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I've always grown up watching horror movies. Even when I wasn't "allowed" to, I always snuck into the room where my cousins had the movie playing just for a sneak peak. So, tonight while I was watching a Wes Craven movie I was thinking what actually goes into making a "good" horror movie. See, I'm very fussy when it comes to my horror. I love psychological thrillers or supernatural twisters, but I can't stand gore for gore sakes... I can't watch the Saw movies (literally, I fell asleep through the first one and haven't been tempted for the rest).
What are elements of a good horror?
- Setting is keyIt doesn't always have to be on a dark and stormy night, but small towns that hold secrets work really well. I have seen a movie that had a lot of scares in a sunflower field and it worked really well.
- The villain never stays dead
Where would the fun be if the big bad actually died on the first time the hero overpowered it? No, the hero needs to feel safe for a little while before the monster comes back with a vengeance.
- It's not just the body count, but the method
Slasher flickers are usually not that impressive. I don't care about how many silly teens end up gutted, all that matters is the creativity that goes into those deaths. This also adds to the horror because the viewer knows something is coming but doesn't know what to suspect.
- Cheap scares only work if they're scary and unexpected
I love cheap scares, but every time a mirror is shown in a horror movie you can be certain that they're going to do a ghost in the mirror or something. Now, doing something that the viewer won't expect is something that will really give a scare.
- Make the hero question their sanity
Even going as far as question their innocence. Are they actually the monster that's out there.
I really need to consider these aspects because the story that I'm now concocting is a YA horror, and even though I've watched plenty of horrors, I've never actually written straight up horror. My stories usually end up more supernatural and paranormal fantasy. And, at least to me, horror writing is actually very hard because how would I know if something's truly scary since I'm writing it and know what's going to happen?
And, to leave you all for this fine Saturday and since I'm super excited to see this movie when it gets released on Thursday, here's a clip that I found up taken from good old Australia.
Do you like horror movies? If so, what's your favourite horror movie? Or, why don't you watch horror movies?