Updated On: February 05, 2024 by   Noha Basiony   Noha Basiony  

“I just grew up watching a lot of films. I’m attracted to this genre and that genre, this type of story, and that type of story. As I watch films, I make some version of it in my head that isn’t quite what I’m seeing – taking the things I like and mixing them with stuff I’ve never seen before.”

—Quentin Tarantino

Films are a great source of entertainment and inspiration. Ever since the first motion-picture film came out back in 1888 in England, we have always been, and will probably always be, fascinated by that temporary escape. They take us to brand new worlds, make us live brand new adventures, and experience many emotions of different levels of intensity and diversity.

And the more we seem to get used to films and the elements they incorporate in terms of music, plot, characters, etc, in a way that might suggest we, the audience, are becoming hard to satisfy, filmmakers take their creativity to brand new levels and come up with ridiculously impressive ideas that leave us in awe, stunned as we have never been before.

But we are different, at least, that is what our DNA suggests. Accordingly, every single one of us has a completely different taste in films. Yes, there are some films that seem to be everybody’s favourite, such as Titanic, Harry Potter, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and The Lion King; other films are fairly disputed.

Some films become so popular that they are turned into TV shows. Some are dubbed and remade in many other languages. A very popular example is the Italian film Perfetti Sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers), which was remade 22 times in 22 countries. The originally-French film The Intouchables was also remade into Spanish, Indian, and English.

Likewise, other films are unanimously agreed on as masterpieces; yet, they still leave us feeling both confused and, let’s be honest, thick.

In that way, films always influence us in different ways, on many different levels. Besides that famous roller-coaster of emotions they present to us, some films even challenge us.

Some of those masterpiece films are, for instance, Christopher Nolan’s. They levelled up from being a little confusing to being highly provokingly complicated and mystifying. Take Inception as an example. The film presented the idea of mental manipulation in an incredibly interesting way. Yes, it was a little confounding, but with some effort, many people seem to understand the idea.

Then Nolan took his screenplay to a brand new level in Interstellar, a film which vigorously challenged the audience’s understanding of both the theory of general relativity as well as quantum physics. And what was supposedly made for entertainment turned into a ridiculously perplexing science lesson.

Then once again, Nolan raised the bar too high when he made Tenet. That blew the audience’s minds away, leaving them tongue-tied as they, myself included, did not understand anything. At. All.

So what is it about films that make them that distinctively influential?

Well, it is the genre.

What is a film genre?

A genre is the category of any form of art, whether it happens to be music, theatre, painting, cinema, or even literature. So film genres refer to the different classifications to which every film belongs.

Film genres were mainly derived from literary genres. Since they are originally stories made in the form of motion pictures, they were, thus, given similar categories. In that matter, the film genres are determined based on the main elements of a film: plot, characters, mood, tone, setting, and theme.

Film elements

A film plot is the narrative. It is the sequence of events through which the story is told. These events are usually dependent on one another in a way that makes the film coherent and sound. The characters are, of course, the people in the film, not the actors.

The mood of the film refers to the feeling the film provokes in the audience. There is no single mood throughout the entire film. It typically changes from one scene to another. Just like we all felt deep sadness when Mufasa died and then cheered up as Simba was singing ‘No Worries’ with his just-made friends Timon and Pumpa.

The tone, on the other hand, is the way in which the filmmaker makes the film and how they want it to come out. The tone is, therefore, used to inject a feeling or an idea. Things like lighting, music, editing, dialogue, the position of the cameras, and how they move to capture the scenes all set the tone for the film. So collectively, they create the mood.

The film setting defines the time and place in which the story happens. Some film settings are real, and others are totally imaginary, such as in Avatar.

Last but not least is the film theme. This is the film’s main purpose or what it is mainly about. Is it about betrayal? Eternal love? Loneliness? Loss? Revenge? Etc.

There are other elements that can further define a film. For example, its target audience the people who will like the film the most. Budget can also define a film as it highly contributes to its final quality and, therefore, its success and revenue. 

Every film has a different arrangement of these elements; based on them, its genre is determined. It can also be the other way around. The film genre defines the outline of all these six elements.

But we know that things get complicated the more developed they become. And this is the same case with the film industry. Of course, the film genres during the 1920s were not as varied as they are now. And the more creative filmmakers become, the more and more genres will probably appear. Just like what Quentin Tarantino said, mixing something from here with something from there and coming up with a brand new genre.

