The genre trends in Hollywood are constantly changing. Roger Moore’s James Bond films drew on trends in blaxploitation, martial arts and science fiction. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has explored genres such as conspiracy thrillers, heist movies, and TV sitcoms. Before there is a genre trend to follow, a groundbreaking film has to create that trend.
Classic movies like Dr No and Night of the Living Dead have created their own subgenres. After a few decades, these genres start to seem stale, outdated, or conventional, and a movie like Kingsman Where 28 days later must come and revitalize them.
ten 28 Days Later (2002) – Zombies
George A. Romero created the modern zombie with his hugely influential first feature film Night of the Living Dead. After exploring his larger-scale zombie apocalypse in Dawn of the dead, Romero had officially set a checklist for a zombie movie.
Over the next two decades, tropes became overkill and the public no longer found zombies creepy. And then, Danny Boyle came up with the intensity and gritty realism of 28 days later. Its protagonists are plagued by sprinting flesh-eaters, as opposed to Romero’s dragging, slow-moving undead hordes.
9 Django Unchained (2012) – Spaghetti Westerns
Throughout the 1960s, Italian directors like Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci launched their own subgenre of the western – dubbed the ‘spaghetti western’ – with the rougher, bloodier take on the Wild West found in successes like a handful of dollars and The mercenary.
This subgenre died out along with the rest of the Western genre at the turn of the 21st century, but Quentin Tarantino brought back his operatic and ultraviolent sensibility in 2012. With its setting from the era of slavery, Django unchained gives a unique historical twist to the spaghetti western.
8 Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) – Spy Movies
By the 1960s, spy movies had grown tired and bloated, relying on familiar clichés and taking themselves far too seriously. Dr No and the adventures of James Bond that followed injected fun into the spy genre with megalomaniac villains, exotic locations, and humorous one-liners.
Decades later, the espionage genre has fallen back into seriousness. Even the Bond franchise has left behind its wacky tropes in favor of courage and realism. Matthew Vaughn’s adaptations of Kingsman the comics brought a refreshing sense of fun back to spy movies.
seven Cloverfield (2008) – Kaiju
There aren’t many ways to spin the premise of a kaiju movie. It is difficult to innovate the story of a giant monster destroying a city to pieces. The first classics, like Godzilla and King Kong, had more than enough social commentary to define the genre as a whole.
In 2008, Matt Reeves managed to give a new twist to the kaiju genre with the presentation of “found footage” by Cloverfield. Camcorder footage in the universe brought a refreshing, lifelike ground-level perspective to the familiar giant monster movie.
6 La La Land (2016) – Musicals
Musicals were the Marvel movies of the 1950s, but the appeal slowly faded throughout the 1960s with the rise of New Hollywood’s darker, more daring sensibility. Damien Chazelle made the musical a hit genre with his hit inspired by the golden age of Hollywood La La Land in 2016.
This year’s box office disappointment of In the heights, Dear Evan Hansen, and West Side Story proved that La La LandUnfortunately, the reinvention of the musical was short-lived.
5 Get Out (2017) – Social Thrillers
“Social Thriller” is a curious and unique sub-genre that uses the principles of cinematic horror to explore poignant and relevant themes. Early examples include Rear window, Bad day at Black Rock, and Rosemary baby.
In 2017, the social thriller was popularized by first Oscar-winning director Jordan Peele. Get out, who used the paranoia of The Women of Stepford to capture contemporary racial tensions in the United States.
4 What’s up doc? (1972) – Screw comedies
Screwball was one of the most popular comedy subgenres of the 1930s and 1940s, defined by lively dialogue and tongue-in-cheek storytelling. In the 1970s, goofy comedies were a forgotten relic.
A rising Peter Bogdanovich brought this genre back with his 1972 tribute What’s up doc?, starring Ryan O’Neal as the mild-mannered ordinary man and Barbra Streisand as the joker he falls in love with.
3 Scream (1996) – Slashers
John Carpenter’s founding masterpiece in 1978 Halloween defined the tropes of the slasher (a genre that had existed in broad strokes since the classics of Mario Bava) and gave low-budget filmmakers a plan to create their own horror films. Throughout the 1980s audiences were inundated with clichéd slasher films.
In the 1990s, audiences were painfully aware of these conventions, and effective slashers were rare. Then, Wes Craven revitalized the genre with the conscious satire of Scream.
2 Star Wars (1977) – Science-Fiction
Science fiction was important in the 1950s and 1960s, but it died out in the late 1960s and early 1970s when American cinema became very gritty, understated, and realistic. George Lucas beautifully combined the experimental styles of New Hollywood with the luscious old-fashioned visuals of the space series with his 1977 masterpiece Star wars.
Technically, Star wars belongs to the “fantastic science” subcategory. It was initially seen as a weird little space movie and was set to be bombed at the box office, but it ended up triggering a boom of films set in space. There was even a Bond movie set in space after the success of Star wars.
1 What We Do in the Shadows (2014) – Vampires & Parodies
Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clément What we do in the shadows is a revival of the two-for-one genre, as it has revitalized both the vampire and parody genres. The vampires had lost their advantage by the age of dusk and this film marked a welcome return to the traditional vampire lore (and a lot of blood).
The fake movies faded away when their writers and directors got lazy and started trading references for jokes. What we do in the shadowsThe mock portrayal of vampire everyday life has made it one of the most inventive parodies in years.
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