How Genre Conventions Are Used to Raise Audience Expectations in Horror Movie Trailers.

Topics: Horror film, Film, Ghost Pages: 4 (1576 words) Published: January 22, 2013
How genre conventions are used to raise audience expectations in horror movie trailers. ‘The word genre means ‘type’ or ‘category’’ (Teach yourself film studies) it is really important as an audience member to recognise genres as then things become categorised and easier for them to understand which is more comforting. Sometimes however genres are crossed and categories are broken for example sometimes we have ‘action thrillers’ or ‘sci-fi horrors’ this is known as a hybrid genre. This often intrigues the audience and draws them to the film as it changes their outlook as they have no expectations for the film as they have never been exposed to this genre before. The horror genre was created to frighten/disturb an audience. Cherry (2009) reinforces this theory ‘The function of horror – to scare, shock, revolt or otherwise horrify the viewer’. These are the main conventions of a horror movie often portrayed using fast cuts, heart racing music, flashing images, unknown creatures and darkened places. ‘Horror is an ancient art form’ ( which is still popular today because of the emotions it evokes, the audience feel comfortable with the horror genre as the generic conventions have not changed drastically over the years, the audience knows what to expect. The iconic symbols of horror such as haunted houses, unknown creatures, darkened places and flashing images are still used in all modern horror movies, although the genre evolves to fit around the era and to appeal to that audience. ‘Genres are not static, they evolve their common attributes change over time’ (Teach yourself film studies), this is because genres need to become more current for example what disturbed/terrified audiences 10 years ago may not effect audiences today. Today most audiences are terrified by the paranormal and ghostly experiences, the trailers for ‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Insidious’ and ‘Don’t be Afraid of the Dark’ are all based around this theme but use different...

Bibliography: Cherry, Brigid. (2009) Horror. Oxon: Routledge.
Wilson, Karina. (2001-2011) Horror Film History. Available from: (Accessed: 26th October 2011) (2011) (Accessed: 26th October 2011) (2011) (Accessed: 26th October 2011)
Title: Teach yourself film studies
Title: Teaching trailers
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