Mike Casey - Contributing Writer
I recently decided to watch a modern remake of a classic horror movie, Stephen King's Carrie. The movie [Carrie (2013)] had an excellent cast and smart filmmakers behind it, so I was optimistic. Besides, I'm not one of those people who whines about remakes. In fact, I like the idea of taking a classic movie and reintroducing it to a younger audience. There is no problem with filming a remake, the problem is with HOW they are filmed or to be honest, how most movies are being made today, especially in the horror genre. Horror movies, more than any other genre rely heavily on tone and style in order to really captivate an audience or create content that sticks with them long after the credits have rolled. When is the last time a scene in a horror movie made your hairs stand up and your skin crawl? Sure, the newer ones can probably give you a few scenes where you jump when the music gets loud or a person jumps out from behind a wall but that effect doesn't stick with you. If anything it makes you chuckle with your buddies afterwards. "Oh man, you're such a girl! Did you see how far he jumped?" Laughter... Not a good sign you've made a scary movie. When I think about the movies that have lasted through the years and continued to terrify audiences from generation to generation, there are a lot of key elements that have somehow been forgotten by modern filmmakers, including the ones who made the remake I watched... Which, by the way, was awful. So here is a list of things modern horror movie directors should take into account:
1. Something as subtle as a Ball Bouncing down a flight of stairs will always be scarier than an explosion.
2. Sound effects are creepier than a CGI monster.
" Laughter... Not a good sign you've made a scary movie. " -Mike Casey
3. A chill up the spine has a more lasting effect than a cheap jump.
4. A cheesy ghost will still be a cheesy ghost no matter how quickly you parade through flash cuts. In fact over-the-top strobe light style flash cuts can make a good looking ghost appear cheesy.
5. When planning camera angles take advantage of shadows, dark spots and corners, because what you don't see is usually more frightening than what you do see.
6. Something running behind the main character very fast with a weird " rrrrrrr" sound isn't scary and it's way over done.
7. If your monster turns out to be someone with a split personality, you no longer have a horror movie. You have a mockumentary for psychiatrists. Not to mention you have made the ultimate cop out twist ending in existence. No matter how good the 119 pages of the script were before that last page, you have ruined the whole movie. 8. When people have true fear, when they are worried about a demon or a ghost, they probably don't go buy a Ouija board to "check it out."
9. If you're in a weird neighborhood, a brightly lit shell station can be just as terrifying as a dark shack of a gas station run by a hillbilly.
10. Just to get rid of a cliche and scare younger viewers, when the main character is running from a killer and gets in her car, have it start right up, but make the GPS continuously recalculate. If she's young, she won't know what the fuck to do.
I figure TEN is good enough for now, but I'd love to hear some more from the readers. Add your own list of things that annoy you in today's horror flicks in the comment section below.