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A genre is a division of a particular form of art or utterance according to criteria particular to that form. In all art forms, genres are vague categories with no fixed boundaries. Genres are formed by sets of conventions, and many works cross into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions. The scope of the word "genre" is usually confined to art and culture, particularly literature. In genre studies the concept of genre is not compared to originality. Rather, all works are recognized as either reflecting on or participating in the conventions of genre.

the horror genre

The Horror Genre

Films from the horror genre are designed to elicit fright, fear, terror, disgust or horror from viewers. In horror film plots ,evil forces, events, or characters, sometimes of supernatural origin, intrude into the everyday world. Horror film characters include vampires, zombies, monsters, serial killers, and a range of other fear-inspiring characters

action adventure

Action Adventure films are a filmgenre, where action sequences, such as fighting, stunts, car chases or explosions, take precedence over elements like characterization or complex plotting.

the rise of action adventure
  • Action Films began in the 1920's with a well known actor called Douglas Fairbanks. The phenomenal success of the James Bond series in the 1960s and 1970s, helped to popularise the concept of the action film in recent years. The early Bond films were characterised by quick cutting, car chases, fist fights and ever more elaborate action sequences. The series also established the concept of the resourceful hero, who is able to dispatch the villains with a ready one-liner.
  • Early American action film usually focused on maverick police officers, as in Bullitt (1968), The French Connection (1971) and Dirty Harry (1971). However, the action film did not become a dominant form in Hollywood until the 1980s and 1990s, when it was popularized by actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone. The 1988 film Die Hard was particularly influential on the development of the genre in the following decade. In the movie, Bruce Willis plays a New York police detective who inadvertently becomes embroiled in a terrorist take-over of a Los Angeles office block. The film set a pattern for a host of imitators, like Under Siege (1992) or Air Force One (1997), which used the same formula in a different setting.
  • Action films tend to be expensive requiring big budget special effects and stunt work. Action films have mainly become a mostly-American genre, although there have been a significant number of action films from Hong Kong which are primarily modern variations of the martial arts film. Because of these roots, Hong Kong action films typically center on acrobatics by the protagonist while American action films typically feature big explosions and modern technology.
action adventure sub genres

Action drama - Combines action set-pieces with serious themes, character insight and/or emotional power. This sub-genre can be traced back to the origins of the action film. Graham Greene's The Third Man was an award-winning example of this sub-genre.

Action comedy - Mixture of action and comedy usually based on mismatched partners (the standard "buddy film" formula) or unlikely setting. The action comedy sub-genre was re-vitalized with the popularity of the Lethal Weapon series of movies in the 1980s and 1990s.

Action thriller - Elements of action/adventure (car chases, shootouts, explosions) and thriller (plot twists, suspense, hero in jeopardy). Many of the films of Alfred Hitchcock and the James Bond series of films are icons of this popular sub-genre.

Caper/Heist - Protagonists are carrying out robbery, either for altruistic purposes or as anti-heroes. The film You Only Live Once, based on the exploits of Bonnie and Clyde, was one of the first examples of this sub-genre.

Die Hard - Story takes place in limited location - single building or vehicle - seized or under threat by enemy agents. This sub-genre began with the film, Die Hard, but has become popular in Hollywood movie making both because of its crowd appeal and the relative simplicity of building sets for such a constrained piece.

Science Fiction Action - Any of the other sub-genres of action film can be set in a science fiction setting. The Star Wars films began the modern exploration of this combination of high action content with futuristic settings in the 1970s, based in part on the serials of the 1930s and 1940s such as Flash Gordon. An explosion of science fiction action films followed in the 1980s and 1990s.

Action Horror - As with science fiction action films, any sub-genre of action film can be combined with the elements of horror films to produce what has increasingly become a popular action sub-genre in its own right. Monsters, robots and many other staples of horror have been used in action films. These were particularly popular in the 1950s. In the 1980s, Aliens introduced movie goers to the potential of a hybrid of science fiction, action and horror which would continue to be popular to the present day.

Buddy Cop - Two mismatched cops (or some variation such as a cop and a criminal) team-up as the main protagonists. Major examples are Rush Hour, 48 Hrs., Lethal Weapon, and Tango and Cash.


