Research into the genre of films


Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is a suspense/ horror film released in 1960. Films that fall into the genre of suspense, also known as a ‘thriller’ focus on the use tension and excitement. This creates anticipation, uncertainty, surprise, anxiety and terror among audiences. Two sub genres that could be applied to Psycho are psychological and mystery thrillers. Psychological thrillers focus on the unstable mental state of particular characters, in this case, the audience will be aware that something is not quite right about Norman Bates from an early point in the film. Mystery thrillers focus on the unraveling of a crime and while watching ‘Psycho’ the audience will be attempting to piece together the happenings in the motel.

Back to the Future

The Back to the Future trilogy lands in the science fiction genre. Science fiction is described as ‘science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science’. The main sub genre that can be applied to Back to the Future is that of Space/Time travel. As the main focus of the film is time travel, which is clearly not currently possible in today’s world, therefore it could be described as involving ‘depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science’. The film definitely gives the audience a temporary escape from reality and desire for the futuristic lifestyle of the main character Marty McFly.

Jurassic Park  

The Jurassic Park trilogy falls into the genre of adventure combined with science fiction. Adventure films are known for their exploration of exotic locations in an energetic way.  Jurassic Park could also be classified as a science fiction film because of its focus on genetic experimentation of dinosaurs. The common sub genre related to science fiction films of ‘Lost worlds’ can be applied to the Jurassic Park, as the main focus of the film is the character’s intentions to re-establish the pre-historic world of dinosaurs.

500 days of Summer

500 Days of Summer is a romance film. Some typical traits of films that come under this genre are those of love, passion, emotion and affection.  The fact that the main plot focus in this film is that of the relationship between the two main characters and the obstacles they need to overcome also contributes to the classification of 500 Days of Summer into the romantic genre. The scene in which Tom and Summer meet in the elevator could be seen as being a traditional ‘love at first sight’ moment, which are very common in this genre. Some sub genres evident are those of drama and comedy. An example of definition found to describe dramatic films is “A film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes.” As the situation between Summer and Tom is quite relatable, 500 Days of Summer could be described as a dramatic romance.


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