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61 votes
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What is a "soap"?

TLDR: A "Soap" is a serialized show that's about ordinary people having interpersonal drama. There's not a high concept, story arc, external villains, or greater purpose. Don't confuse &...
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50 votes
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Was The Nightmare Before Christmas meant to be a Halloween or Christmas Movie?

According to the film's director Henry Selick, it's supposed to be a Halloween Movie. According to The Daily Mail Henry Selick, 64, who directed the 1993 film recently spoke about its themes at a ...
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42 votes
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What is the genre of movies in which the main characters don't have names?

As Nuclear noted in the comments, the idea of never naming your main character(s) is more of an aesthetic choice - a detail. The best term to use, I think, would be to call it a trope. In fact, TV ...
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40 votes

Was The Nightmare Before Christmas meant to be a Halloween or Christmas Movie?

We can take the director's (Henry Selick) own word on this. From dailymail.co.uk During the Q&A a little girl asked the director whether the animated film was a Christmas or Halloween movie, ...
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33 votes
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Is there a given name for "fake documentaries" posing as educational programming?

2 different terms cover it. Docufiction: is the cinematographic combination of documentary and fiction, this term often meaning narrative film. It is a film genre which attempts to capture reality ...
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21 votes

Was The Nightmare Before Christmas meant to be a Halloween or Christmas Movie?

According to IMDB, the movie's original US release was in time for Halloween (29 October 1993), as were its re-releases.
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16 votes
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Is Person of Interest sci-fi?

From an interview (July 2013) with creator Jonathan Nolan: ... A lot of people who don't watch the show think of it as a kind of crime procedural, but we really think of it of it as a science fiction ...
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13 votes
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Does a horror movie have to have supernatural elements?

No Horror does not require supernatural elements. The Horror genre is defined by the deliberate attempt to invoke a phychological reaction of terror, fear, shock and revulsion in the audience. It is ...
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  • 49.5k
12 votes

What is a "soap"?

Wikipedia's definition of soap opera is obviously flawed. If it was a perfect definition of soap opera you wouldn't have any questions about which shows are soap opera and which are not. Of course, ...
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11 votes
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Is there an over-arcing term for this style of movie?

The term you may be looking for is "Excuse Plot". TV Tropes (obligatory warning: it's highly addictive!) describes the concept thusly: An Excuse Plot is, in the simplest terms, a plot that is ...
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10 votes
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Is there a criterion to differentiate "thriller" from "horror"?

Your observation is correct: "thriller" and "horror" are often thinly separated in the already vague world of film taxonomy. There isn't really One True criterion for distinguishing the two. That ...
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9 votes
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Who decides the genre of a movie?

I wouldn't say there's anyone who specifically sets a genre for a movie as some sort of official thing. The studio will likely describe the movie one way, but writers and magazines and websites may ...
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9 votes

What is a "soap"?

I asked a similar question myself a few years ago because it didn't make sense to me. One of my favorite old shows was simply called "Soap", and as a young kid, I didn't get the joke. The term "soap" ...
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  • 557
8 votes

Why there is no genre name for sad or crying movies?

There is such a genre: it is called a drama. The widely used symbol is a laughing face and a weeping face: Since 100% sad movies have very limited appeal, there is little popular demand for them. ...
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8 votes
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What genre is The Shining?

According to Wikipedia, it's considered a horror film. The Shining is a 1980 horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick[7] and co-written with novelist Diane Johnson. The film is ...
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7 votes

Is there any term for the following subgenres of horror movies?

To give an idea of the problems inherent in your question, consider this awesome graph from Horror Screen: That is their categorisation of horror. Using their terminology, you could argue that ...
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7 votes

What is a "soap"?

In the UK the term "soap" is usually used to refer to TV fictional dramas that broadcast new episodes regularly, without a break, featuring recurring characters and on-going plots. Broadcasts are ...
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  • 2,469
6 votes

Why there is no genre name for sad or crying movies?

If you're looking for a word to use to describe a sad movie or set of movies, the one that I found most suitable was "tearjerker."
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6 votes

How long is an epic?

Source Wiki: Many writers may refer to any film that is "long" (over two hours) as an epic. But mainly epic came from poetic genre Source Wiki: When described as "epic" because of content, an ...
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  • 10.4k
6 votes

What makes a comedy series a sitcom?

Situational Comedy A sitcom, short for "situation comedy", is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with ...
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5 votes

Have any TV shows spawned spin-offs of a different genre?

I think an interesting example in this regard might be Baywatch Nights, which was basically a detective crime show, with Mitch Buchannon opening a private investigation agency. I would call this quite ...
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  • 57.9k
5 votes

Who decides the genre of a movie?

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, ...
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5 votes
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Have any TV shows spawned spin-offs of a different genre?

This thread gives some examples, including the following: Lou Grant was a drama that spun off from the sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show (this was already mentioned in an answer by Walt) The Perry ...
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5 votes
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How long is an epic?

Epics are often defined not in terms of length, but in terms of plot - an epic typically is about an Epic Hero that encounters adversity and must overcome it. In this sense, a lot of works in many ...
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5 votes

Why are "audience decides what happens"-movies not a thing?

The book series you reference is called "Choose Your Own Adventure". It appears the waters are being tested with a movie called "Late Shift" http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/...
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5 votes

Does David Lynch consider his own films to be science fiction / fantasy?

Lynch himself, as I see it, takes great pride in the fact that his films are not of specific genre. In many interviews[1] he implies that not only the meaning of his films are up to the interpretation ...
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5 votes

What is the genre of a movie/character where someone stays low?

It's called an alter ego Not a genre, it's called an alter ego (Latin for "other I") means alternate self, which is believed to be distinct from a person's normal or true original ...
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4 votes

Have any TV shows spawned spin-offs of a different genre?

Yes. Off the top of my head, Lou Grant from 1977 was a drama series, yet it was a spin-off of the sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show. [And dang it, I was going to mention Baywatch Nights too! ;)] It ...
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  • 99k
4 votes

Is there a specific style or genre name for Jackie Chan's movies?

The film style of Jackie Chan movies is "Hong Kong Action Cinema". While Jackie's style is unique, others of the same time era feature the same techniques of Peking Opera influenced acrobatics, Kung ...
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