To be more specific, Scream Queens is clearly part and parcel of the horror subgenre called Horror/Comedy. So in a sense it is not straight horror. But I don’t think anyone assumed that it was. To negate Scream Queens as part of the horror canon is to negate such great films as Gremlins (1984), Beetlejuice (1988), and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)—and let’s not forget the landmark horror television series Tales From the Crypt (1989-96). What follows is my counter point to Elizabeth’s thought-provoking post, laying out why I feel Scream Queens is definitively part of horror and how horror comedy walks a thin line to maintain its place in the category.
Scholars of horror desperately try to define the parameters of horror. Both Elizabeth and I are tirelessly trying to create our own definition of what constitutes horror. One thing that all scholars seem to agree on is the fact that not everything that is horror fits nicely into the little box labeled “horror.” Perhaps part of the reason for this is that “horrific” is a subjective term. Some people find vampires and ghosts to be horrific. I, myself, find family gatherings, commitment, and small children to be much more terrifying. The things that incorporate horror but do not quite fit wholly within the category get shoved into subgenres. Some widely agreed upon subgenres are: teen horror, slasher, supernatural horror, monster horror, family horror, natural horror, body horror, psychological horror, and comedy horror.