scary movies

Anthology / Asian / Classic / Comedy / Family / Folk / Gothic / Holiday / Monsters / Psychological / Sci-fi / Short / Slashers / Supernatural / Thrillers / Vampires / Zombies
(see also B-movies, giant monsters, horror books, horror webseries, supernatural & paranormal, Halloweenish movies, horror shows, and Halloween TV movies)

Horror encompasses a broad range of subgenres, which can often overlap with one another. And its subgenres can have subgenres of their own. What's more, the various genres of horror can sometimes overlap with various non-horror genres. So it's all pretty complicated, and sometimes can be difficult or even almost arbitrary, whether I decide to include my reviews in this "scary movies" section, or some other section. And when I do choose to put a review here, it may be hard for me to decide which subgenre to list a movie under. (It gets more complicated still, when I'm trying to decide where to list movies I want to see, and once I do see them, I may put the review in a different subsection than I listed them before I saw them.) But anyway, I'll do my best.

About horror subgenres:

Anthologies
Wikipedia
I haven't seen many of these and don't expect to see many more. They are, of course, films that contain more than one story. Anyway, this was the last category I decided to include here, and it's probably the one I'm most likely to eliminate at some point in the future. But, time will tell.

Asian horror
Mostly this will be Japanese horror (or J-horror), but I may include some horror from other Asian countries, like Korea, et al. To be honest, though, I've generally only heard of any Asian horror movies because of American remakes, which I'd probably like better than the originals. Still... I do have some desire to check out the originals, someday. And maybe even some Asian movies that haven't been remade here. We'll see.

Comedy horror
TV Tropes; Wikipedia
There should be a lot of crossover between this genre and B-movies, and some in the supernatural & paranormal section. And... maybe in other sections. (Like, say, comedy.) Anyway... some movies in this category may be heavier on humor than others.

Family horror
This subgenre includes both animated and live-action films. Many of these films barely qualify as "horror," if at all. But some of them may be scarier than your typical kiddie fare. And, of course, "family" doesn't mean "just for kids"; some of the movies here could be enjoyed by people of any age.

Folk horror
TV Tropes
I don't know much about this, but I guess it's a subgenre of "religious horror," which mainly involves pagan faiths, superstitions, cults, and such, though it can sometimes include more modern, mainstream religions. It may or may not involve supernatural elements. It's most likely to be set in rural, isolated communities. It may take place in the distant past or the present, or anytime in between. It probably has elements of psychological horror, and possibly other horror subgenres. I'm not sure there's any sort of consensus on what movies can be considered folk horror; for the most part I'll rely on the judgment of various websites, but I may disagree with some things being called folk horror, as well as judging some things to be folk horror myself, even if other sites don't categorize them as such.

Gothic horror
TV Tropes; Wikipedia
It may be hard for me to say exactly what's meant by this subgenre. I tend to think of it as sort of Victorian, which means most such movies will be set in the 1800s, usually in England. But they can really be set in any time or place, as long as they have a sort of Victorian feel about them. And it's even harder for me to say what I mean by that, though it could involve very old mansions (if set in modern times), which might have been built in the Victorian era. (Or not.) Anyway, there should just be a certain sensibility to these films, a sense of macabre elegance, or what have you. I dunno.

Holiday horror
Wikipedia
The term technically applies to horror movies set on or around Christmas. But I'm going to include horror movies that are specifically set on or around any holiday (provided the holiday plays an important part in the story). ETA: This originally included Halloween, but I later decided to move those movies to their own section.

Monster movies
Wikipedia
When I think of "monster movies," the first thing that generally comes to mind are the Universal monster movies of the 1920s-50s (with the main ones I think of being Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon). So, any of those things could be considered classic horror. And it means that those types of monsters- vampires, werewolves, mummies, etc., will be chiefly what I include under "monster movies," from the more modern eras of horror films. (I originally included zombies, but I eventually moved them into their own category... which I later also did with vampires, and may someday do with other types of monsters.) Though there will also be "miscellaneous" (movies that feature more than one type of monster) and "other" (which can be practically anything). ...Before I started breaking up my "scary movies" section into subgenres, I also sort of thought of things like ghosts, witches, and demons as "monsters," (or perhaps it would be more accurate to say I thought of "monsters" as supernatural), but now those things will be included in the "supernatural" subgenre, instead. Of course, giant monsters (such as Godzilla, dinosaurs, etc.) have their own section of reviews (which I generally don't think of as "horror," per se).

