Hair-raising horror movie techniques that make our hearts pound
Obtaining horror movie collectibles galore will fill your display shelves, but the true representation of your fandom rests with your knowledge of the genre’s films. After all, with such an abundance of gruesome techniques that can be found sprinkled throughout, both dark and demonic, only a well-versed horror enthusiast will engage with the physical and psychological connections that give this industry such an unnerving scare-ability. So, behold three of our favorite horror movie techniques used time and time again to get your hearts pumping.
Regardless of whether you feel jump-scares are a technique that’s overused or underrated, the reality is that this pioneer tactic is a well-used element within the horror film industry. While most movie-goers enjoy a cinematic experience, with a large screen and loud surround-sound, you can create the same atmosphere at home in a dark room, making each situation equally as eerie. The best part is that even though it’s easy to know when to expect in these dramatic scenes, based on the chilling acoustics and the anticipation leading up to the sequence, the sudden appearance of a murderous villain or mangled body will still have you jump right out from your seat. So, not only does this technique get your blood pumping, but it works as a cheap scare that often leads to nothing, but makes your stimulus very aware of your surroundings. Thus, this type of technique is used a lot in slasher films, such as both the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises.
Camera angles make all the difference, as they allow us to see only the elements that the director wants us to see. Essentially, the camera reduces or strengthens the brightness of the screen, which makes it easy for filmmakers to play around with elements that make our horror-loving heart’s pump, such as accentuated shadows, the capture of mysterious encounters on screen, or an overwhelmed audience dreading the potential to have something appear. This type of framing is used a lot in paranormal films, such as The Conjuring Universe franchise.
Mirrors and reflections
The cinema world has long since used mirrors and reflections to illuminate and visualize depth in a scene or character, so why would horror movies be any different? In fact, the horror genre has grabbed hold of this technique and used it in its raw form as a means of building suspense and as a tactic to draw the audience’s attention away from other elements in a tension-building scene. Mirrors have also been illustrations of wrongness, superstition (when cracked) and a bridge in the gap of normalcy (one character sees a face, another doesn’t). So, it’s easy to see why so many horror movie collectibles are crafted to depict classic scenes involving this visual technique, like the latest installment, IT: Chapter Two, where Pennywise is stalking the young boy in the funhouse of mirrors. Nevertheless, while reflective surfaces will only continue to be a horror technique, embellished as a prop for spooktacular scenery, they also have the power to illustrate a connection between reality and the degeneration of sanity in your favorite, time-honored characters.
What is your horror movie that depicts one of the above classic techniques? Drop a comment below to compare with other readers.