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Exploring Horror Subgenres

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

Thinking about subgenre as a frame for storytelling.

When you think about speculative fiction, do you immediately think of genre? The answer varies from one reader to the next, but in general, just because someone enjoys one genre of speculative fiction, doesn't mean that they enjoy them all equally.


For example, you can't assume that someone who loves reading science fiction will also enjoy horror or fantasy fiction. That is why genre labels can come in handy for readers. If something is labeled "horror," you can assume that the point of the story is to scare or unsettle the reader, at the very least.


But what about subgenres?


A subgenre is a category within a genre. So, for example, in my case the genre is horror. Here are just a few of horror's subgenres:


Gothic

Slasher

Paranormal

Occult

Cosmic

Folk

Survival

Creature


Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good example because it demonstrates just how broad the category of horror can be.

“...it demonstrates just how broad the category of horror can be. .”

Someone who loves reading Gothic stories may not enjoy slashers or extreme horror stories. It all depends on the reader's preferences.


In future posts, I hope to delve into some of horror's subgenres and discuss the tropes and frameworks that fit into each.


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