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What makes a good horror film?

I know many people enjoy being scared but are there specific elements of horror movies that make some more enjoyable than others?

  • You could say that it depends on the audience, but that would be the easy way out. Personally, I prefer when the characters aren't dumb cliches of stereotypes (unless that is the point of the movie, see Cabin in the Woods) and that the director and writer take their time to build up a suspenseful atmosphere. The "mood" of the horror movie has to be right. Jump scares, nowadays, are telegraphed a mile away and are used as a crutch. And, of course, we can't forget that in horror sometimes less is more. The use of shadows to hide the "monster" or the lack of music and sound effects can be used to great effect. Don't Breathe, before it got derailed in the last quarter, and the recent A Quiet Place (apart from some storyline issues) come to mind. And let us not forget Scream, which revived the slasher horror film in a unique way. – tanaod 3 years ago
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  • I like this topic! I think "enjoyable" may be the wrong word here, since that's almost entirely based on subjective things. You may instead want to explore what makes some horror films more...sophisticated than others? Acclaimed? This could go in so many areas: narrative, cinematography, social commentary, use/re-visioning of cliches...a fruitful topic for sure! – Heather Lambert 3 years ago
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  • This description needs to be expanded. Go beyond a single sentence as a question. – Joseph Cernik 3 years ago
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