Books Horror Horror guide

Horror Subgenres guide and where to put your focus


Have people been talking about certain subgenres and you have no idea what they are? I have been following a horror group on Facebook for a while now. They have been talking about different horror subgenres that I knew nothing about. I love horror but over the years I have been struggling with it.

I have been finding them so bad and cheesy. On top of that, a lot of them just don’t have that great of a plot. Maybe that’s just me though. If you guys have any suggestions then please let me know in the comments!

So, why exactly am I talking about horror subgenres if I’m struggling with horror? Well, this blog post is just as much for me as it is for you. I’m hoping knowing the subgenres a little bit better will help me figure out what exactly I like better.

Horror subgenres

What is horror?

Horror is a feeling of shock or fear. Horror movies and books are supposed to send out a shock of fear throughout the movie. I know that’s why I love them. Watching and reading horror is one of the easiest ways to get a bit of an adrenaline rush without having to do something stupid.

Why should you know the different horror subgenres?

Knowing the different horror subgenres is very very important. I know there are certain things when it comes to horror that people don’t really like. If you don’t like gore then you probably don’t want to pick up a book that is considered splatterpunk.

Plus, knowing what subgenre you really do like will help you pick up the right books and movies.

Granted this isn’t really a necessity but I do think they are a good thing to know!

Horror subgenres

Hopefully, these horror subgenres will help you figure out what type of books you want to pick up. It may also help you figure out what subgenres you may want to try out.


Apocalyptic is pretty self-explanatory. It’s pretty much an end-of-the-world type of story.

This is one I really don’t have much experience with. That’s a bit surprising considering how popular they are. It seems like for the longest time they were the type of movies that were constantly being made.

I do need to start reading and watching more in this subgenre. I think I would enjoy it if I gave it more of a chance.

Let me know in the comments some of your favorite books and movies in this subgenre!

Horror subgenre

Camp Horror

Camp Horror is another self-explanatory subgenre. This basically follows a group of people who go camping and then obviously something bad happens.

There are quite a few of the old eighty movies that are considered camp horror movies. There have been several that have been made recently as well too.

Camp Horror is one of my favorites but they can at times be super gory. I love the idea of going out on vacation in the middle of the woods and then something bad happens.

Granted this is something that I would never want happening to me but I do love reading and watching about it.

Dark Fantasy

Fantasy isn’t really one of my favorite genres but I know there are a lot of people who do like it. Dark Fantasy is pretty much fantasy that incorporates horror into it. It’s pretty much characters living in a different world but there are monsters surrounding them.

It’s not just potentially monsters living in this world but the world isn’t really the best place to live in either.

I have read a few dark fantasy books but I didn’t really like them. This is a subgenre I might try again because I think I just chose the wrong books for it.

Found Footage

I think just about everyone knows what found footage is.

If you’re one of the few people who haven’t really dipped their toes in anything horror I will briefly explain what found footage is!

Found Footage is when a group of people (or even just one person) visits a home or goes to a place in the woods. At first, everything is normal but then they start to explore the area and find either a camera or a phone. On the camera is video footage of the person who owned it and filmed them exploring the area.

For a while I never really liked anything found footage. When it comes to movies they always had the main character “filming” and I hated the shakiness of it. Now that I’m older I actually like this genre a lot more than I used to.

An example of this is The Blair Witch Project.


Lovecraftian horror is interchangeable with cosmic horror. It emphasizes the unknowable and incomprehensible.

To be honest I have only read one story by Lovecraft. A lot of older books and stories I have a really hard time getting into and reading. I wish that wasn’t the case though.

I might actually try to read some of his books soon if I get the chance!

I’ll need to do some research on books and movies that are considered cosmic (Lovecraftian) horror and then check them out.


Psychological horror focuses on mental, emotional, and psychological states to frighten and disturb the audience.

This genre is one of my favorites because it is creepy. I love it when a movie and book is able to get inside of your head and freak you out.

These include movies like The Sixth Sense, The Babadook, and The Others.

It has been a while since I have watched The Others but I did love it and I especially loved how it ended! If you haven’t watched it then please go do so.