That said, here are the basic 13 film genres.

  1. Drama
  2. Historical
  3. Action
  4. Thriller
  5. Horror
  6. Comedy
  7. Science fiction 
  8. Crime
  9. Adventure
  10. Animated
  11. Fantasy
  12. Noir
  13. Western

A film does not usually follow the same theme throughout. The events change, and therefore, the moods they introduce change accordingly. This allows the film to have multiple genres or, say, subgenres.

For instance, many filmmakers like to include a few comedy elements here and there to ease the story if it happens to be somewhat stiff. Likewise, to make a film appealing, especially to teenagers and young adults, a little bit of romance is added.

Now let’s look into each film genre.

(1) Drama

Most of us use the term ‘drama queen’ to describe someone who is overacting to anything or taking something more seriously than they should. Well, this, in and of itself, defines drama.

Drama as a film (or television) genre refers to mostly an imaginary story that is told in a serious way that widely lacks humour. It is intended to move the audience emotionally as the conflict unfolds throughout the film.

But drama as is, meaning a film being a pure drama, is quite rare. It is rather accompanied by other classifications or types that define the setting, moods, and tones of the film even more. These are known as subgenres. Some of the drama subgenres include:

  • Political drama: as the name tells, this is a story that follows some political views or opinions. They can be actual or the author’s. Examples of political drama films are J. Edgar (2011), Bridge of Spies (2015), Nixon (1995), and Thirteen Days (2000).
  • Legal/trial drama: yes, you knew it. This subgenre is concerned with drama centred around the law, for example, Just Mercy (2019), The Mauritanian (2021), 12 Angry Men (1957), The Verdict (1982), and Philadelphia (1993).
  • Docudrama: this is a mix between documentation and drama. It represents real-life events which, for the sake of the final product, might divert a little from reality; an adaptation. Apollo 13 (1995), Talvar (2015), The Report (2019), The Right Stuff (1983), Soul Surfer (2011), The Pursuit of Happiness (2006), and Zodiac (2007) are great examples of docudrama films.
  • Medical drama: Yes, Grey’s Anatomy! Medical drama involves events usually revolving around some medical element, whether it is a hospital, the emergency room, the ambulance, etc. Films that include such medical elements are My Sister’s Keeper (2009), City of Angels (1998), Contagion (2011), and Awakenings (1990).
  • Comedy/light drama: this is a pure drama film with a few comedy elements here and there, not very dramatic but not too serious. They are light-hearted films. Little Miss Sunshine (2006), The Terminal (2004), Eat Pray Love (2010), and Definitely, Maybe (2008) are common comedy/light drama films.
  • Psychological drama: as the name suggests, this is a subgenre that deals with psychological elements, mostly revolving around mental health issues. Some examples of these include The Father (2020), Joker (2019), Nocturnal Animals (2016), and Manchester by the Sea (2016).

Drama can also be combined with other genres, such as crime, adventure, and science fiction. Crime drama, for instance, explores the psychology of criminals, the planning of crimes and the administration of justice. Anatomy of a Murder (1959) is a good example of a crime drama film.

Gravity (2013), Finch (2021), and Dune (2021) are science fiction drama films.  

(2) Historical

Historical films are those that depict historical events and tell the stories of historical figures with a different level of accuracy from that of documentaries. 

Documentaries usually tell history as it is. They use real footage that represents the events or places the film is centred around. On the other hand, historical drama uses these historical events as the basis of the film and plays with the less important details that, if changed, would not necessarily mess up with the main event.

Examples of historical drama films include:

  1. The Downfall (2004)
  2. Dunkirk (2017)
  3. 1917 (2019)
  4. Birdy (1984)
  5. Malcolm X (1992)
  6. The Imitation Game (2014)
  7. Darkest hour (2017)
  8. Tesla (2020)
  9. Hidden figures (2016)
  10. Jackie (2016)
  11. Diana (2013)

(3) Action

I bet Tom Cruise popped up in your mind right now! And who else can better represent this film genre than him?

An action film follows a sequence of events in which the protagonist encounters dangers, uses violence to fight and kill the antagonist and brings peace back to the world.

