Film genres can be categorized according to the setting of the film. Often, the genre of a movie is obvious. Can anyone argue Titanic is an comic movie, or Saw is a romantic movie?
It's universal, Titanic is a romantic movie and Saw is a horror movie. So no one does really decide; because subconsciously, we, people or critics, categorise film genres in 4 ways:
- The environment where the story and action takes place.
- The theme which refers to the issues that the film revolves around.
- The mood which shows the emotional tone of the film.
- The manner of presentation (e.g.: 35 mm, 16 mm or 8 mm).
An additional way of categorizing film genres is by the target audience: While watching "The fault of our stars" with my friend, we certainly didn't think it was horror movie. We both agreed it was romantic, but I subjectively classified it as a drama movie and she subjectively classified it as a comic movie also. It got glassified in wikipedia as a romantic comedy-drama film, and this is the genre of this movie based on target audience.
The truth is genre is often a vague term with no fixed boundaries and a lot of controversy. Film theorist Robert Stam challenged whether genres do exist, or made up by critics. He asked:
genres [are] really 'out there' in the world or are they really the
construction of analysts?.
People will start categorizing movies with their own subjective terms. For example:
Linda Williams, a film critic, argues that melodrama, horror, and adult movies fall into the category of "body genres".
The editors of filmsite.org argue that animation, children's films, and so on are non-genre-based film categories.
And so on.