A film genre is a motion-picture category based (for example) on similarities either in the narrative elements or in the emotional response to the film.
The basic genres include fiction and documentary, from which subgenres have emerged. Screenwriters often organize their stories by genre, focusing their attention on three specific aspects: atmosphere, character and story. One can also classify films by the setting, theme, topic, mood, format, target audience or budget. Genres are not fixed; they change and evolve over time, and some genres may largely disappear. A film’s atmosphere includes costumes, props, locations and the visceral experiences created for the audience. Aspects of character include archetypes, stock characters, and the goals and motivations of the central characters.

In the early days of cinema, genres were much more uniform and defined. The basic genres were well defined and included some of the following:

   Comedy                                         Drama                                     Fantasy    Horror                                           Mystery                                   Romance 

   Thriller                                          Western                                   Action

Sub-genres were developed to give names and expectations to certain types of films within each genre. Thrillers are characterized and defined by the moods they elicit, giving viewers heightened feelings of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety. Alfred Hitchcock was known as the master of thriller. The “thriller” genre, for example, had the following sub-genres:

Crime Thriller

Disaster Thriller

Psychological Thriller

Techno Thriller

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became fantasy literature and drama.

High or epic fantasy
Low fantasy

Magical realism

Sword and sorcery

Dark fantasy



Fairy tales

Superhero fiction.

Drama genre is an important part genre of film. Drama is a category of narrative fiction intended to be more serious than humorous in tone. All forms of cinema or television that involve fictional stories are forms of drama in the broader sense.

Sub Genres Include:


Period Drama

Legal Drama

Teen drama

Military drama

Action films have been popular with cinema audiences since the very beginning. It’s also one of our best examples of the evolution of our cinematic hero’s journey and the classic hero vs. villain narratives, which you’ll find across cinema and genres.

Some of the main sub-genres include:

War and Military Action

Spy and Espionage Action

Martial Arts Action

Western Shoot ‘Em Up Action Action Hybrid Genres

The Comedy genre has been a fun-loving, sophisticated, and innovative genre that’s entertained viewers for centuries. The comedy genre has also been one of the most flexible, as it has made their way into the every kinds of cinema and the many other genres contained within.

Some of the main sub-genres include:

Slapstick Comedy

Screwball Comedy

Parody Comedy Black Comedy

Elements have long of Horror been a bedrock of classic cinema, dating back to some of the earliest — and eeriest — days of filmmaking. However, it’s in the rise of newer horror genres featuring zombies, slashers, found footage, and haunted dolls that horror has really found its hold, from the 1970s into modern times.

Some of the main sub-genres include: Zombie Horror
Folk Horror
Body Horror
Found Footage Horror

 The sci-fi genre has stayed strong throughout cinematic history, as film has remained one of the most popular mediums for showcasing mankind’s technical advancements, as well as a means to wrestle with higher concepts like alien life forms, artificial intelligence, and humanity’s place in the universe.

Some of the main sub-genres include:

Space Travel

Time Travel

Cerebral Science

Robot and Monster Films Disaster and Alien Invasion

The western could technically be considered a sub-genre of the action film genre, in large part due to its huge popularity and its own exploits. Really, the various sub-genres within the western have essentially become classic film genres themselves.

Some of the main sub-genres include:

Classic Western

The Revisionist and Anti-Western

Contemporary and Neo-Western

Fantasy and Space Western Modern Western

The romance genre has underlying themes that branch into every single film genre. Similar to the action and comedy genres, the romance genre has become a central force in pretty much every other film genre under the sun.

Some of the main sub genres include:

Historical Romance

Romantic Drama

Romantic Comedy

Chick Flick Paranormal Romance

Mystery fiction is a genre of fiction usually involving a mysterious death or a crime to be solved. Often with a closed circle of suspects, each suspect is usually provided with a credible motive and a reasonable opportunity for committing the crime.

Some of the main Sub genres include:

​Traditional Mystery.



Police Procedural.

Amateur Sleuth.

Private Detective Professional. Historical/Future

The thriller’s rise coincides with the rise of the spy and detective pulp novels of the 1960s and 1970s. It’s been one of the best cinematic vehicles for exploring the sometimes upsetting and underrepresented truths about our governments and society at large. The thriller has become a popular and important part of the cinema tradition.

Some of the main sub-genres include:

Conspiracy Thriller

Crime Thriller

Legal Thriller

Spy Thriller Supernatural Thriller


Hybrid film genres is one that shows characteristics of two or more genres of film. It is an effective mashup of genres. In these works, certain guidelines are followed and common features of each genre are present within the work or group of works. Examples of hybrid genre might include a science fiction horror novel or a romantic suspense novel.
Or in my case, the Drama/Crime.
My genre is a mixture of Crime/drama, plus a little horror. In the past, there have been many auteurs that have tackled this hybridization and set up a general way of filming the Crime/drama.


The best crime movies often occupy moral gray areas where heroes and villains are very hard to determine. Crime dramas often always follow the same codes and conventions. For example, they mostly are filmed in low-key lighting, and follow the same themes of violence, drug crime and other forms of crime. A crime thriller usually consists of a battle between a protagonist character and an antagonist character, normally when there is a disruption in the equilibrium. The storyline then normally shows a chain of bad events that usually build up tension and suspense for the audience. The goal for the protagonist is to strive to restore justice and peace to the community whereas the antagonist seeks to destroy the peace.

Most generic conventions of crime/drama are : Low key lighting, Quick cuts,  Shadows, Tension music, Changes in the angles of shots, Diegetic sounds of heavy breathing, Black and white shots, Montage of shots, Protagonist, Antagonist.
Themes of a Crime Drama the storyline will be designed so that the audience will think that it can happen to them, this will add a more realistic feel and audience feels scared which is what the director aims to do. There will normally tend to be a lot of close ups and extreme close ups of the main character, it is often to show the characters emotions, also it can be used to focus on props to aid the narrative.   

The director will include lots of jump cuts because there will be things happening
that the audience will most likely be unaware of, this is an essential part of the film that adds suspense and mystery. Cross cutting is a key point in editing, this is because it is used to build suspense.
Continuous editing is used to help the audience understand the film in better detail. Music is an essential part of any film, it allows the target audience to understand the mood of the characters and hint main parts within the film. In crime films the sound will often start slowly and build up, this will add tension and make the shots seem more dramatic than they need to be for the audience.

The sets of a film is significant for the film because it helps the director maintain
the theme. Lighting in a thriller is often low key. Costumes- Characters are mostly in ordinary clothing in Drama thriller.

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