And action includes all kinds of things to show violence. This mainly includes the protagonist dedicating his super-duper physical strength to beat up the villains. Then there is the use of weapons, whether they are traditional such as swords, knives, daggers, blades, or spears or explosives, such as guns, bombs, aircraft, and missiles.

Action films are different from drama films as they are much more demanding. The making of a good drama film is mostly dependent on the actor’s performance regardless of their fitness level.

On the other hand, action films necessitate actors to be extremely fit and have super physical abilities. They use computer-generated imagery and special effects, e.g. visual and auditory, to deepen the film’s tone. In addition, they require big budgets.  

Regular action films include:

  1. The Rock (1996)
  2. Mission: Impossible (all films)
  3. Ava (2020)
  4. Atomic Blonde (2017)
  5. The Contractor (2022)
  6. The Gray Man (2022)
  7. Next (2007)
  8. Top Gun (1986)
  9. The Dark Knight (2008)

And just like how drama is combined with other themes, it would be incredibly ‘heavy’ for the audience if a film was pure action. So action films typically have different types and are also combined with other genres to produce brand new subgenres. For instance:

  • Disaster action: these are the films that are about the end of the world, mostly caused by a natural cause or disaster. Some of these films include 2012 (2009) and War of the Worlds (2005).
  • Science fiction action: such as the Matrix (1999), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Face/Off (1997), Divergent (2014), and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
  • Martial arts action: like The Karate Kid (1984) and The Karate Kid (2010). Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai (2003) is a historical war action film.
  • Crime action: such as Kill Bill (2003)—this is also a martial arts action film—and on: The professional (1994).

(4) Thriller

Like the case with Tom Cruise and action films, Film Director Sir Alfred Hitchcock is known as the master of suspense and thriller.

A thriller film is named after the mood of excitement and the growing level of uncertainty it evokes in the audience. As they watch, the conflict that creates the tension increases, making them feel like there is no escape. This inevitably stirs up feelings of anticipation mixed with anxiety and surprise; thriller.

A good thriller film director is one who utilises all the elements of the film to generate suspense that will keep the audience glued to their seats until the end of the film.

Thriller films oftentimes have plot twists. A plot twist is a completely unexpected change in the course of the events. Sometimes, events develop in a way that subconsciously makes the audience somehow expect how the end is going to be. But then, gotcha!

Some examples of thriller films with great plot twists are Gone Girl (2014), Se7en (1995), Black Swan (2010), Knives Out (2019), and Shutter Island (2010).

On the other hand, plot twists may also be a total failure. They can lead to the collapse of all the suspense that piled up throughout the film if they were correctly anticipated by the audience.

Additionally, plot twists may make the audience bored rather than thrilled if they were used more than needed. I remember one time I was watching a thriller TV series that was all good up until the very end. The director, maybe thinking he is helping with the thriller, used three plot twists over the last two episodes. That honestly made me ‘meh’ rather than ‘Oh, Good Lord! What is that!’

Music also is another super crucial element in thriller films. It helps put the audience in the targeted mood, increases the tension, and intensifies the emotions.

Some of the best thriller films of all time are:

  • Rear Window (1954)
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  • North by Northwest (1959)
  • Psycho (1960)
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
  • The Game (1997)
  • The Sixth Sense (1999)
  • The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)
  • Momento (2000)
  • Black Swan (2010)

Thriller is usually coupled with other genres or subgenres to increase the suspense. Genres like horror, crime, noir, and science fiction go perfectly along with thrillers. Also, psychological thrillers are a great, very common subgenre.

(5) Horror

Horror films are an extreme level of thriller films, where excitement turns into disturbance, fear—terror for some people—and disgust. Some of them also show a great deal of bloody violence.

And horror can be either direct or indirect. Direct horror uses clear elements such as deformed bodies, corpses, or blood to disgust the audience. Such films usually display content revolving around the dead and supernatural creatures such as dragons, vampires, werewolves, demons, aliens, etc.

On the other hand, indirect fear works to stimulate the audience by vague cues and the anticipation of danger rather than plain, straightforward danger. Instead of presenting the element of fear, they evoke more fear by making the audience uncertain whether this element does exist or not. Ghosts and dark basements are great examples of such indirect elements of fear.

That said, one cannot but ask: why are horror films so popular? Why do millions of people around the world consume a lot of horror content? Fear is not a pleasant emotion, after all. Why do we approach something that we instinctively want to run away from?

