What Makes a Horror Movie Good?

What Makes a Horror Movie Good?

Brenton Reece, Student Writer

Horror movies, they’ve been a part of pop culture for quite some time now, but lately most of them have been non-creative cash grabs. Today, I’m here to say what makes a horror movie good. 

The first thing about horror movies is what the main conflict tends to be. This main conflict leads to the main characters doing certain things in a movie to survive. A good example of this is Night of The Living Dead (1968). The main conflict is against zombies, so the main characters try to get a truck to escape, inevitably leading them to perish in the process. The importance of this conflict is so important, that it could change who watches a movie all together, along with the quality of it. A good tip for making a good conflict is by making it creative. For example, instead of a groundhog day scenario or a zombie apocalypse, film-makers should try something that is not overdone, or completely new. The next step in making a good horror movie is creating compelling characters. A good example of a compelling character is Billy Loomis from Scream (1996). He’s a high school student who seems like a normal student with a girlfriend (The main character Maureen Prescot), but after his parents get divorced, he blames it on Maureen  and goes on a rampage with his friend Stu Matcher.

One of the most important part of horror movies is the suspense. This can come in the form of music, camera angles, or even random shadows that shouldn’t be there. One good example of great suspense is in the movie Grudge (2004), when a woman is attempting to get to her apartment, but through the glass elevator, you can see the “Grudge” watching her from one of the floors. She later sees it in here apartment, but only for it to disappear. Yet, when she goes to bed, it hides under her sheets, resulting in her end. This suspense is good for multiple reasons, one reason being that it introduces the main conflict early on. Eventually, when you think this conflict is gone when it disappears, it may actually just be under your sheets.

Finally, the pacing is the most important part of a horror movie. Pacing can change how people enjoy a movie, because it will seem impossible for a movie to be about two hours, if you feel as though it has been quite longer.

So, what do YOU think makes a horror movie good? Comment your opinion below!