Difference Between Horror and Thriller

Movies are always a great source of entertainment, the craze of  binge watching a movie or any series never fades away. Long weekends  plans often include bungee watching any show or movie.


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Storyline of the movie is one of the most important parts of any movie. Scripts of a film can make wonders, even if the starcast has just debuted, the movie can become a hit and a bad script can flop even if it has the most famous actors or actresses.

Baseline of any script is choosing their genre. Genre is a particular style or category in which a writer writes a script for example romance, horror, thriller, comedy, etc..

These are the complete choice of the writer on how he puts things in his script.

Genre is important for any script as it filters the story to some extent. For example some people prefer watching romantic movies, but if the genre is not specified in movies and they watch thrillers then it will bring boredom to the audience, so it helps the audience to choose their type of movie.

Every genre is different from each other, but movies can have more than one genre at the same time for example romcom (romance and comedy), fiction and thriller, drama and romance, etc..

Key Takeaways

  1. Horror is a genre of fiction that focuses on evoking fear, dread, and terror in the audience, often involving supernatural elements, monsters, or other frightening themes.
  2. Thriller is a genre of fiction that emphasizes suspense, tension, and excitement, often revolving around a high-stakes conflict or a dangerous situation the protagonist faces.
  3. Both horror and thriller genres aim to elicit strong emotional reactions from the audience, but horror focuses on fear and terror, while thriller emphasizes suspense and tension.

Horror vs Thriller

The difference between Horror and Thriller is the supernatural element in horror movies. Both horror and thriller sometimes can be present in the same movie but these are different from each other in terms of their storyline, script, etc..

Horror vs Thriller

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHorrorThriller
ObjectiveCreate horrorCreate thrill
PracticalityNot presentOften present
Basic plotGhostCrime or escape
AudienceAdults onlyAdults and children above 12 years (under supervision of an adult)


What is Horror?

Horror is the genre which has supernatural elements mostly “ghosts”. This genre is always preferred for adults as it leaves people spooked, it can be dangerous for kids.

Horror movies are loved by all, although they are not so practical their representation contains supernatural elements so their story’s main focus is horrifying the audience to another level.

It sounds absurd to some people but  there are horror lovers who always want more and more horror in the movies, as they are never satisfied with the horror scenes. Sometimes visuals of horror movies are also too scary.

The main focus of the writer is towards the person who is being attacked by the ghost (protagonist), the person who helps them out (the protagonist) and the ghost (antagonist). Irony of horror movies is that the antagonist is not even a human being, they are something which cannot be seen.

Most of the horror scenes do not visualise ghost itself as it might deteriorate the interest rather scenes are depicted wherein something is happening but the presence of humans is not there which ultimately creates horror.

Horror genre is found in some novels as well, in the world of book lovers horror as genre might not be as famous as movies, as it becomes difficult to picture in head what is not even tangible. So, not everyone likes horror in books.

Horror becomes more horrifying when incidents are taken from real life. Their reference is from real life stories sometimes. But the only drawback of horror movies is that they are not practical.

They are generally predictable that there is something supernatural in the movie and will horrify the main character and the protagonist will be helped by someone. Although, some writers have done experiments by mixing two entirely different genres , horror and comedy.

Indeed this combination is absurd but yet interesting.


What is Thriller?

Thriller is the genre in which there is a twisted plot with crime and escape scenes. This genre is always present in most of the crime movies and thus loved by the audience.

Thriller is a package of thrill, excitement, suspense, grief, twists, etc.. This genre never fails to brighten up boring sundays.

This genre lets its audience chase the climax. To make it more interesting, makers of movies try to exaggerate the movie till the second part which ultimately brings the audience again to the theatre.

Thrillers are full of suspense and crime, it is always advisable to make children watch under supervision of an adult. Writers of thriller genres are always considered enough to put twists in the movies.

Unlike horror, if thriller movies have lots of twists it might confuse the audience.

Thriller movies have patterns and structures in which there are lead characters as protagonists and antagonists. These characters are human beings (mostly) this creates a fine line between thriller and horror.

Writers of thriller genre always experiment with the basic storyline making it more interesting by giving it different shapes, in some movies nowadays it is seen that the climax scene is put in the first place to create the that chas in the audience and leaving them with guesses.

In novels as well, thrillers are loved by book lovers. Thrillers are easy to picturised in head and they create suspense. Thriller as a genre is mixed with other genres like horror, fiction, etc..


Main Differences Between Horror and Thriller

  1. Motive of horror is to create more horror and the objective of thriller is to create more thrill.
  2. Horrors leave the audience spooked whereas thriller leaves the audience in suspense.
  3. In horror , the antagonist is a supernatural element; in contrast, the thriller antagonist is a human being (mostly).
  4. Horror is not practical as compared to thriller.
  5. Horror is predictable to some extent but thrillers have lots of twists and suspense.
Difference Between Horror and Thriller
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=9-KAAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=Horror+and+Thriller&ots=dTIGfzDU2c&sig=5hB3Y2NOL3jI0OZ3fI42D0qr2pI
  2. https://eprints.qut.edu.au/16446/
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