Why Do We Have Genres of Film?


Most people these days have a favorite type of movie that they love to watch. Whether you’re into horror, sci-fi, romantic-comedies, or arthouse, we all have a certain genre of movie that we love the most. Some of us have a few. But what is a genre?

What is Genre?

Genres are the way in which we categorized things. You can have genres of music and literature etc.

Why is Genre Important?

Genre allows the makers of films to market to the right audiences. In order to get the most out of their movies, which take a lot of time, energy, and creativity to make, most movies fit into a genre. Genres help us to define what movies are, and they help us to seek out movies that are similar to the ones that we already like. In order to sell movies the best they can, film producers will market films to the demographics that they believe will like their movies the most.

Genres also help us to critically analyze films. We can look at themes and characteristics that generally come up a certain type of genre, and compare these within movies. Genre can also help someone decide whether a movie is for them. Generally, if a movie is advertised as part of a certain genre, there will be certain aspects of the movie that can be expected by audiences.

Most Popular Movie Genres

Today the most popular movies can easily be discerned by looking at the highest grossing movies. For each decade, different genres fall in and out of style. Today however, seems to be the rise of the comic-book adaptation. Superheroes are the new go-to for movie makers who want to make the most money, and fans seem happy to hand over their cash for top quality films.

Horror is also a genre that has been coming into its own of late, and there are new horror franchises that are taking the world by storm and making similar profits to more mainstream genre movies.

Problems with Genre

Genres are never perfect, and rarely does everything fit neatly into a premade box. A lot of movies do not fit into anyone category, and many movies often fit into more than one. Often movies are considered to have been a failure if they do not satisfy the intended audience or do not adhere to all of the classic characteristics of the genre they are assumed to fit under. When an audience is told, or led to believe that a movie fits into a certain genre, they will walk into theatres expecting certain things from that movie. If those things are not delivered, a movie that would otherwise be very good, or at least entertaining, might be considered a flop. Genres can often be very restricting, and any deviation from the norm can upset critics and audiences alike, though some of the best films ever made, were made by genre-bending.