->''"The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door."''
-->-- '''The world's shortest horror story'''

Horror is a Genre of fiction that exploits the {{Primal Fear}}s of viewers with things ranging from the UncannyValley, BodyHorror, and [[{{DramaticIrony}} Dramatic Irony AKA Suspense]] to cause the viewer anxiety, fear, and ultimately thrills. It uses various HorrorTropes to cause these effects; however, partly due to the rise in complexity of SpecialEffects, overuse, and [[FanDisillusionment viewer desensitization]], several of these are now [[DiscreditedTrope cliché]].

This is a very broad genre, it can go from tasteful and timeless tales of psychological [[{{DramaticIrony}} suspense]] (a trademark of people like Creator/AlfredHitchcock) to gross out horror (which tends to become campy). It often employs the [[OthernessTropes supernatural]], but [[HumansAreBastards "normal" people]] are more than sufficient to scare audiences when used properly.

'''Subgenres of horror include:'''
* '''[[CosmicHorrorStory Cosmic Horror]]:''' Paints a picture of human insignificance dwarfed by a cold, uncaring universe which will never even notice how casually it destroys us.
* '''GothicHorror:''' Is the oldest subgenre of horror.
* '''PsychologicalHorror:''' Uses in-depth explorations of human mental anguish to horrify.
* '''ReligiousHorror:''' Uses the unknowns and symbolism of organized religion, including tales of the apocalypse, {{Satan}}, TheAntiChrist, and {{cult}}s, to scare viewers, and desecrates what is considered comforting and holy in order to shock them.
* '''SciFiHorror:''' The purpose of this genre is to use horror to show how scientific knowledge can be used for evil ends, how cutting edge research can go horribly wrong, how crippling a lack of knowledge can be, or if you want to be campy how people get the bejeezus scared out of them in the future.
* '''SpaceIsolationHorror:''' Traps [[ClosedCircle a person or small group of people]] in a [[EnclosedSpace rapidly deteriorating survival bubble]] that they can't leave, but can't stay in, playing off a fear of being completely alone.
* '''SplatterHorror:''' Horror that uses the [[BloodyHorror fragility of the human body]] to scare. Currently TheScrappy of the horror genre, due to its association with {{Gorn}}, TorturePorn, and [[FollowTheLeader carbon-copy]] {{Slasher Movie}}s in recent decades.
* '''SurvivalHorror:''' Plays on fears of nature, re-casting its human protagonists as prey and victim of creatures or forces more numerous and powerful than they are. The central focus is on stripping away the protections of the modern, "civilized" world, leaving the protagonists at the mercy of some natural or pseudo-natural force like disease, the undead, barbarian hordes, inbred hillbillies, aliens, wild animals, etc.

Horror and SpeculativeFiction also overlap very well. The latter provides the WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief, and the former the creepy crawlie to terrorize the hapless astronauts. MysteryFiction meshes nicely as well, with cerebral brain teasers and [[OntologicalMystery ontological mysteries]] to captivate and terrify the audience.

Works of horror will sometimes include AnAesop or morality play, especially if it includes a KarmicTwistEnding, or is a SlasherMovie. In these cases, a few characters [[SortingAlgorithmOfMortality will usually survive]], especially if they [[GenreSavvy catch on quickly.]] Other times, it will go for a MindScrew and throw calamity after tragedy onto the hero with a DownerEnding or CruelTwistEnding.


Suspense, though not technically horror, tends to get lumped with horror beacuse they both want the same thing: to scare the viewer. However; both go about it different ways. Suspense relies on themes, tight plot, and subtlety over brute force. It uses camerawork with lots of shadows, and tends to either evoke claustrophobia, or isolating vastness. Lots of silence punctuated with creaking doors, or ambient sounds hinting at approaching danger. If there's a monster, it will appear in brief glimpses and silhouettes, and generally try [[NothingIsScarier to leave more to the imagination.]]

'''[[AC:Splatter horror:]]'''

Splatter horror goes to the other extreme. Excess rather than restraint. [[ScreamerTrailer Shock treatment]] instead of slow, ambient build-up. Visceral rather than cerebral. This is not to say it's not effective, which it can be, but that it can very easily get out of hand and leave so little to the imagination that the viewer quite quickly goes from afraid, to surprised, to the concession stand for more popcorn. [[TropesAreNotBad This subgenre has produced its own share of respected masterpieces, however]] when in the hands of a skilled writer or director. The films ''{{Film/Psycho}}'', ''{{Film/Se7en}}'', and the original ''Film/SawI'', for instance, mix Splatter and Psychological Horror to great effect, and the drama of the live action version of ''Series/{{The Walking Dead}}'' is only enhanced by the tension of knowing that AnyoneCanDie a gruesome, visceral death at any moment.

As mentioned earlier, horror movies do not age too well. Generally, those films with the least reliance on special effects will seem less dated. Those with excessive visuals of monsters, gore, and other creepy things tend to drift into {{Narm}} and {{camp}} after a decade or two, once people become desensitized to them. Monster and supernatural horror movies in general are under more pressure to survive, but quite a few have become {{cult classic}}s.

[[FilmPosters Posters]] for horror movies will usually be red and/or black, with lots of blood and pain. Other times, gray and mysterious. See also the SlidingScaleOfComedyAndHorror.

By Media:


[[folder:Cosmic Horror]]
[[AC: {{Anime and Manga}}]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''
* ''Manga/HellstarRemina'' and ''Manga/{{Uzumaki}}'' by Creator/JunjiIto.
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}''
* ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' (Near the end)
* ''Manga/MadeInAbyss''

[[AC: {{Film}}]]
* ''Film/{{Eraserhead}}''
* ''Film/RedMist''
* Most movies done by Creator/JohnCarpenter, particularly ''Film/TheThing1982''.

