Mixing Humor and Terror to Create the Ultimate Horror Remake

In this lesson, students will learn the rhetorical devices of satire, sardonicism, parody and irony, which are often used in horror films to offset the shock, terror and gore for which the genre is known. Students will then employ these devices in a creative writing assignment that will envision remaking a horror film.


Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.

Lesson Plan

Begin the lesson by engaging students in a discussion about the horror film genre. What are some horror films with which students are familiar? What are some of their favorite horror films? Even if some students are not fans of horror film, they will most likely still be familiar with a few well-known productions. In students' opinion, what makes for a really good horror film? At this point in the discussion, students may begin to recognize that horror films are not only about shock, discomfort and gore, but that they also use devices at the other end of the emotional spectrum -- humor -- to offset or counterbalance the unease we experience when watching horror films.

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Lesson tags: Creative Writing, Eleventh, English, Film, Tenth, Twelfth

Niall Brennan

Niall Brennan Niall is a professor in the Department of Communication at Fairfield University and holds a Ph.D in Media and Communications. Niall is a well-traveled educator and has taught across the globe from Brazil to the UK. He has also worked in publishing, advertising and information systems in New York City. When he’s not teaching, Niall enjoys cooking, photography and spending time with his best friend and dog, Harry.