But you'll be wrong. Sounds good in theory but I think I came up with enough examples to prove that filmmakers have done this before, cast certain scenes to feel like horror when it's only to play with the audience, throw them off, etc. The opening of Blow Out, for example. Every single scene that ever joked about Psycho. For the joke to work, they made it feel like a horror film. Until it was revealed the knife was a banana, the shadow was a cleaning woman's, etc. And I completely disagree that the film can be measured by true halves. I'll agree that Spielberg wanted some of the cinematic harshness of 70's horror to aid him in making the first half scary but his style does not work with horror. Otherwise we would be having this same discussion with Jurassic Park and our roles would be switched. That entire film is very aesthetically horror, but can't follow through on tone and has to have the romanticized, melty heart, (forced) sentimentality. In 1 or 2 scenes. In a 2 hour film. I know this film well enough to say neither of these does a horror film make. There have been jump scares in non-horror films. In less than 4 scenes. In a 2 hour film. With the forced sentimentality - got to remind you how BIG this rule is. The only exception to it is Poltergeist. Let me help put things into even greater perspective: Ghostbusters is sentimentality-free. And contains even more scenes of "horror" with actual freaking monsters. By these accounts, it sure as hell should be a horror film... but it's not. Which could be argued about every single thriller ever made. Poorly in some cases, but only then because it's debatable every composer really knew what they were doing. Ehhh- Piranha was much better at this (the original, of course): sentimentality-free. Oh dear, do I have to remind you of how graphic the diner scene from Spaceballs and the "comic" reveal of the decapitated henchman in Austin Powers were (watch them again)? Any film can do that. Hell- when was the last time you saw Hard to Kill? Every time Seagal makes contact with someone, a cracking sound as loud as a tree can be heard. No, it isn't visually graphic but this whole "this film affected me so deeply" business doesn't make me want to go the extra mile on Jaws. Not unless you want to use Spielberg's sentimentality to argue he was being subversive. (Which I think just might be impossible.) Now, this film is debatable. The sentimentality is downright subversive here, as it's used to sell the vision of Stepford as ideal- a suburban version of the Dawn of the Dead deathtrap mall. But, Westworld is a profoundly disturbing, cold, heartless, desolate wasteland of a film... with a lot of thematic weight to it. So, like I was getting at- if anything's horror. But, eventually they both split to thriller. One more aesthetically and the other tonally. Any genre can use anxiety for tension or existentialism for provocation. Doesn't dictate the film's actual genre as much as you may think. Especially since I firmly believe Stepford Wives and, of course especially Picnic were trying to surpass genre labeling to be unique and unforgettable. Definitely not. Whatever? No, I really pick up on these things and I did not get the impression Jaws was trying to surpass genre labeling. That would not have jived with Universal. That's the same thing as saying the masses have a keen sense of what the genre is and they clearly do not. As any number of people who decried the entire post-Scream era of teen slashers will tell you. And any filmmaker who's been making these films for a decade or more. By that token, Jaws would have single-handedly reminded everyone who's ever stared at someone cruising the horror section in a rental store that horror is just drama or comedy with a few death scenes in it. Horrific concepts don't make a horror film. Who told you they do? That's like a spit in the face to the entire aesthetic, atmospheric, surreal, and gothic styles which enriched the genre for decades. After this post, I contend that you're the one just arguing. It could not be clearer once you've taken everything I've said into account. But I get how the last 10 years in what's been sold under the banner of horror would confuse some people. I get why you're saying this but it holds no water. (Ironically.) Just look at Spielberg himself. He's never made a horror film. Like Tim Burton, who I mentioned before (but who actually made a horror film- Sleepy Hollow), he uses horror every now and then to flesh out certain scenes. Doesn't change the genre of the film 1 bit.