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Top 10 Movie Genres That Died Out

Written by Telly Vlachakis Some genres have become staples of filmmaking and the moviegoing experience as a whole, but not all of them last! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Movie Genres that Died Out! But what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be it be Film Noir, Parody, or the Western? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to governmentfree for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Movie+Genres+That+Died+Out

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Film genres are like fashion trends: big one day and then gone with the wind. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movie Genres That Died Out.

For this list, we’re looking at those popular genres that have lost momentum and popularity over the years, or that are just not made anymore.

#10: Musicals

Although some of our most beloved and classic films are musicals, like “West Side Story,” “The Sound of Music,” and “Grease,” these are just not able to turn a profit anymore. Early Hollywood released original musicals all the time, while the later Hollywood format would take popular Broadway musicals, and give them the big screen treatment. Although that still happens on occasion, with mixed results, Broadway’s booming business is now stealing from Hollywood instead. While there is the occasional odd hit like “La La Land” or “Les Misérables,” we’re lucky if we get one of these big budget gems a year.

#9: Hood Films

With the rise of hip-hop, rap, and urban fashion taking over pop culture in the late ‘80s, it wasn’t long before young talented African American film directors like the Hughes brothers, John Singleton, and Spike Lee started sharing their experiences on the big screen. Major hits like “Boyz in the Hood” and “Dangerous Minds” brought the racially charged tension of the inner city to the forefront, and opened the eyes of millions of moviegoers. These films both thrived and then quickly died in the mid-‘90s - pretty much the moment the Wayans brothers decided to parody them.

#8: Torture Porn

The success of “Saw” was something that the horror community didn’t expect. Although it was an original and engaging thriller, the studios decided that audiences didn’t care much about story or characters, but would keep coming back for the gore. Well, sadly they were right, as audiences flocked back for the endless sequels and copycat films. Movies like “Hostel” and “The Collector” took a cue from the splatter films of the 1960s and aimed solely to gross fans out. The sudden rise of the Torture Porn sub-genre changed the face of horror for a few years during the 2000s, but like most horror sub-genres, quickly faded from the spotlight.

#7: Romantic Comedies
Romance films have been and always will be a popular commodity, and big hits with audiences. As the years have gone by, romance has changed with the times, and while we no longer see the screwball hijinks of the ‘30s and ‘40s, or the musical love stories of the ‘50s and ‘60s, the Romantic Comedy had a long steady run since its Billy Crystal and Tom Hanks days in the 1980s. The quirky love affairs of films like “The Proposal” and “Failure to Launch” brought rom-coms to the new millennium, but have since been dethroned by sappy Nicholas Sparks adaptations – all Rom, no Com.

#6: YA Adaptations

The success of franchises like “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” was so huge that you cannot blame the studios for raiding the Young Adult sections of their bookstores overnight for ideas. However, lighting would not strike again, as Hollywood quickly learned, with adaptations like “The Mortal Instruments,” the “Divergent” series, and “Beautiful Creatures” becoming critical – and some even financial - duds. All attempts to create the next big franchise died quick deaths at the box office while quieter YA adaptations did fairly well, but are rarely heard from during the early 2010s.

#5: Slasher Films

Thanks to a little film called “Halloween,” film studios tuned into the morbid attraction of slasher films. All kinds of masked killers reigned supreme throughout the ‘80s, and revitalized the home video market with cheap, entertaining, over-the-top horror manias. Although over-saturation killed the genre dead by the ‘90s, Wes Craven’s “Scream” both brought the genre back from the dead, and showed us how ridiculous slasher films are come mid-decade. However, thanks in part to “Scream,” as well as to the rise of Torture Porn, the Slasher Renaissance was butchered to death before it even had a chance.

#4: Found Footage

The found footage gimmick has been used frequently in horror throughout the years, usually with mixed results. The notorious “Cannibal Holocaust” and “The Blair Witch Project” were smart manipulations, and subversive thrill rides. However, the moment “Paranormal Activity” exploded into cinemas, and studios saw how much they could accomplish with such a minute budget, all hell broke loose. For a while, it seemed all horror films were using found footage techniques, and received worse and worse reviews. But thankfully, they are also now practically extinct from our theatres. The straight-to-DVD bin, though, is another story.

#3: Parody Films

Parody films may not have always been major hits, but they were always around to send you into a fit of giggles. The blockbuster gold of the ‘80s and ‘90s, with hits as like the “Airplane!,” “Hot Shots!,” and “Naked Gun” series, created comedy classics, and made comedy superstars out of serious actors like Charlie Sheen and Leslie Nielsen. However, thins slowly went downhill from there, as the quality of these films progressively declined, from the Wayans brothers and their “Scary Movie” franchise to the abysmal attempts by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.

#2: Film Noir

More a product of the time, Film Noir was more of a stylistic choice that grew to immense popularity in the 1940s and 50s. The genre’s dangerous and violent stories and mysterious shadowy aesthetics gave the pristine Hollywood machine some gritty realism. While the days of Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson may be long gone, we occasionally got some great neo-noir films towards the end of the 20th century, like “Blade Runner” and “Basic Instinct,” but they’re no longer a staple of cinemas today. Even so, some of the aesthetics are nevertheless used in the early 21st century, like in films like “John Wick.”

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Creature Features
- Vampire Films

#1: Westerns

Sadly considered by many modern moviegoers to be boring and out of style, Westerns saw an immediate drop in popularity after the 1960s. The star power of John Wayne and Glenn Ford piqued the interest of audiences, and they flocked to see daring “Cowboys-and-Indians” adventures. The genre was so popular it even took over televisions in 1950s. While Spaghetti Westerns out of Italy brought a bit of new life to the genre, and some remakes today do fairly well, like “True Grit” and “The Magnificent Seven,” you’ll mostly have a hard time finding an original – and good - western adventure to watch these days.

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