Genre Glossary

Some movies are hard to classify, and some might be puzzled why I consider a movie to be possession when they consider it a ghost movie, or whatever. So here's a glossary of how I determine a movie's genre. It's probably inconsistent with older entries, but I am working on cleaning up (and possibly condensing) the genre tags.


Alien - A movie dealing with alien life forms. They have to be classified as being from another planet, otherwise it's just a monster movie (though it can be both). Example: THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD

Anthology - This is pretty straightforward - a movie featuring a bunch of stories that are too thin to make their own feature length film. Example: NIGHTMARES

Asian - A movie from Japan, China, Thailand, Korea, etc. This will likely feature lots of little ghostly children making noises. Example: RINNE

Beast - A movie where the primary antagonist is an animal such as dog, lion, etc. Example: PREY

Breakdown - One of my favorite sub-genres, this is any movie that more or less begins when our heroes' car breaks down somewhere. Example: CALVAIRE

Classic - Honorary given to any film from the golden age of cinema (up to the 50s). Example: BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN

Comedic - This is given to any movie that tries to be funny while also being scary. Unless the film happens to be directed by Edgar Wright, this is likely a failed attempt. Example: TRIPPER

Comic Book - Rarely used, but any movie based on a comic book. Example: GHOST RIDER

Crap - The most widely misunderstood subgenre. Crap is reserved for those films that carry zero reasons anyone should go out of their way to watch them. Not necessarily the WORST films, per se; Halloween Resurrection is one of the worst films I have ever seen, but I would always encourage folks to see it because the first 15 minutes are actually pretty good. However, other films are technically better, but are so pointless and useless that they have no redeeming value. Example: GACY

Exploitation - A movie that's usually made for no money, and always glorifies sex and violence (often simultaneously), and probably starring Cameron Mitchell. Example: THE DEMON

Ghost - Movies about ghosts that utilize traditional scare tactics and focus on key characters, while never (or at least, not usually) taking physical form via another character (that would be possession). Example: PULSE

Giallo - A typically Italian film with stylish murders. Similar to a slasher, but classier. Example: DEEP RED

Haunted House - A movie where the ghosts are confined to a house or its immediate area (instead of haunting characters wherever they go). Example: ABANDONED

Holiday - Sub-genre, usually a slasher film, where the murders revolve around a certain holiday.

Independent - This is given to films that are truly independent in that they were created primarily through the hard work and personal finance of one or two key individuals (i.e. the director). Example: GOD OF VAMPIRES

Italian - Duh. Example: OPERA

Killer Kid - A movie where the primary antagonist is someone who is not old enough to drive. Example: DEVIL TIMES FIVE

Mad Scientist - A movie where the insane human scientist is just as much (or more) of a threat as whatever monster he creates. Example: BODY PARTS

Monster - A movie with a monster. This is often used in conjunction with another sub-genre such as Classic, Mad Scientist, and even Slasher. Example: UNEARTHED

Possession - A movie where the spirit of the villain possesses otherwise innocent human characters and uses them to carry out their violent plans. Example: CATHY'S CURSE

Psychological - Used for films that could actually happen (or in some cases did). Focus is more on character than story. Example: DEAD RINGERS

Puppet - A movie with a puppet! Example: DEAD SILENCE

Remake - A movie that is a remake of a (usually superior) film. These films are usually awful, unless they happen to star Sophia Bush. Example: THE INVASION

Serial Killer - Not to be confused with a slasher, these are serious movies that are about serial killers, often based on actual events. Example: ZODIAC

Slasher - My all time favorite genre. In Slashers, the killer is masked or at least generally unseen, the film will likely be seen from his POV at times, and concerns a group of friends being stalked and killed one at a time until only one or two are left. Example: ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE

Supernatural - Movies concerning witchcraft, the Devil, etc. Example: THE REAPING

Survival - In Survival movies, there are usually more bad guys than good (or one on one), and the film will concern the attempts of our lead to escape them (as opposed to a Slasher, where the danger is usually not readily known for most of the film), and often the environment they are in (desert, woods, etc). Example: BLOOD TRAILS

Vampire - Jesus. A movie with vampires! Example: DRACULA II: ASCENSION

Video Game - A movie either based on an actual game, or one where a video game is the primary source of the danger. These movies are always awful, unless they happen to star Sophia Bush. Example: STAY ALIVE

Weird - These are movies where I generally have no idea what is happening throughout most of the running time, but in a manner that actually elevates my enjoyment. Example: THE MANITOU

Werewolf - A movie with ham sandwiches. What the hell do you think? Example: THE WOLF MAN

Zombie - Oh for christ's sake. Example: DEAD AND BREAKFAST.


  1. This is extremely helpful - Thanx!

  2. Whoa, I think you're the first to read it! I just realized it needs some re-editing, but I'm glad it helps!

  3. you need to add reality show, island, and erotica.

  4. I never knew there are sub categories until this post. Thanks! I use "Horror Type" instead of "Genre." Do you think they're the same thing?

  5. warewolf movies have ham sandwiches?? all the more reason to love em :P

  6. What does it mean when "Fix" is in the keywords?

  7. Just means I have to fix something in it for one reason or another (adding amazon links usually).

  8. What would you categorize films based on infection and regenerated creatures? Stuff like 28 Days Later and Maniac Cop


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