Italy has had a significant impact on the horror movie genre with directors such as Lucio Fulci, Mario Bava and Dario Argento becoming cult figures in the horror world. The horror cinema of Italy tends to not concern itself too much with realism and aims for more of a cinematographic experience with beautiful sets and heavy usage of music to carry the experience along. While Italian horror spans a wide variety of horror scenarios, from Nazis to the supernatural, a substantial association with the giallo sub genre exists among horror fans.
Giallo is a dominant sub genre of Italian horror and, to audiences outside of Italy, the term has become synonymous with a very specific style of film. A psychological thriller, heavy on mystery, very violent and often containing scenes of excessive gruesome gore. As this sub genre has evolved it has had a heavy influence on English speaking horror most evidently the slasher film.
Italian horror movies are renowned for low production values, exaggerated acting and terrible English dubbing, and also brutality with an insensitivity towards controversial issues unlike their conscious hollywood counterparts. Defenseless women and cute children are often the victims of violent deaths and animals have been known to suffer for their art. They also tend to be extremely gory. The Fulci brand of zombie is usually much further ahead in decomposition than we are used to which embraces the excesses that Italian filmmakers are famed for; maggots, decay, buckets of blood and total annihilation of the innocent.