestrial, although they are technically so.
           Top Pick: Alien (1979)
           Other Significant Releases: The Thing, Aliens, Predator, Predator 2, Sunshine, Event Horizon, Alien 3, Alien 4, Alien vs. Predator 2

          A horror movie based on zoology, or the study of animals, is one that exaggerates or offers variations on, the reality of animals. Dinosaurs are a main theme in this category. Bear in mind that humans are also animals, and so variations on humans qualify.
          Top Pick: The Descent (2005)
Other Significant Releases: Jurassic Park, Jaws, The Host, Kingdom of the Spiders

          This type of movie shows a lot of people being killed in various ways, by some sort of stalking human or supernatural human. These are not realistic because the antagonist often displays superhuman strength or healing abilities.
          Top Pick: Halloween (2007)
Other Significant Releases: Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th

          I'm not sure how to classify some movies, so they are just 'other'.
          Top Pick: The Stuff (1985)
Other Significant Releases: Can't think of any.
Some notes about what I have typed:
  • 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later are often erroneously labeled as "zombie" movies. I must point out that the people are infected with a virus, which is similar to rabies. Also, they are not dead. Those movies are realistic.
  • The creatures in The Descent were possible variations on humans, so I could technically move that to the Realistic subcategory. Their existence could come about by species cleavage, which is explained by phylogenetic systematics.
  • A vampire is not a possible variation on a human, so all vampire movies are supernatural.
  • The Host used a fish, heavily mutated, by chemicals. 

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