American International Journal of Contemporary Research
Vol. 2 No. 4; April 2012
The Genre of Horror
Mgr. Viktória Prohászková
Department of Massmedia Communication
University of Ss. Cyrill and Method
The study deals with the genre of horror, outlining it and describing the dominant features and typological
variations. It provides a brief overview of the development process in the realm of literature, film and computer
games and outlines its appearance in other fields of culture and art. It characterises the readers and viewers of
horror works and their motives for seeking the genre. The thesis wants to introduce the genre, its representants in
Slovak and Czech literature.
Key words: genre, subgenre, horror, dread, short story, novel, film, writer, director, game, violence, blood,
danger, mystical, supernatural phenomenon, ghost, monster, vampire, zombie, werewolf, murderer.
The oldest and strongest human emotion is fear. It is embedded in people since time began. It was fear that
initiated the establishment of faith and religion. It was the fear of unknown and mysterious phenomena, which
people could not explain otherwise than via impersonating a high power, which decides their fates. To every
unexplainable phenomenon they attributed a character, human or inhuman, which they associated with
supernatural skills and invincible power. And since the human imagination knows no limits, a wide scale of
archetypal characters have been created, such as gods, demons, ghosts, spirits, freaks, monsters or villains. Stories
and legends describing their insurmountable power started to spread about them. Despite the fact by the
development of science many so far incomprehensible phenomena have been explained, these archetypes and
legends are still being used in literature and other branches of art. Three genres are based on fear and imagination:
science fiction, fantasy and horror, which together form a so-called...