I mean, for example, I've been always a lover of Nightmare before Christmas, which uses a styling that almost everything is dark, you can see the moon with bats, graveyards and ghosts which is all dark, scary and horror elements but they're not intended to take part from a real horror movie. Yes, Tim Burton works fit very well in this description with NBC, Coraline, Corpse Bride, Dark Shadows...


Another example would be for example the flyers for halloween parties or the horror films for kids, also this image from devianart user that shows exactly what I'm trying to explain:

enter image description here

I'm refering to all this things, the greenish foggy, the haunted mansions, jack o' lantern graveyards and all that stuff that are drawn or filmed in a way that everything makes a scary composition but not to get the people scared, just as an artistic (and usually beautiful) form.

  • that which will not scare the bejesus out of children!
    – lbf
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 14:14
  • like misty, veiled, out of focus or surreal?
    – lbf
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 20:43

3 Answers 3


I would use the term softcore horror. Originally a term from the pornography industry, soft-core has come to be an umbrella term in any domain for things that are not "extreme" examples of the domain.

The opposite of softcore is, of course, hardcore. For example, a metalhead friend of mine insists that a distinction be made between ordinary "death metal" (a branch of heavy metal rock music) and "hardcore death metal," though this is a distinction that is lost on me. I presume he only likes the most violent examples of the genre.

  • Mmm, although it makes sense if you search for "softcore horror" you just get old and weird movie covers and pretty far from what I've tried to explain... Thank you anyway but it does not seem to be the correct answer.
    – Juli15
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 18:03

macabre (adj)

1.gruesome and horrifying; ghastly; horrible.

1.gruesome; ghastly; grim
Collins Dictionary

In works of art, macabre is the quality of having a grim or ghastly atmosphere.
Wikipedia article

Sometimes the definition includes inducing fear of death, but it needn't.

On Tim Burton:

... director known for his original, quirky style that frequently drew on elements of the fantastic and the macabre.
Encyclopaedia Britannica

"Hollywood's oddest director is giving fans a glimpse into his macabre mind through a boggle-eyed creature and dancing corpse infested exhibition."
Daily Mail


I would say:

Parody - an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect.

Dark shadows is definitely a parody. I think this is more likely the word you are looking for.


Mitigation - the action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something.

  • Mmm... Maybe parody is something more like the topic with a humour point?
    – Juli15
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 13:39

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