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• The setting is usually an isolated area. Urban environments and dark streets
work well as they are secluded which adds a sense of danger. Narrow alleys
and run down areas are also used a lot
• Places with a dark history such as abandoned houses, hotels and insane
• Locations for any good horror genre film could be :
Lakes, roads, highways, dark woods, houses, cabins, cities and subways.
These are all areas that could be made scary with added darkness which is a
common theme in horror films.
• Examples of horror films set within these genres include, The Blair Witch
Project, Cabin in the Woods and Wrong Turn
• Camerawork is very unnatural and the movements consists of many low and
• POV shots are important as they are used to show the world from the
monster’s eye. This type of shot is usually used at the end of a film as the
monster is trying to catch the protagonist.
• Handheld shots are useful when trying to make the film seem more realistic
as it makes it seem like it is actually happening than it being a film.
• Extreme Close Ups are common within horrors as they can be used to show
a change in emotion and they are useful when highlighting fear in a
• Editing can create unsettling tension and suspense. If the editing hasn’t been
paced up in a while then you know that something will pop out and scare
Visual style – often dark colours like red and black (this links will the themes of evil and
Lighting is usually not natural and low key lighting can help create dark shadows and
unfamiliar shapes in the blackness. Lighting can be vital within film, especially horror as
the darker the shot is, it tends to be more scary.
Common objects include weapons, masks, icons of the supernatural and religious icons.
The iconography of the monsters help to connote extreme fear, disgust and terror for
example , Vampires, Mummies and Frankenstein
Specific items can become very popular within the certain franchises within horror, for
example thinking of chainsaws can bring up memories of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or
religious items can link to films such as the exorcist.
Classic narrative structure is usually the main narrative style in horror films but sometimes
the films are not ended as it can lead open a possibility for sequels.
There’s always an antagonist and a protagonist who usually battle for control and decide
their fate, to live or to die.
A common narrative feature includes the killer revisiting his hometown where he first had
his traumatic experience and starts to kill people. This is evident in movies such as
Most horror films follow the same narrative as the films in the same sub-genre within
horror. An example of this is in slasher films it usually relates to young people and their
stories and what they have done to deserve being killed. These teenagers represent
wrong doing and are usually quite stupid and their killing becomes expected.
There are usually many main characters and supporting characters in horror films, a few
of the most iconic are,
The main protagonist, often the “victim” of the movie
The villain, often a supernatural monster or a serial killer
Police officers that can either turn out to be good or corrupted
Many more monsters such as ghosts, zombies, demons and stalkers
Good vs. Evil – Many horror films use this as a guideline to what they will put in the film, which
Religion – These films are usually regarded as the scariest films, because of the uncertainty of
Childhood issues – Films like Halloween use this technique to tell the storyline and give us a
clear view of what is happening
Science gone too far – Sci-fi horrors are usually also quite scary as they add a level of
uncertainty as some people believe things like this could happen in the near future.
Zombie Apocalypse – These films are very popular as people watching are intrigued on how the
characters survive and they would like to imagine themselves being in that situation
Insanity – Mental patients are used a lot in films as they naturally scare people
Envy – There are a lot of horrors that include a level of envy between two main characters, the
antagonist and the protagonist
Suicide – Suicide is usually a main theme within horrors as it can obviously happen in real life
which scares people even more