* Almost anything by Creator/StephenKing
* ''Literature/TheTaking'', and a few other things by Creator/DeanKoontz.
* ''Literature/HouseOfLeaves''
* Almost anything by Creator/HPLovecraft, except many of his Dreamlands-stories, some which contain little to no horror elements.
* ''Literature/TheKingInYellow''
* The works of Creator/GrahamMasterton, especially ''Literature/TheManitou'' and others, including ''Literature/DeathTrance''.

[[AC: VideoGames]]
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness''
* ''VideoGame/CallOfCthulhuDarkCornersOfTheEarth''
* ''Videogame/CallOfCthulhuTheWastedLand''
* After TheReveal, ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'' (before you discover the truth [[GenreShift it masquerades as]] GothicHorror)
* ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonUltraSunAndUltraMoon'' (Has shades of this and much less than others due to being a kids game)

[[folder:Gothic Horror]]

* ''Literature/{{Dracula}}''
* ''Literature/TheMonk''
* ''Literature/TheCastleOfOtranto''
* ''Literature/TheMysteriesOfUdolpho''
* ''Literature/ASicilianRomance''
* ''Literature/{{Viy}}''

[[AC: Live Action Film]]
* ''[[Film/ThePitandthePendulum The Pit and the Pendulum]]''
* ''Film/CrimsonPeak''
* ''Film/Dracula1931''
* ''[[Film/NosferatutheVampyre Nosferatu the Vampyre]]'' (1979)

[[AC: Live Action TV]]
* A favourite genre for ''Series/DoctorWho'', especially associated with Creator/TomBaker's early-to-mid tenure (see "The Brain of Morbius", "Pyramids of Mars", "Horror of Fang Rock" and "Image of the Fendahl" for just the more obvious ones), though some show up earlier and later than that - see the Second Doctor's "The Evil of the Daleks" and the late Fourth Doctor "State of Decay".

[[folder: Splatter Horror]]

* ''Film/{{Braindead}}''

* The short story ''Jerry's Kids Meet Wormboy'' by David J. Schow in the book ''Zombies: Encounters With The Hungry Dead''. The intro to the story even calls it the "literary equivalent of Peter Jackson's ''[[Film/{{Braindead}} Dead Alive]]''."
* Various Works by ''Edward Lee''.

* ''VideoGame/{{Splatterhouse}}''

* ''Film/FiveGirls''
* ''Film/TheAlphabetKiller'' combines suspense with conventional horror, as the protagonist is visited by the ghosts of the eponymous killer's victims.
* ''Film/TheBirds''
* ''Film/CarnivalOfSouls''
* ''Film/TheDevilsBackbone ''
* ''Film/TheFactsInTheCaseOfMisterHollow''
* ''Film/TheHealing''
* ''Film/TheOrphanage''
* ''Film/TheLastWinter''
* ''Film/TheWickerMan1973'', also a ReligiousHorror film
* ''Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari''
* ''Film/{{Nosferatu}}''
* ''Film/TheBlairWitchProject''
* ''Film/TheMothmanProphecies''
* Many things by Creator/StephenKing

[[AC: Live-Action TV]]
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' stories "The Edge of Destruction", "The Tenth Planet", and "Cold War". In fact, most serials that come under the subgenre {{Fan Nickname}}d "Base Under Siege" (like "The Ice Warriors" and "Fury From the Deep" for just a couple of examples).

[[AC: Video Games]]
* ''{{VideoGame/Deadnaut}}'' uses this type of horror on the player's end, cramming them into a small operating booth with nothing to occupy their ears other than muffled gunfire and the occasional distant scream.

* Literature/KAZe
* Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos

[[folder:Survival Horror]]

[[AC:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan''
* ''Manga/{{Gyo}}''
* ''Manga/IAmAHero''
* ''Manga/CageOfEden''

* ''Franchise/EvilDead''
* ''[[Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968 Night]]'', ''[[Film/DawnOfTheDead1978 Dawn]],'' and ''Film/DayOfTheDead1985''
* ''Film/ResidentEvil''
** HEAVY emphasis on the 1 there, movie-wise.
* ''Film/TheThing1982''
* ''Film/TheFly'' (Both original and remake. Especially the remake.)
* ''Film/{{Feast}}''
* ''Film/{{Troll 2}}'', although it's more enjoyable [[{{Narm}} as a comedy]]
** For similiar reasons, ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate'' and ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace''
* ''Film/{{Colin}}'' , although the protagonist is [[spoiler: not actually a survivor]]
* ''Film/HanselAndGretel2013''

[[AC: Literature]]
* ''Literature/ExpeditionZ''

[[AC: Live-Action TV]]
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Midnight".

[[AC:VideoGames (See HorrorVideoGames for more examples)]]
* ''Franchise/SilentHill''
* Certain games of the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series, most recently [[VideoGame/ResidentEvil7Biohazard the seventh installment]].
* ''VideoGame/FatalFrame''
* Parts of ''VideoGame/BioShock''; the rest of it is standard Horror.
* ''VideoGame/CondemnedCriminalOrigins''
* ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Siren}}''
* ''VideoGame/DarkFall''
* ''Franchise/DeadSpace''
* ''VideoGame/TheForest''
* ''VideoGame/AlienIsolation''
* A game mod for ''VideoGame/DontStarve'' called "The Screecher."