Overlapping Genres

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Zombielandor Shaun of the Dead is an example of movie that overlaps between aHorror and a Comedy films. It can therefore be hardly be categorizedinto neither of the two because the movie seem to partly cover Horrorgenre and partly a Comedy. However it can be categorized into agenre, Horror-Comedy.

Horrormovie aims at creating a sense of fear, panic, alarm, and dread forthe audience and the arrival of an evil force, mostly in form ofcreatures such ghosts, vampires, and zombies are the dominant featureunique to Horror films (Hallenbeck, 2009). Comedy on the other hand,as film genre, uses humor as a driving force. The characters and thestoryline are usually funny and these cause the audience to laugh.Shaunof the Deadis a funny movie at the same time frightening, as survivors movesaround the desolate landscape while dispatching the brain-eatingundead – and later cleaning their hands with purell.

Accordingto Hallenbeck (2009), comedy can be incorporated into other genres tocreate other new genres. Due to this aspect of possibility toincorporate comedy into other genres, there are sub-genres of comedyfilms. This include: Anarchic Comedy, Action-Comedy, Black-Comedy,Dramedy, Parody, Romantic-Comedy, Slapstic and Horror-Comedy in whichShaun of the Dead falls under.

Inthe making of the Zombieland movie, there is clearly a uniqueapproach, that of blending the two to come up with Horror-Comedygenre. (Hallenbeck, 2009) presents Horror-Comic as a combination ofcomedy and horror movie themes and characters. The main reason forcategorizing Shaun of the Dead as Horror-Comedy is mainly because ithas combined the traditional horror movie themes and characters withcomedy aspect. For instance the use of Zombies characters is adominant feature unique to horror films. The fact that it also bringsabout fear and at the same time has a sense of humor that causeslaughter throughout, qualifies it to be a Horror-Comic.

Genreclassification matters because it predicts whatkindof emotion theaudience can expect to feel when they watch a certain film. Howeveradherence to specific genres, without blending them, in this case,horror or comedy, creates monotonous formulaic flow, almostpredictable. However blending genres in this case horror and comedygenerates a new approach altogether which gives the audience a newway of experiencing familiar emotions while breaking formulaicmonotony.

Neverthelessas much as blending of genres shows creativity, giving the audienceemotional effect they expect is important. Therefore audience needsto be familiar with the respective genres, as they fully appreciatefilms by gratifying the emotional effect they expect, even if it isin a way they could not have expected.

Thereforewhen genres overlap they should be viewed as a unique as it is a wayof showing creativity while enhancing and enriching the film.


Hallenbeck,B. G. (2009). Comedy-horrorfilms: A chronological history, 1914-2008.Jefferson, N.C: McFarland.