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Four Strange Horror Sub-Genres

By: AJ Taysom

Horror is unique in the array of sub-genres it offers up its fans. Very rarely is a movie just a “horror” movie.  Does it have two teenagers murdered while they are having sex? It’s probably a slasher flick. Does a guy slowly start to turn into an armadillo? You’ve got yourself a body horror, pal.  The list goes on and on. This is a list of some less common horror sub-genres I’ve come across. Are they strange, or just kind of stupid? You decide.


Haunted Babies

I really think a distinction here needs to be made between movies about evil children as opposed to movies about evil babies. Because there’s a huge difference and initially I didn’t think there was. Movies about demonic children have almost become commonplace thanks to (among other things I’m sure) the 1956 film The Bad Seed and The Exorcist. Movies about evil babies, however, and fewer and further between and usually aren’t as well crafted. Something interesting to distinguish the two horror movie elements is that (besides the age difference) evil babies in movies more often than not end up being the child of something evil (Rosemary’s Baby) while movies about evil kids usually end up being a child who is otherwise normal but acted upon by some sort of evil force. Like Satan. Probably Satan. (Spoiler: it’s always Satan.) Movies like 2009s Grace told the world that not even the smallest among us are immune to the draws of the great deceiver, Lucifer himself. What the makers of baby horror didn’t count on, however, was all of the unintentional camp coming from a wicked baby slashing someone’s Achilles tendons and manically laughing about it. Go watch Pet Cemetery and tell me I’m wrong.

the baby

Adults Pretending to be Babies/Children

This little niche sub-genre is essentially identical entry above it. The only difference is, instead of actual babies/kids, its adults pretending to be kids/babies.  I think you’d also be surprised to know that it seems to be the most diverse and varied among our list entries. It seems pretty straight forward but, well, it’s not. Not at all. On one end of the spectrum we have The Baby a horrific, exploitation movie from the 70s about a grown man whose caretakers treat him like a small baby: his diapers are changed, and at one point he is even breastfed by his babysitter. I’d usually file this movie under too fucked up to recommend to anyone in good conscience but, given the unique circumstances of this list, and the fact that it’s been a slow May for horror movies, go ahead and check it out. I’m sorry for what you see.  On the other end we have Orphan, about an older woman with some weird Benjamin Button type illness that just makes her look like she’s six years old. She doesn’t abuse that power. No, not at all.


Holiday Horror (Not Christmas)

I think the wide theatrical release and positive reception of Krampus last year officially moved Christmas horror movies from cult status to theatrical canon status.  It doesn’t mean Krampus doesn’t have some kind of cult following, it just means people aren’t going to have to go to weird-ass corners of the internet anymore for their Christmas horror fix.  But what about the holiday horror movies that aren’t Christmas? I think Christmas is a pretty easy target: an old, fat guy sneaking into your house bringing shit to your kids has a lot of horror potential, as does talking snowmen, as does a deer with a fiery red nose tasked at leading the way for aforementioned fat guy to find your house. You get the point. Anyone that can find the horror in something as trivial as Thanksgiving gets my cudos.  Some famous non-Christmas holiday horror films are Thankskilling (Thanksgiving), New Year’s Evil (New Year’s Eve) and Office Space (Labor Day. Ha. See what I did there? Alright, I’m sorry. I’ll stop.)  What’s interesting is that most holiday horror flicks not based around the Christmas season usually fall flat. This might be because none of the other holidays are actually scary, or because horror talent would rather make a Christmas horror movie instead of a President’s Day one. Which, would actually be pretty awesome if you think about it.


Killer Car Movies

These movies all have one thing in common: cars that kill people. The problem is, there are usually no people driving the cars. Which is weird. And I don’t know how this came about, or what exact societal fear it’s some sort of commentary on.  The fear of accidentally leaving your car in neutral on a hill and having it roll down and kill everyone in its path? Maybe? I guess? I dunno. Probably the most well-known example of the sub-genre is Stephen King’s Christine, a movie/book about a car with no driver that kills people. This is the synopsis of every other killer car movie. Of course, the cars themselves are different as are the people they are killing.  I’d really like to see a team up movie between the monster cars. Kind of like Furious 7. But with no actors. Just cars. Cars that kill people. Spooky, right?  The genre has some weird parallels to creature features like Jaws: we have something that readily and plentifully exists in our world (cars, sharks) turning against common people. I know that killer car movies have some sort of supernatural element and Jaws doesn’t, but the parallels are definitely there. Now if we could just get Roy Schneider and his flimsy nerd glasses to battle a sentient 1994 Toyota Camry.

1 Comment on Four Strange Horror Sub-Genres

  1. EXCELLENT idea right her AJ! As much as it creeped me out (and as much as I loved) Orphan just did some super unsettling stuff – but I’m so with you on Adults Pretending to be Babies/Children


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