Well, answering this question takes a lot of insights into the human psyche. Some psychologists say it is the stimulation that we are after when consuming horror. Humans instinctively like absurd excitement and horror on both mental and physical levels.

Others claim that it is not that horror evokes fear, but it releases suppressed emotions. By the end of the film, the audience feels relief. Not being the ones who had faced all these adversities, they feel good about themselves and their lives.

Bottom line is horror is popular and, in some ways, it makes people feel good, according to some!

Horror films are mostly coupled with thriller, mystery, physiological thriller, science fiction, disaster, adventure, and fantasy. They can also have a bit of drama.

Examples of horror drama films are:

  1. The Others (2001)
  2. A Quiet Place (2018)
  3. I am A Legend (2007)
  4. Last Night in Soho (2021)
  5. The Happening (2008)
  6. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
  7. The Green Mile (1999)
  8. Black Swan (2010)
  9. Split (2016)
  10. Ghost Rider (2007)

What is worth mentioning here is that throughout the history of Oscars, just six horror films were nominated for Best Picture. Only one of them, The Silence of the Lambs (1991), won five, yes five, Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Director, and Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Published.

(6) Comedy

This is all about fun.

Comedy films are basically made to amuse the audience and make them laugh. They are usually associated with drama (or vice versa) and mostly have happy endings.

One might think that, as fundamental as it can be, comedy is quite straightforward. But as a film genre, comedy alone might seem too broad. That is why it is usually accompanied by many other genres. Comedy also has many different types or subgenres. 

For instance, some comedy types include:

  • Black comedy: these films lack happy endings as they deal with crime, death, and murder. Examples: Don’t Look Up (2021), Knives out (2019), Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019), Pulp Fiction (1994), Duplicity (2009), and Filth (2013).
  • Action comedy: this comedy is mixed with martial arts, superheroes, and adventure or fantasy films. Examples: Pirates of the Caribbean (all films in the series!), Jungle Cruise (2021), The Man from Toronto (2022), Killers (2010), Rush Hour (1993), Jumanji (1995), and Murder Mystery (2019).
  • Crime comedy: such as Ocean’s 11 (2001), Knives Out (2019), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Lethal Weapon (1987), Inspector Palmu’s Mistake (1960), Fargo (1996), and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).

Other hybrid types of comedy include romantic comedy, fantasy comedy, thriller comedy, and sports comedy. There is even war comedy!

(7) Science Fiction

Science fiction as a literary genre appeared way before science as we know it became a thing. Novels such as The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, published in 1895, and Journey to the Centre of the Earth by French Writer Jules Verne (1871) were two of the earliest and most popular examples of science fiction novels.

Around half a century later, and with the birth of cinematography, the first science fiction film, A Trip to the Moon, came out in 1902. This was also a French production that lasted only 14 minutes.

Then, the science fiction genre—or sci-fi—started to broaden as the filmmakers’ creativity produced more futuristic and imaginary content. The more advanced science and technology become, the richer and, let’s be honest, the darker science fiction becomes. A great example of this is the TV series Black Mirror.

Some people view science fiction as an early depiction of what, in a few years, will become reality. Or should we say inspire the future? I doubt Jules Verne ever thought humans would one day go to the Moon as he was writing “From the Earth to the Moon”. Yet, no one can deny that his novel might have inspired the Space Race.

And let’s not forget about the classic film Metropolis (1927), which introduced the concept of robots for the first time. Then more than 20 years later, the first robot came out.

Science fiction goes hand in hand with fantasy, suspense, adventure, action, disaster, and even horror. Some sci-fi films are classified as hard science fiction. They are mostly concerned with the technical details and the accuracy of the science they use. 

This can be a little bit hard for the audience to understand, which, in many cases, can mess up the mood of the film.

Some great examples of science fiction films worth watching include (these films are not in any order):

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  2. The Matrix (1999)
  3. Planets of the Apes (1968)
  4. Star Wars (all of them!)
  5. Blade Runner (1982)
  6. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
  7. Inception (2010)
  8. The Terminator (1984)
  9. Looper (2012)
  10. Interstellar (2014)
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy (214)
  12. Dune (2021)
  13. The Martian (2015)
  14. Ad Astra (2019)

(8) Crime  

The crime film genre involves all elements related to crimes. Most of such films revolve around the criminal mastermind, the antagonist, and the detective, playing the protagonist, who tries to catch the former. The detection of the crime, the cause and intention, the sequence of events, the harm, and the facts surrounding the crimes are also explored in crime films.

