Non-horror movies like Batman and Jurassic Park with scary elements
When it comes to horror movies, there are tons of subgenres, from slashers to stills, chases to body horror, and everything in between. Over the past few decades, a new trend has emerged to mix genres to create a completely unique experience. As a result, horror has been mixed with certain elements to give audiences a bit of a scare in films that wouldn’t otherwise be considered horror. Here are some great examples of these particular films, with the perfect blend of horror and other genres.
The Terminator (1984)
The 1984 classic The Terminator is a groundbreaking film that is considered one of the most influential science fiction films of all time. But there’s also a decent amount of horror elements. The film’s first element of horror really kicks in when the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) looks in the phone book to find the name Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and plans to kill them all. He shoots a random Sarah Connor in broad daylight without any remorse, which is horrifying 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 his victim with a gun instead of a knife.
The Guest (2014)
Adam Wingard‘c The guest is one of those films of the mid-2010s that flew under the radar, but definitely deserves more recognition. One of the unique aspects of this film is that it looks like an action film on the surface, but also contains a good amount of horror elements. For example, David (Dan Stevens) goes on a killing spree in the house, killing people in all sorts of ways with such precision that it seems inhuman. Another of these elements is the whole high school maze sequence in the third act. It has a Halloween theme, but also plays into the horror vibe by having David sneak around and stalk his victims for a while before going in for the kill. It really takes time to build up the tension that puts you on the edge of your seat.
The Batman it’s obviously a superhero movie, but a director Matt Reeves implements elements of horror into the story to get under the skin of audience members. All of the Riddler’s traps for his victims throughout the film are the perfect example of nightmare fuel. One of these scenes involved a victim with a rat cage surgically attached to his torso. This image alone will scar you for life and it looks like something out of the ordinary Saw movie more than DC Comics. In addition, the character of Batman uses the element of fear to terrorize all criminals in Gotham City. Especially for crimes he can’t get to, his reputation does the work 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‘c Se7en, which is undoubtedly a horror film.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is directed by a horror legend Sam Raimi. While he is widely known for Spider-Man Trilogy since the 2000s, he started in showbiz in the horror genre with An evil death Trilogy and Darkman. The Multiverse of Madness was presented as a horror movie mixed with the usual MCU feel, and Sam Raimi did not disappoint in that department. Scarlet Witch was the real part of the story that brought in the horror elements most effectively. In the sequence where she attacks Karmatage, she telepathically scares a wizard by telling him to run by whispering in 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 brutal ways. She is ruthless and doesn’t hesitate.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Spielberg’s classic Jurassic Park is a great mash-up 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 Eli Sattler (Laura Dern) discovers a severed limb, provides a great jump scare.
The Shape of Water (2017)
While The shape of water is primarily a romantic tale, it definitely contains some of the flashy horror elements that are one of the trademarks of Guillermo del Toro movie. The design of the creature itself is an homage to the classic features of horror creatures such as The creature from the black lagoon. As well as some plot elements where the creature actually kills or injures people and animals. The sea creature literally rips Eliza’s head off (Sally Hawkins) cat Pandora and eats her whole. There are also some body-horror moments, such as when Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) ripping off his own fingers or the scene where Strickland tortures a man to get information. It’s just that all the bloodshed in the film is an element of horror mixed into this romantic story
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
The Cloverfield the franchise changed directions after the original film and became a thriller with the follow-up film 10 Cloverfield Lane. Although billed as a thriller, it didn’t completely abandon horror and mixed some of those elements throughout. One example is how the character Howard (John Goodman) kidnaps the main character Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). While holding her captive, he tricks her into thinking some natural disaster is happening outside to get her to stay. This is serial killer behavior that shows what a badass Howard really is. Another example of a horror element in this film is the third act where Michelle hides from the aliens in a barn as they slowly drift around looking for her.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
To Edgar Wright second feature film Hot moss is a great satire on action movies, mostly buddy cop movies. Wright has also mixed some horror elements into the plot, highlighted by the murder mystery story. The killer targets different people in a small community one by one and kills them all in a gruesome manner. The killer is dressed in a black hooded cloak as he uses an ax to slice and dice his victims, slasher style. Also, just before the third act the killer’s identity is revealed, Nick Angel (Simon Pegg) finds a group of hooded figures sitting around a table. Aesthetically, it looks like some sort of cult is performing a ritual, which turns out not to be the case, but this type of ghostly imagery really creeps the audience out.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Who Arranged Roger Rabbit is a neo-noir mixed with comedy as far as its genre goes. Many people forget that there are some horror elements in there that terrified many of us as children. The prime example of this that comes to mind is Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd). Like when he runs away from Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), he disappears and slowly creeps down the alleyways, the image looks very ominous because you can only see Doom’s shadow against the wall before he pops out to surprise Valiant. This scene has a few jump scares in it and plays like a haunted house sequence. Doom’s transformation scene when he goes from human to cartoon form is complete body horror, and while it’s cartoonish, it’s also very disturbing. Also, the scenes where a chemical called The Dip disintegrates the cartoon characters is straight-up horror at its finest.
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is closest to the horror genre of any of the other films on this list, but it’s still technically more of a psychological thriller. The protagonist, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Winshaw), is the main element of this film that carries all the horror. Jean-Baptiste is creepy and weird, so the fact that he literally stalks his victims and kills them just to recreate their scent isn’t surprising at all. The way he stalks his victims is very reminiscent of characters like Michael Myers. For example, after taking his first victim, he strips her and begins to strangle her corpse. His birth scene also contained elements of body horror as he appeared sick and scarred. This picture is so horrifying and horrifying right from the start. Another example of horror elements applied to this move is also the hide and seek sequence. While this film relies more on the psychological aspects to tell the story, it definitely mixes in horror to create the perfect recipe to terrify the audience.