Oh, the horror… movies

By on October 21, 2009

Why is it that we like to watch horror movies time and time again when their intent is to scare us? Horror movies are known for several film techniques that can guarantee shrieks.

According to Internet-based journalist Andrew Michaels, three film techniques that leave the audience cringing include disgusting elements, what the audience sees but the characters cannot, and what the audience can hear.

Blockbuster horror flicks such as “Hostel,” “Hostel 2,” and the “Saw” movies have been greatly successful because many people enjoy watching gruesome, bloody plots.

“I like the gory elements of scary movies because it’s fun to watch and it gets my adrenaline going,” sophomore Sean McCarron said.

Another horror element includes a filming method in which audience members recognize the dangers in a scene before the characters do. This method causes viewers to experience feelings of great suspense and apprehension.

Horror film franchises are a popular element. To date there have been 10 “Halloween” sequels released in theaters, and 12 “Friday the 13th” sequels.

“Those movies continue to be popular because it’s the same thrilling story with the use of new age cinematography,” sophomore Kirk Medrzychowski said.

Indeed it is the use of new age cinematography that creates that fine line between classic horror and postmodern horror.

In addition to the use of specific camera techniques, sound and music are also highly important for creating horror. The sound clips used in scary films are cleverly chosen to elicit different reactions from the audience.

“The music in scary movies makes you more alert and more on edge,” sophomore Ali Fedele said. “Once I tried muting a horror movie and it is amazing how a scary scene is so much less effective without the sound. Without that music leading up to a horrifying event, you don’t know exactly how to react.” Films such as “Psycho” and “The Exorcist” feature original theme songs that propelled them to fame.

Today, flicks like “The Omen,” “Scream,” and the “Saw” collection have become staples of Halloween tradition. Although horror flicks are released with the full intention to scare, some scary movies have the opposite effect on audience members with the presence of comedy. Have you ever wondered how Michael Meyers catches his victim as they sprint away, and he slowly walks towards them? Or how the victim coincidentally trips as he or she is trying to escape? Nonetheless the horror genre is meant to entertain, shock, and scare.

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About Nicole Fano

Arts & Life Editor
Email: artslife@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @nmfano
Year: 2012
Major: Print journalism
Hometown: Monville, N.J.
Dream Job: Writer for an entertainment/women's magazine