Genre and Sub-Genre

Film genres are identifiable types, categories, classifications or groups of films that have similar techniques or conventions.

Film sub-genres are identifiable sub-classes within the larger film genre with their own distinctive subject matter, style, formulas and iconography.

A cross-genre (or hybrid genre) is a genre in fiction that blends themes and elements from two or more different genres. Examples of these hybrid genres are:

  • Action comedy (action and comedy)
  • Comedy-drama or dramedy (comedy and drama)
  • Comedy-horror (comedy and horror)
  • Comic fantasy (comedy and fantasy)
  • Comic science fiction (comedy and science fiction)
  • Crime fantasy (crime and fantasy)
  • Dark fantasy (horror and fantasy)
  • Romantic comedy (romance and comedy)

When it comes to marketing films, the marketing team want to make the film as appealing as possible. Sub-genres and hybrid genres come in very useful in the marketing side of the production of a film, as the film can suddenly appeal to a wider variety of film fans as two different genres with different fan bases are being advertised to audiences.

However, some films get carried away with what films are currently popular, and end up branding there film as something that it is not to draw in a greater audience. we see this happen with the film “Creature from the Black Lagoon”. the film was created as a horror, however during the production the sub-genre of sci-fi was becoming increasingly more popular, so the marketing team of “Creature from the Black Lagoon” decided to market it as a sci-fi instead.

The “gill man monster” in the film was rebranded as the “creature” to give the idea that it was from out of space to fit into the sci-fi sub-genre.


Also, this image on the right of the screen was a poster used to advertise the film. It holds a lot of connotations to Sci-fi. For example, the part of the image where the gill man monster is swimming, on first glance it looks as if he is flying, and the people in the water looks as if they are being taken up by a UFO. Also, the part of the image at the right of the screen of the gill man monster with light around and beaming off him is gives a very extra-terrestrial feel to the poster.

Due to the wrong marketing of a film, the film can usually receive bad reviews as it is not what the audience expected. however, the film was still successful because when it was made there was no dvd so the film didn’t have to worry about selling dvd copies, they just had to get people to watch it in cinema’s, which they did by marketing the film at two segments of film fans.

There are some theorists  who believe there is actually no such thing as genre. Several of these theorists and there theories are:

John Fiske- He defines genre as “attempts to structure some order into the wide range of texts and meanings that circulate in our culture for he convenience of both producers and audiences.

David Bordwell- he states, “any theme could appear in genre”, “one could… argue that no set of necessary and sufficient conditions can mark off genres from other sorts of groupings in ways that all experts or ordinary film-goers would find expectable.”

Rick Altman- He argues that genres are usually defined in terms of media language (semantic elements) and codes or certain ideologies and narratives (syntactic elements).

I personally agree with John Fiske’s theory. We humans like everything to have a meaning or a structure or to belong to something, and that is exactly what genre does, it groups individual films together and gives ones that are ‘culturally similar’ a group and a meaning to us, even though they are different films.

Here is a PowerPoint Presentation I made on the genre of crime:





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s