I think it all depends on what one considers "scary". Personally movies where there are monsters, vampires, zombies, and ghosts rarely come off scary to me because as an adult you know it's just Hollywood. A cat springing from a closet may cause one to jump especially if there is tense music playing but that fear is only do to being caught off guard. No one would call that a great tactic.
However movies that take their time to (establish a connection with the main characters) BEFORE throwing them in harm's way tend to be more chilling. The audience has to be "emotionally invested" in the victims or potential victims. If we don't care about them it's not scary for us. We have to feel like we're in their shoes.
Movies that also have religious overtones such as "The Omen" and "The Exorcist" scared the crap out of people because quite a few people do believe the devil exists. Most recently "The Conjuring" scared people because it was "based on a true story" and also dealt with demon possession.
Lastly movies that deal with (genius mentally ill) serial killers scare people because we (know) they exist in the "real world". People loved "Silence of the Lambs" for that very reason. Some people are also afraid of what they see as society going to hell in a hen basket with criminal behavior and they loved the futuristic movie "The Purge".
Generally speaking any horror movie that we can believe could potentially happen in reality sticks with us long after the closing credits roll.
I do enjoy the classic Hammer horror flick even though I generally don't find them scary. It may have something to do with such films made in the '60s and '70s having some of the most beautiful women from, not only Britain, but also mainland Europe of the day in them.
As for a truly scary horror film I think it is a good idea to get to the audience where they live. Vampires aren't really scary but some nut-job who thinks he is a vampire and runs around with a syringe is pretty scary. American Psycho I thought was terrific in that it made me wonder at the possibility of someone like that living in a major city and getting away with so much killing because he's so important financially to so many people.
Growing up I was scared by a ghost movie called The Innocents. When you are a child and children are being possessed by adult ghosts, well, that is kinda spooky.
It all depends on what the movie sets out to do and achieve. There are great horror films within all the spectrum, from the psychological ones to the raw gorefests, or the comedy ones. Personally, I enjoy films that avoid clichés, but moreover, films that can execute properly. Even if something has been done a thousand times, there are directors/writers that know how to put a spin on something to make it work again. Also, there's no substitute for a good, unsettling script. I find that the things that appeal to our worst fears tend to work out best. Those are some examples.
I wasn't sure, immediately, if I should answer this, because the truth is, I've probably only seen a handful of alleged "Horror" movies. Then I realized that any movie that frightens the ever-loving **&%$# out of you, would qualify.
Not referring to monsters, "walking dead" kind of characters or lots of axe murders and blood....I won't even watch them. Movies like "Silence of the Lambs," "Sleeping with the Enemy," "Cape Fear,"......that are realistic and involve ordinary human beings, who are simply "Horrifying," IMO, make the best scary movie. I'd have to say, "Suspense, and the element of surprise and shock," with extremely evil individuals.
When Julia Robert's insane husband finally tracked her down, and we all knew it was only a matter of moments, that he would pounce on her, I can still remember my heart pounding out of my body. I'd say that's a pretty good horror movie!
When you as viewer is having this feeling of suspense and at the same some fear while watching the movie. Then that would make I think a horror movie good.
There are many horror movies out there. However, good horror movies are few & far between. A GOOD horror movie contains the ingredients of dark, errie atmosphere; terror, & evilNESS. read more
by And Drewson6 years ago
What makes for a good horror movie?
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Good horror movies
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