Most of you should know what slashers are. Slashers are one of the most popular subgenres at least when it comes to movies.

Slashers follow a monster or a bad guy who is basically a serial killer. That is the simplified version of it. These monsters never really stop and are relentless about killing the people they are after.

Examples of slashers are the Halloween movies and The Friday the 13th movies.

I use to love movies and books like this but I have grown out of it a little bit.

Comedy Horror

Comedy Horror is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a mixture of horror with some comedy mixed in with it.

Comedy Horror is actually another one of my favorite subgenres. I know a lot of people don’t really like horror movies that include comedy.

I’m not really sure why it’s such an issue but I always think that making you laugh is a good ploy for what is coming next. It catches people off guard.

A good example of this is Zombieland and Cabin in the Woods.

Gore (splatter)

Gore is kind of self-explanatory. It’s movies and books that have quite a bit of gore and blood. This is one that I try to avoid because I don’t like books and movies that rely on gore. Gore doesn’t scare me at all even though it is gross.

Because of that, I don’t want something that relies on gore to scare you. It will completely miss its point in my hands. Don’t get me wrong though I don’t mind a little bit of gore in the movies I watch or the books that I read.

I just don’t want to be what it relies on. Hopefully, that’s not just me though!

Gore has another name called splatterpunk. They are pretty much the same thing and can really be nasty. If you want to try this subgenre then be careful which one you decide to pick up. Some of them are pretty nasty!

Horror subgenre


I know a lot of people know what paranormal horror is.

Paranormal is definitely one of my top favorite horror subgenres. Paranormal includes haunted houses, ghosts, witches, and that sort of thing.

Most paranormal genres are super creepy and that’s what I love about them.

What happens after death is always something I have always questioned even though I still don’t know completely what I believe. There are times when I wonder if ghosts are real and there are other times I don’t believe it at all.

Movies in the Paranormal subgenre include The Conjuring and 13 Ghosts

True Crime

I think just about everyone knows what True Crime is. Granted True Crime has its own genre of its own. It does have a bit of a subgenre in horror.

For the most part, it follows a police officer or detective after something really bad happens. It can also follow a writer or reporter who is covering the crime.

An example of this is the movie Sinister. If you haven’t watched that movie please go and watch it! That movie is so creepy and worth watching!

Body Horror

Body Horror is a disturbing subgenre that shows grotesque things to the body.

This can include a multitude of things. To name a few include disease, zombification, and other sorts of violations.

Some body horror I can deal with. I enjoy movies and books about zombies and some diseases. However, I don’t like ones that deal with torture.

Torture and gore for the most part are one in the same for me and it’s something I do not want to have anything to deal with. Maybe it is something you guys will enjoy though!

Folk Horror

Folk Horror is a subgenre that includes elements of folklore. The usual elements include isolation, rural areas, religion, and the power of nature.

This is one subgenre that I want to get more into. I’m on the side of TikTok that talks about lore a lot and it really has caught my attention.

I would love to read and watch more about these sorts of things.

This subgenre includes The Wickerman, The Mothman Prophecies, and Children of the Corn.


I know most of you are probably wondering what the difference is between post-apocalyptic and apocalyptic. There are really not a lot of differences other than when they take place.

Post-apocalyptic takes place after the apocalypse while apocalyptic takes place during it.

To be honest I haven’t read many books that deal with the apocalypse. I can’t even recall watching many movies about them either.

I do include I am Legend as one though. Granted I haven’t read the book but I have watched the movie.


I have seen a lot of people who like monster books and I can’t really blame them. Even though zombies are kind of included in the monster subgenre they still get their own subgenre.

What I include more into this subgenre are monsters like Mothman, the creature in Jeepers Creepers, and those sort of things.

Vampires and werewolves fall under this as well but I feel the same way about this as I do about zombies. They are so popular they kind of get their own individual subgenre.

What is your favorite horror subgenre? Let me know if there are any that I may have missed. I would love to hear from you!

If you’re looking for something to read then make sure to check out my YA horror list, middle-grade horror list, and Christmas horror books.

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