The different films can be classified into genres and subgenres depending on the style, setting or theme chosen. Some of the best known are the western, the war, science fiction, film noir, comedy or thriller. Among the multiple variants we find a very unique genre, the gore genre, also known as splatter cinema. As for the word gore, it comes from English and refers to the vision of blood and guts (the verb to gore means precisely “to put a knife on”).
Main characteristics of the Gore genre
Horror is the genuine element of these movies. However, it is not a psychological or subtle terror, but is totally explicit. Thus, in these films cruel mutilations, very bloody scenes, torture and brutal murders appear. It could be said that it is excessive and gratuitous violence.
Normally the plot takes place in macabre and depraved environments. Sometimes violent images are combined with sex or with other narrative genres (for example, manga, fantasy tales, or comedy). In any of its variants, for a film to be gore it must incorporate violence and blood.
Why does this type of cinema attract?
There is no single answer to this question. On the one hand, violence in any of its forms is an element that attracts attention. Blood generates a double contradictory feeling: rejection and attraction. Gore cinema shows a reality to which we are not accustomed and for this reason arouses curiosity and morbidity among viewers.
Difference from horror genre
In horror movies it is common for there to be a social order in which evil tries to triumph over good. On the other hand, the idea of terror is not necessarily associated with violence, since the terrifying nature of the actions may have a psychological component or be based on the tension of the plot. On the other hand, in the gore genre, violence is bloody and without any kind of subtlety. It could be said that gore cinema is a subgenre of horror cinema.
The origin and some of the most significant titles
The historical background of these films is found in the French Grand Guignol theater at the beginning of the 20th century, where works with terrifying and morbid content were represented. Until 1950 the horror genre was based on the classic canons of this genre. However, in 1963 the feature film Blood Feast by director Herschell Gordon Lewis was presented. This film is considered the first of this category.
Among the most outstanding titles of the genre, we can highlight the following: Martyrs (2008), The Texas Massacre (1974), Cannibal Holocaust (1980) or the Friday the 13th saga.
Photos: Fotolia – Ratoca / Hakaba