When it comes to horror movies, there are tons of sub-genres, from slashers to found footage, hauntings to body horror, and everything in between. Within the last few decades, there has been a new trend of mixing genres to create an entirely unique experience. As a result, horror has become blended with certain elements to scare the audience just a little in movies that otherwise wouldn’t be considered horror. Here are some great examples of these particular movies, with the perfect mix of horror and another genre.
The Terminator (1984)
The 1984 classic The Terminator is a groundbreaking movie that’s regarded as one of the most influential sci-fi films of all time. But there is also a decent amount of horror elements. The first horror element of the film really comes in to play when The T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) looks through the phonebook to find the name Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) and plans on killing all of them. He guns down a random Sarah Conner in broad daylight with no remorse, which is terrifying in its randomness. In a later scene, the Terminator replaces his eyeball in a graphic scene that could be considered body horror. The nightclub scene feels like a slasher movie where the killer stalks their victim with a gun instead of a knife.
The Guest (2014)
Adam Wingard’s The Guest is one of those films from the mid-2010s that went under the radar, but definitely deserves more recognition. One of the unique aspects of this film is that it seems like an action movie on the surface, but also contains a good amount of horror elements. For example, David (Dan Stevens) goes on a killing spree at the house, killing people in all sorts of ways with such precision that he seems inhuman. Another of those elements is the whole maze sequence at the high school in the third act. It has a Halloween theme, but also plays into that horror vibe by having David sneak around and stalk his victims for a bit before he goes in for the kill. It really takes time to build up the tension, which puts you on the edge of your seat.
The Batman (2022)
The Batman is obviously a superhero film, but director Matt Reeves implements horror elements into the story to get under the audience members‘ skin. All the Riddler’s traps for his victims throughout the film are the perfect example of nightmare fuel. One of those scenes featured a victim with a rat cage surgically attached to his torso. That visual in and of itself will scar you for life and seems like something out a Saw movie more so than DC Comics. Also, the character of Batman uses the element of fear to terrify all the criminals in Gotham City. Especially for crimes he can’t get to, his reputation does the job for him. Matt Reeves even treats these shots as if a monster/killer is lurking in the shadows. The overall tone and aesthetic of the film draws inspiration from David Fincher’s Se7en, which is without a doubt a horror film.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness (2022)
Doctor Strange Into The Multiverse of Madness was directed by horror legend Sam Raimi. While he’s widely known for the Spider-Man Trilogy from the 2000s he got his start in show business inside the horror genre with the Evil Dead Trilogy and Darkman. Multiverse of Madness was pitched as a horror film mixed with the usual MCU feel to it, and Sam Raimi did not disappoint in that department. Scarlet Witch was the real part of the story that brought in the horror elements the most effectively. In the sequence where she raids Karmataj, she telepathically scares a sorcerer by telling him to run by whispering into his ear like a ghost. Then, in a later scene, she literally goes on a killing spree and kills the entire Illuminati team in very violent ways. She is merciless and has no hesitation.
Jurassic Park (1993)
The Spielberg classic Jurassic Park is a big blending pot of genres that came together perfectly. Horror elements are sprinkled throughout the film, from the opening sequence where an unknown dinosaur eats one of the guards to the infamous T-Rex attack scene. When Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) discovers a severed limb, it provides a great jump scare.
The Shape of Water (2017)
While The Shape of Water is mostly a romantic-fairy tale, it definitely contains some of the blatant horror elements that are one of the trademarks of a Guillermo Del Toro film. The creature’s design itself is an homage to classic horror creature features like The Creature From the Black Lagoon. As are some elements of the plot, where the creature does end up killing or hurting people and animals. The sea creature literally rips the head off Eliza’s (Sally Hawkins) cat Pandora, and eats it whole. There are also some body-horror moments too, such as when Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) rips off his own fingers, or the scene where Strickland tortures a man to get information. Just all the bloodshed featured throughout the film is an element of horror mixed into this romantic story
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
The Cloverfield franchise changed directions after the original film and became a thriller with the follow-up 10 Cloverfield Lane. Although it’s considered a thriller, it didn’t abandon horror entirely and mixed in some of those elements throughout. One example is how the character Howard (John Goodman) kidnaps the main heroine, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). While he holds her captive, he tricks her into thinking some natural disaster is going on outside to get her to stay. That is some straight-up serial killer behavior, which shows what a creep Howard really is. Another example of a horror element in this film is the third act where Michelle is hiding from the aliens inside a barn as the they slowly float around searching for her.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Edgar Wright’s second feature film Hot Fuzz is a great satire on action movies, primarily buddy cop movies. Wright also mixed in some horror elements throughout the plot, highlighted by the murder mystery storyline. The killer is targeting different people in a small community one by one and kills them all in horrific fashion. The killer is dressed in a hooded black cloak using an ax to slice and dice his victims, slasher movie style. Also, right before the third act reveal of the killer’s identit,y Nick Angel (Simon Pegg) finds a group of hooded figures sitting around a table. Aesthetically it looks like some kind of cult is performing a ritual, which turned out not to be the case of course, but that type of spooky imagery really creeps out the audience.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is neo-noir mixed with comedy when it comes to its genre. Many folks forget that there are some horror elements sprinkled in there that terrified many of us as kids. The main example of that comes to mind is Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd). Like when he’s running away from Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), he disappears and slowly sneaks around the alleyways, the imagery is very eerie looking because you can only see Doom’s shadow against the wall before he jumps out to surprise Valiant. That scene has several jump scares in it and plays like a haunted house sequence. Doom’s transformation scene when he goes from human to cartoon form is full-on body horror, and while it’s cartoonish, it’s very unsettling at the same time. Also, the scenes where a chemical called The Dip disintegrated cartoon characters is straight up horror at it’s finest.
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is the closest to the horror genre out of all the other films on this list, but it is still technically more of a psychological thriller. The main character, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Winshaw), is the main element of this movie that brings all the horror. Jean Baptiste is creepy and weird, so the fact he literally stalks his victims and kills them simply to recreate their scent is not surprising at all. The way in which he stalks his victims is very reminiscent to characters like Michael Myers. For instance, after he claims his first victim he unclothes her and starts sniffing her corpse. His birth scene also contained body horror elements, as he looked sick and scarred. This visual is so gruesome and terrifying right off the bat. Another example of horror elements applied to this move is the hide and seek sequence as well. While this film relies more on the psychological aspects to tell the story, it definitely blends in horror to make the perfect recipe for terrifying the audience.