Psychological horror
TV Tropes; Wikipedia
This can include movies that might fit in other subgenres, like "supernatural," or "monster movies," or "thrillers," etc., and indeed it may be difficult for me to decide whether to file some movies in this category or one of those (particularly with psychological thrillers). But the important thing, to me, is that the psychological fear characters in the films endure is more central to the film than anything external. (Which is not to say there won't be external things that very much warrant fear.) In some cases, though, the fear (either that of characters or viewers) may be largely derived from characters having psychological issues that actually alter their perception of reality, and potentially make them dangerous. (However, they generally won't realize this about themselves, and probably won't be overtly homicidal, as would characters in other categories such as "slashers" or "thrillers.") But there will also be some movies I list here where the psychological aspect is more a direct result of some external threat, but... I differentiate it from "thrillers" because it's just more... horrific. I guess. (Or because it's as much about screwing with the minds of characters and/or viewers as it is about putting the characters in danger.)

Sci-fi horror
TV Tropes; Wikipedia
It seems pretty straightforward to say that some sci-fi movies have horror elements. Although I may not always agree with some people (or with Wikipedia) whether any given movie necessarily fits either label, sci-fi or horror. So... we'll see.

Short films
This speaks for itself. So I guess all I can say is, you might also want to check out the main short films section of my movie reviews, which includes all the things on this list as well as some that are not at all horror-ish, and probably a few that I might have considered putting here, but didn't. Like Halloween cartoon shorts, or other things that are at least somewhat macabre or supernatural or whatever, but not at all scary.

Slasher films
TV Tropes; Wikipedia
Generally speaking, this is probably my least liked subgenre of horror movies, and also the one I've probably seen the fewest of. (I mean, of the subgenres I'd even consider watching. I have practically no interest in splatter films, though there are surely some slashers I would like to check out that could be considered splatter films. Same goes for "body horror." And I have zero interest in "torture porn.") In fact, while there are a few slasher films that might be of genuine interest to me (particularly if they include an element of humor, psychology, etc.), for the most part the only reason I want to see any slasher movies is because of how many have become classics of the horror genre, and I'd just feel my knowledge of horror movies in general would be incomplete without ever seeing them.

Supernatural horror
Wikipedia
This subgenre includes movies about things like ghosts, witches, demons, and the like. As I've said before, I used to consider things like vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc., to be "supernatural," but now they're in the "monsters" subgenre. However, I'll still include all the things from both subgenres, as well as various other things, in my separate supernatural & paranormal section, which is separate from the entire "scary movies" section, mainly because I don't necessarily find those movies particularly scary. (Then again, I don't necessarily find everything I do include in the "scary" section to be particularly scary, so in some cases it can be kind of arbitrary. And it gets even more complicated now that I've divided my scary section into subgenres, since I'll be linking to some things in this section now that are actually in other sections, such as "supernatural & paranormal.")

Thrillers
TV Tropes; Wikipedia
Like horror, thrillers have numerous subgenres. There should be a certain amount of suspense in any genre of thriller, so any subgenre could be at least a bit scary. But some subgenres of thriller seem to me a bit more like "scary movies" than others. Like, I probably won't include political, conspiracy, legal, or spy thrillers here (though there could be exceptions). Mostly I'd include certain crime thrillers, or psychological thrillers (though some of those I might include instead under "psychological horror"). So... I dunno, I'll just make my decisions on a case by case basis. I will say that my main criterion for listing films in the "thriller" category will be that the fear isn't created by monsters or anything supernatural. (Then again, I might have rare exceptions of movies with a supernatural element... just as I might include some thrillers under other scary movie categories even if they don't have anything supernatural about them.) And if that means there's a murderer, chances are they won't be the over-the-top kinds of killers you'd see in slasher movies. I'll probably also include some natural horror films in this category, as long as the danger really does seem natural; i.e., reasonably realistic animals, viruses, other natural disasters. (Sharks, yes; mutant sharks, no.) I also want to say this subgenre will have some crossover with film noir, mystery, or crime films.


Films Index