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Film Genres

This guide highlights library resources for some of the more popular film genres.

A quick definition for horror films

A large and heterogeneous group of films that, via the representation of disturbing, violent, and dark subject matter, seek to elicit responses of fear, terror, disgust, shock, suspense, and, of course, horror from their viewers. Horror is a protean genre, spawning numerous subgenres and hybrid variants, including gothic horror, supernatural horror, monster movies, psychological horror, splatter films, slasher films, body horror, comedy horror, serial killer films, and postmodern horror.

The horror film’s antecedents in the European gothic literary tradition and Grand‐Guignol theatre are evident in its archaic settings, its fascination with the supernatural, and its melodramatic narratives. Early examples include L’Auberge ensorcelée/The Bewitched Inn (Georges Méliès, France, 1897), Frankenstein (J. Searle Dawley, US, 1910), and Der Golem/The Golem (Paul Wegener and Henrik Galeen, Germany, 1913). The roots of the genre can be traced back to German Expressionism, which influenced the mise‐en‐scene of Das Kabinett des Dr Caligari/The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920) and Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens/Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (F.W. Murnau, 1922). Influences have also been noted in the Surrealist movement, as seen in films such as La chute de la maison Usher/The Fall of the House of Usher (Jean Epstein, US/France, 1928) (see surrealism).   ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Horror film. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 7 Aug. 2023

Getting started with the Library's collections

    To find horror films in the Library's collections, you can click on the subject headings below:

    Introductory reading(s)

    Selected book title(s)

    Finding scholarly articles & journals

    Articles and other writings about horror movies can be found in many publications. We don't have journals that look exclusively at horror films. However, you can use Film & Television Literature Index to find relevant articles.

    A Selected list of horror films

    Search the online catalog for more horror films.

    Keeping up with Film Studies journal literature

    Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for all facets of Film Studies? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's, you can download and read the articles you want from the journals for which we have subscriptions.

    You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

    Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's also available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.