INSIDE THE ART, CRAFT AND BUSINESS OF WRITING for Film, TV, Books, Stage, Print or Digital Media (with Particular Attention to Comedy)

How Many Ways Can You Say Boo? 16 Horror Themes (from Iconic Pictures) + 1 or 2 More (from me)

faces drama1-artjournalillust00bradrich_0043At the outset of a project – and when you’re planning a rewrite – I think it’s good to ask yourself what the the project is about. What’s it really about?

When it comes to horror themes and story elements, I think this list almost covers it and almost any horror book, film or TV is one or more of these:

  1. Good vs Evil
  2. Depression
  3. Religion
  4. Childhood issues
  5. Revenge
  6. Supernatural
  7. Beyond death
  8. Science gone bad
  9. Zombie Apocalypse
  10. Nightmares
  11. Madness
  12. Insanity
  13. Lust
  14. Envy
  15. Suicide
  16. ‘Self-consciousness’ – making you question what is real and not.


demon guillotine-histoiredelac00wrig_0434 copy 2Although I think we might need one more category to cover something like “Aliens” (my favorite horror-action movie ever and, I think, one of the best movies ever made!). It’s sort of ‘Revenge’ and sort of ‘Beyond death’ and sort of ‘Nightmares’, and you could consider the aliens a form of ‘Zombie Apocalypse’, but… what about ‘Facing Your Demons’, ‘Redemption’ or straight-up ‘Slaying the Dragon(s)’?

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This entry was posted on May 20, 2015 by in Rewriting and tagged , .
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