Like all previous genres, crime overlaps with other genres and types with coupling with mystery and suspense being the most common subgenres. One of the most famous crime subgenres is heist crime which focuses more on a super big robbery, including the planning, executing, and post-robbery stages.

Some of these subgenres include:

  • Action crime: a twist of crime and violence. Examples: Nightmare Alley (2021), A Most Violent Year (2014), Blackhat (2015), Con Air (1997), and Ambulance (2022).
  • Heist crime: such as The Italian Job (2003), Ocean’s 11 (2001), Den of Thieves (2018), and the vault (2021). 
  • Thriller crime: such as Se7en (1995), The Departed (2006), The Little Things (2021), Death on the Nile (2022), Jackie Brown (1997), and James Bond.
  • Drama crime: Catch Me If You Can (2002), Capote (2005), The Drop (2014), American Animals (2018), Live by Night (2016), and The Godfather.

Crime films can also be about police procedural, police corruption, gangsters, or prison. A good example of the latter is Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Midnight Express (1978).

(9) Adventure

This genre is mainly centred on the protagonist and his/her explorations. It is all about new, exciting experiences. The protagonist decides, all of a sudden, to leave their comfort zone and embark on a journey that shall satisfy their curiosity about something, find a long-lost treasure, which can pretty much be themselves or search for something they themselves are not aware of.

The pursuit of the unknown.

And again. Adventure films are never only adventure films. They pair with other genres and subgenres such as fantasy, comedy, and drama, which suit them perfectly. Adventure can also have elements of science fiction, survival, or horror.

Some of the best adventure films of all time are:

  1. Into the Wild (2007)
  2. Life of Pi (2012)
  3. Cast Away (2000)
  4. In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
  5. Jumanji (1995)
  6. Wild (2014)
  7. The Lost City of Z (2016)

(10) Animated

This is almost everyone’s favourite film genre.

It would take tens of pages to discuss animation films’ history and evolution. But for the sake of not making this article longer than it actually is, we will just mention some headnotes, a glimpse of how this industry became what it is now.

We are all familiar with Walt Disney and the early versions of Mickey Mouse. But that was not the first attempt at making animated content. The earliest experiments date back to the first half of the 19th century with the invention of the stroboscope. A stroboscope was an instrument that sparked modern animation. The entire concept of the stroboscope revolves around showing images in a fast sequence that they appear in motion.

Many years of development went by, and then Mickey Mouse came out of the blue, starting what is now known as the animation industry. 

First studio opening in 1923, The Walt Disney Company is the oldest and most known animation production company. Despite the earliest films during the 1920s and the early 1930s, Disney gained massive recognition after the great success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

Then after decades, Disney teamed up with Pixar, the computer animation studio, and the two created some of the most successful hit 3D films, starting with Toy Story (1995), A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters, Inc (2001), Finding Nemo 2003, The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006), Ratatouille (2007), WALL-E (2008), Up (2009), and ending with Soul (2020), and Luca (2021).

Sadly the two companies split after a 12-year partnership and a total of 26 amazing films.

Other notable and some of the highest grossing Disney films include:

  1. Pinocchio (1940)
  2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
  3. Hercules (1997)
  4. Cinderella (1950)
  5. The Lion King (1994)
  6. Moana (2016)
  7. Frozen (2013)
  8. Frozen II (2019)
  9. Aladdin (1992)
  10. Wreck-it Ralph (2012)

Other successful American animation production companies are:

  1. DreamWorks Animation: Sinbad (2003), Megamind (2010), Kung Fu Panda (2008), Madagascar (2005), Puss in Boots (2011), Turbo (2013), Shrek (2001), The Boss Baby (2017), and Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron (2002).
  1. Illumination: Despicable Me (2010), Hop (2011), Despicable Me 2 (2013), Minions (2015), The Secret Life of Pets (2016), Sing (2016), and Abominable (2019).