Film Noir

A genre of films characterised by a distinctive visual style – low-key and high-contrast lighting emphasising light and shadows, and a narrative focusing on the dark side of human life.

inspirational teacher movies

Inspirational teacher movies

A teacher that uses original and sometimes controversial methods to inspire and get the best out of there students, often in the face of adversity.


Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole.

american high school
‘American’ High School

Consists of plots based upon the special interests of teenagers such as the coming of age, first love, rebellion, conflict with parents, bullying etc. They are usually, although not exclusively set within an American High School.

Stereotypical characters usually feature quite heavily.

rom com romantic comedy
First made popular by the 90’s smash hit: ‘When Harry met Sally’ followed by a spate of Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan films. Very popular among the female audience.Rom Com (Romantic Comedy)
science fiction

Science fiction

A genre of film that emphasizes science and the empirical method interacting in a social context with magic and religion in attempts to explain the unknown to man. Often science fiction movies involve aliens.



The Western is an American fiction genre, predominantly seen in film and television.

Westerns, by definition, are set in the Western United States during the period from the start of the American Civil War in 1860 to the end of the so-called "Indian Wars" at Wounded Knee in 1890. Some westerns incorporate the Civil War.

Westerns have crossed the US borders: frequently into Mexico, sometimes into Canada and even, famously, into Bolivia. The timeframe is stretched even further. The genre includes films about the Battle of the Alamo in 1836; and the Mexican Revolution as late as 1920. There are also westerns which take place in Australia, such as Quigley Down Under and The Proposition. The Australian relationship with Aboriginals has many parallels with the U.S. treatment of Native Americans.

common themes
Common themes

The western film genre often portrays the conquest of the wilderness and the subordination of nature, in the name of civilization or the confiscation of the territorial rights of the original inhabitants of the frontier. The Western depicts a society organized around codes of honor, rather than the law, in which persons have no social order larger than their immediate peers, family, or perhaps themselves alone.

western movies
Western movies
  • A genre in which description and dialogue are lean, and the landscape spectacular, is well suited to film. Early Westerns were mostly filmed in the studio like other early Hollywood movies, but when location shooting became more common, producers of Westerns used desolate corners of New Mexico, California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, Colorado or Wyoming, often making the landscape not just a vivid backdrop, but a character in the movie. Productions were also filmed on location at movie ranches.
  • The Western genre itself has sub-genres, such as the epic Western, the shoot 'em up, singing cowboy Westerns, and a few comedy westerns. The Western re-invented itself in the revisionist Western.
  • Cowboys and gunslingers play prominent roles in Western movies. Often fights with Native Americans are depicted. In early Westerns, the "Injuns" are frequently portrayed as dishonorable villains; however, many "revisionist" Westerns give the natives more sympathetic treatment. Other recurring themes of westerns include western treks and groups of bandits terrorizing small towns such as in The Magnificent Seven.



Shanghai Noon- Western/Kung fu/Comedy

hybrid texts

Hybrid texts mix and match a range of genres. They draw on formats that have proven popularity. At the same time , they also prevent these formulas from becoming stale.

Shaun of the dead- comedy/horror.

fly on the wall documentary

Fly on the wall documentary

Fly on the wall is a style of documentary-making used in film and television. The name derived from the idea that events are seen candidly, as a fly on a wall might see them. In the purest form of fly-on-the-wall documentary-making, the camera crew works as unobtrusively as possible; however, it is also common for participants to be interviewed, often by an off-camera voice.

popular culture

Popular culture, sometimes called pop culture, (literally: "the culture of the people") consists of widespread cultural elements in any given society.

It is often dismissed as trashy and throwaway in contrast to the perceived superiority and demands of ‘high’ culture such as classical music and literature.

  • Is a term used in a variety of contexts to describe social conditions, movements in the arts, economic and social conditions. Postmodernism in film can loosely be used to describe a film in which the audience's suspension of disbelief is destroyed, or at the very least toyed with, in order to free the audiences appreciation of the work, and the creators means with which to express it.
reality television

Reality Television

Those television programmes specifically designed to represent ordinary experience, people in real life situations, utilising ‘actual’ or sometimes reconstructed scenes of real events.

soap opera docusoap
An ongoing, episodic work of fiction, usually broadcast on television or radio.

Are a self-professed form of documentary that claim to follow the lives of real people.

Soap Opera Docusoap