What are the Elements of a PERFECT Horror Movie

What are the Elements of a PERFECT Horror Movie

roulette67's picture

It takes A LOT to scare me. Mostly I just laugh. Phantasm was the last movie that freaked me out, when I was a kid. That and Jacobs Ladder. Mental Mind F$.

It's not enough to just gross your audience out with entrails and blood. There are so many psychological thrillers out now, but sometimes they fall short.

Are the days of the slasher film gone??

I was just wondering what elements of this genre are needed to make the SCARIEST horror flick? One that would scare me. And I'm a hard scare.

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MYSTERIOUS's picture

did this under what makes a great horror-film

pigglee's picture

sound track is very important

KJ2023's picture

Cool answers on this thread.

For me the perfect horror movie has to have:

1. Good story

2. Setting/film location (Sleepy Hollow's was great)

3. Potential to actually happen

*It's also cool if the movie is based on some sort of story or legend that we all know about.

Examples:

*Wendigo (current movie isn't great but the actual story is great)

*Ouija Board (lots of people are afraid of these)

*Cursed items

*Cursed lands (burial grounds, haunted houses, etc)

Stuff like that.

Twistedcherry's picture

quote:
The biggest factor for me is sympathy for the "victims". If I don't give a rat's ass whether the people I'm supposed to want to live actually live or die, the movie's lost it's effectiveness.

For example "I know what you did last summer" was a horrible horror movie because after about ten minutes I immediately wanted every cast member dead.

Same with "Blair Witch Project". After about twenty minutes of that I was saying "Please Blair Witch ... kill these little pricks."

LOL

Lord Macabre's picture

Personally, I think you also have to look at it from a taste perspective. You could almost break the horror genre into three sub-genres:

1. Blood Gore

2. Supernatural (Ghosts, vampires, etc)

3. Erotic

If you look at the horror movie market, these three sub-genres dominate and in the order shown above. So, to make the perfect horror film in today's market, you'd have to appeal to all three audiences. That is my opinion alone, I realize. But, it is exactly what I have tried to do with my own project.

Lord Macabre's picture

Personally, I think you also have to look at it from a taste perspective. You could almost break the horror genre into three sub-genres:

1. Blood Gore

2. Supernatural (Ghosts, vampires, etc)

3. Erotic

If you look at the horror movie market, these three sub-genres dominate and in the order shown above. So, to make the perfect horror film in today's market, you'd have to appeal to all three audiences. That is my opinion alone, I realize. But, it is exactly what I have tried to do with my own project.

MoreBrains's picture

Performance is everything.

Great performances and character portrayals make a great horror film. The gore's great too, but the actor is gonna sell it and make the movie classic.

All of my fav flicks are because one, or a group of actors, made that movie memorable.

Bishop44's picture

Thats hard, because we all get scared by different things, and with most movies now its either a jump-scare or just trying to gross us out, most of us are desensitized to being terrified by a movie, and to be able to do that, they probably need to just take a hell of a lot of time on a story, test it out on people to see what they think, and then film it to the T on the story line. Don't go all Hollywood and throw in stupid shit that doesn't need to be there. Just scare the hell out of me so I feel like I paid 7 for a good reason.

Young Ice 2006's picture

for a Perfect horror movie, it needs great acting, a great story, and most of all an awesome twist, something that makes you say 'well i'll be damned'...thats why Saw 1 is in my top 5.

FulciLives's picture

Well the great H. P. Lovecraft wrote a discourse on horror aptly entitled "Supernatural Horror in Literature" and in this he said the following famous quote that sums it all up:

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

In the same work he also has this very telling bit of knowledge to share:

"The true weird tale has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains according to rule. A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present, and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain -- a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space."

Again he hints at that which is unknown or unexplainable as he puts it here but that which is unexplainable is also that which is unknown.

Now Lovecraft tended to write a very specific kind of horror ... one that was almost always supernatural but in such a way that he really created his own genre which some have called "Cosmic Horror". The idea is that man is insignifcant in the grand scheme of the cosmos and that the cosmos is not such a friendly place.

Lovecraft says it best himself in the following two quotes from his story "The Call Of Cthulhu":

"The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

"We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far."

Now think about all this and how it applies to horror films that you have seen which you consider to be scary and/or horrifying.

I realize that I haven't really written much so far and I was about to go into some details with some horror movie examples and how what H.P. Lovecraft applies but I'm interested in what other people think before I share my own examples

So for now I'll simply end this here. But I am curious what other people think of this and I will be back to add to this some more myself.

- John "FulciLives" Coleman

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