Besides American animation, Japanese animation— known as anime—is another big industry that began in the mid-20th century and has been on the roll ever since. Some of the greatest anime films are:

  1. Spirited Away (2001)
  2. My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
  3. Akira (1988)
  4. Ponyo (2008)
  5. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
  6. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
  7. Your Name (2016)
  8. A Silent Voice (2016)
  9. Perfect Blue (1997)
  10. The Girl Who Leapt through Time

(11) Fantasy

Fantasy is simply defined as imagining impossible things. So any film with what we know as impossible is fantasy. Thanks to the unlimited human creativity, fantasy, in that regard, is such a broad genre under which so many elements, types, and themes. Some of them are supernatural creatures or events, magic, fictional realms, and mythology.

Fantasy pairs best with both science fiction and horror films perfectly. Superhero fiction is also a branch o fantasy

Some of the great ‘fantastic’ film series include:

  1. Harry Potter
  2. Lord of the Rings
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean
  4. The Avengers
  5. Twilight
  6. The Hobbit

Other fantasy films are:

  1. Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
  3. The Shape of Water (2017)
  4. The Lake House (2006)
  5. City of Angels (1998)
  6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  7. Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

(12) Romance

While it is a subgenre that usually accompanies many other film genres, romance, in and of itself, can be an independent film genre in which the entire film revolves around a romantic love story. 

Such films often explore issues such as eternal love, love at first sight, marriage, etc. But that does not mean everything in romantic films is pink and heavenly. They can also feature addiction, obsession, illness, tragedy, and loss. We have all cried while watching A Walk to Remember (2002) and Me Before You (2016). Such elements evoke a lot of melodrama and strong emotions in the audience.

Romance can come along with comedy, resulting in the popular hybrid film genre romantic comedy. Romantic comedy films usually involve lighthearted, love-centred plots dealt with in a pretty humorous way.

Examples of romantic/romantic comedy films are

  1. Midnight in Paris (2011)
  2. Gone with the Wind (1939)
  3. About Time (2013)
  4. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
  5. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
  6. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  7. Forrest Gump (1994)
  8. Big (1988)
  9. 500 Days of Summer (2009)
  10.  Miss Congeniality (2000)

(13) Western

Western films, also known as cowboy films, are typically set in the West of the United States in the mid-19th century and the early 20th century. They mostly include elements such as a hero fighting evil, which often happens on a horseback. There are a lot of guns and violence, killing and robberies, and police and criminals.

Such films are usually combined with action, drama, romance, and adventure.

During the second half of the 20th century, western films were pretty popular and prosperous. At that period, tens of masterpiece western films were produced. But then they started to lose popularity with the rise of better-crafted, high-budget films. 

Some noted western films are:

  1. High Noon (1952)
  2. Giant (1956)
  3. Hud (1963)
  4. Lone Star (1996)
  5. Thunderheart (1992)
  6. No Country for Old Men (2007)
  7. The Homesman (2014)
  8. The Revenant (2015)
  9. The Lone Ranger (2013)
  10. Jane Got a Gun (2015)
  11. Slow West (2015)

Other subgenres 

Besides all 13 genres we demonstrated so far, there are an endless number of subgenres and many more that will emerge as long as the film industry is alive and prosperous.

This is like what Remy from Disney’s Ratatouille said, “Each flavour was totally unique. But combine one flavour with another, and something new was created.” The same works for film genres and pretty much everything. As long as the filmmaker is open to different possibilities, more and more subgenres will be born.

Speaking of that, there are other common subgenres that overlap with some basic or other subgenres too. For instance:

  • Survival films: the main character is dying to stay alive! Example: Adrift (2018).
  • Children films: these are films related to children or involve children, families, and homes. They are also referred to as children’s dramas to distinguish them from animated films, and they overlap with adventure and drama. Examples: Belle and Sebastian (2013), the Jungle Book (2016), and A Little Princess (1995).
  • Teen films: likewise, teen films target teenagers and young adults. The Fault in Our Stars is one of the most sensational romantic teen drama films.
  • Spy films: these deal with agents, spies, and generally espionage. The James Bond film series is a spy thriller action-adventure film.
  • Mafia films: might also be referred to as gangster films. They deal with criminals, gangs, and organised crimes. Examples: The Godfather films, The Irishman (2019), Donnie Brasco (1997), Casino (1995), and Road to perdition (2002).
  • Post-apocalyptic films: this subgenre stems from science fiction and deals with the aftermath of a worldwide disaster such as a nuclear war or robot uprising. The Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) are post-apocalyptic films.

And the list goes on,

and on,

and on,

and on.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *