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I know that not all science fiction is scary and not all horror has unrealistic monsters or super powerful psycho killers, but at what point do these genres cross and what criteria separates a scifi film from a horror film?

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The genres cross when they include one another. Horror refers to works in which fear is the intended emotion of the audience. Sci-Fi is simply science fiction. Sci-Fi becomes Sci-Fi Horror when it is primarily intended to scare, and Horror becomes Sci-Fi Horror when it contains elements of science fiction. –  Gorchestopher H Jun 21 '14 at 19:16
I like this question, but I think it came off as being asked in a too simplistic fashion. I think he was asking, why would Aliens or Event Horizon be considered horror/sci-fi? simply because someone dies at the hand of a monster and because they're in space? What elements are required to define each movie to be fit for a specific genre? Just because the movie takes place in space means it's sci-fi or can there be a space movie without it being sci-fi? Space cowboys is about being in space, but it's not a sci-fi movie. –  DustinDavis Jul 1 '14 at 20:28

1 Answer 1

Gorchestopher H did a decent job of explaining how they differ. I think how they differ is fairly obvious. If you want a good example of them combined, I would recommend the movie Event Horizon.

Star Trek is sci-fi because it is science fiction, but it is not scary.

The Ring is horror because it is scary, but it does not contain sci-fi.

Event Horizon contains aspects of both, so I would call it a sci-fi horror.

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