More Genre Movies of 2012

Just for fun, let’s take a leisurely stroll through the wide-open field of this year’s genre movies, the overlooked and the overbooked. It could be instructive to recognize just how many new films fit into the genre mold. Also to note how successful they are — all of the top-ten-grossing films of 2012 are genre items.

We wouldn’t necessarily recommend them as a better evening’s entertainment than the Ten Best above, but you might be surprised to discover a stylistic gold mine in a used-appliance store. Please don’t consider this a comprehensive list, just a page from one movie-lover’s journal. (We’re omitting animated films and documentaries, as well as genres that are patently loathsome, e.g., Imaginary Friend films like Ted.)

Drug-smuggling crime: Contraband

Policier: Rampart, End of Watch, The Raid, Deadfall

Comic policier: 21 Jump Street, Bernie

Car chase: Hit & Run

Australian weird-out: Snowtown, The Hunter

Cheapo horror: I Am a Ghost (on a bang-for-the-buck basis, H.P. Mendoza’s gothic ghost story is the best horror film of the year), Silent House, The Cabin in the Woods (one of the year’s funniest movies), The Innkeepers, V/H/S

Euro-thriller: Headhunters, Easy Money aka Snabba Cash

Euro-paranormal: Intruders

Tarantino-esque: Seven Psychopaths, Killing Them Softly

Vamps ‘n’ wolfmen: Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Dark Shadows

Babysitter comedy: Fun Size

Splatter: The Collection

War movies: Act of Valor, Zero Dark Thirty, Red Dawn, Simon and the Oaks, The Lucky One

Outdoor survival: The Grey

Old-school horror: The Woman in Black, The Raven

Southern sleaze: The Paperboy, Lawless, Django Unchained

Dystopia: The Hunger Games, Total Recall, Cosmopolis

Young-male gross-out: American Reunion, The Three Stooges

Eco-horror: The Bay, The Impossible

Sports comedy: Goon

Spies: The Bourne Legacy, Skyfall, Argo

Giant critters: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Family/female sex comedy: For a Good Time, Call…, The Oranges, Dark Horse, Lola Versus, Hysteria, Natural Selection

Marital comedy: This Is 40

Russian gangster psychedelia: Generation P

Martial arts: Tai Chi Zero

College laffs: Liberal Arts, Blue Like Jazz

Human/android buddy flick: Robot & Frank

Political comedy: The Campaign

Hyperlink: 360

Slackers in love: Crazy Eyes

Rock musical: Rock of Ages

Apocalypse sitcom: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Sci-fi: Prometheus, Safety Not Guaranteed, Men in Black 3

Fractured fairy tales: Snow White and the Huntsman

I’m mad as hell: God Bless America

Comic-book superheroics: The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises

Classics illustrated: Wrath of the Titans, John Carter


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