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What makes a scary movie...scary?

Examine the elements of horror movies that are generally considered the most effective at scaring, disturbing, or unsettling audiences, and how these have changed over the decades, from early silent films to Hitchcock’s masterpieces to modern remakes.

  • One direction this article could go could be to make a list of the recurring motifs in horror film according to film theorist Robin Wood, which are Psychos, Nature, Satanism and possession, the Terrible Child, and Cannibalism. It could also explore the idea of repression and the Other in film, not to mention the idea of horror originating from something totally normal being scarier than horror originating from the outside world. – VelvetRose 6 years ago
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  • What's interesting to note here is the mood and setting when sitting down to watch a horror film. The setting created by the atmosphere of the movie and the music's score help turn things which would normally not be scary for some, and makes them terrifying. Example, I am not scared of clowns but you be darn sure I freaked while watching IT for the first time. – cdenomme96 6 years ago
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  • Whoever takes on this article should also consider comparing older films with their remakes and examine the changes. Classic horror movies are known for being terrifying while remakes are often bland and watered down. It may be easier to pinpoint what makes a movie scary. – Vexliss 5 years ago
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  • Great idea! Music is so important too. – Munjeera 5 years ago
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  • The psychology of scaring people is fascinating, especially once you get past the often-cheap jump scare: the mechanics of tension building are deeply interesting, and the part that music plays in making something terrifying cannot be understated. – Barselaar 5 years ago
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