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Movies What makes a movie scary?

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
Okay, so I wanted to start a bit of discussion here. What do you think makes a movie scary? It obviously comes down to what scares you such as gore, creepy monsters, the paranormal, trigonometry, etc.

I personally have no problem with gore, whereas that seems to be Hollywood's standard for 'great' horror movies. The stuff that makes me cringe is more along the lines of what I call 'petite gore.' Petite gore would be something like George Romero's Land of the Dead when a zombie scratches at a vehicle with people inside and you see it's nails tear and pop off or (even though it's not a horror movie) in Jackass when they give themselves paper cuts.

So what makes a movie scary, frightening, horrifying, and terrifying to you?
 
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Ds136

Guest
Definately not gore, definately not some guy with a knife randomly jumping out from a corner. First off, gore doesn't phase me at all, I've seen worse than hollywood could ever show me. Secondly some guy with a knife jumping out of a corner isn't scary, its startling just because you don't expect it, it doesn't scare me though.

For a movie to be truely scary it has to be somewhat plausible, so it brings it into the realm of reality. Then something that isn't about a bunch of teens killing a mass murderer or something, thats just ridiculous. My main problem with horror movies now a days is the horrible acting and poorly written dialouge, also their idea of scary is just a bunch of startling scenes tossed together.

If I watch a scary movie I want to be scared so I can't sleep at night. That has yet to happen so far, the only movie that has come close is Halloween. The only reason that freaked me out a bit was that the guy was always standing outside a window and you'd see him or think you saw him and then they'd show it again and he wasn't there. Thats creepy to me. However I hardly lost sleep over that. I wait til the day where a movie scares me shitless.
 

SenatorB

J.S.P.S
When the characters are in really stressful intense situations, where they're not sure what will happen next and there's a lot on the line. Things which seem unstoppable and the only solution is to try and avoid them as best you can. Things popping out isn't particularly scary, but it's startling and makes me tense up.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
When the characters are in really stressful intense situations, where they're not sure what will happen next and there's a lot on the line. Things which seem unstoppable and the only solution is to try and avoid them as best you can. Things popping out isn't particularly scary, but it's startling and makes me tense up.
I can see the whole 'intense situation' thing working because two friends of mine went to see The Descent and had similar results. One sat in her chair with her knees to her chin, covering her eyes half the time and scared shitless. The other cried out of fear in the middle of the flick because she has a serious fear of caves or tight places like that. The setting of The Descent is almost scary enough to some.
 

Vincent_Valentine

Studley-Do-Right
For me to be scared by a movie, one thing muct happen first. I have to care for the main character(s). Unfortunately, this doesn't happen that much. Once I care for the main character, then they need to be in a situation that seems somewhat plausible. Basically, it has to seem real. If those two conditions can be met, then I would probably be scared as hell.
 

oxyMORON

A Darker Knight
A scary movie in my eyes, has to be able to make an impression in your mind. Like Ds said, there was a movie that made him think that he saw something that wasn't really there. It needs to scare you in the theatre and out of the theatre.

I'd say a scary movie needs adequate background music that really sets the tone, and not so many random screams and stuff. Random scare scenes may startle you, but I'm sure avid horror movie watchers think that gets old.
 
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Ds136

Guest
I'd say a scary movie needs adequate background music that really sets the tone, and not so many random screams and stuff. Random scare scenes may startle you, but I'm sure avid horror movie watchers think that gets old.

I can predict everytime someone is going to pop out of a corner suddenly or whatever. Its so lame and boring that thats all they have to scare people now a days.
 

lavoidgaskins

Registered Member
For me I would have to say the ability to get into my head. There are a lot of scary movies out but note all of them are written well enough or produced in a since when you can be "one with the movie". Having the sensation that some thing may get you, make you jump, and etc. A movie that can do that would be scary for me.

An example of this could be The Candy Man. This movie was able to make me scared of being in a dark room with a mirror directly in front of me. It was and still is able to make me afraid of saying and thinking candy man in front of mirror. Thus this movie is scary, at least in my opinion.
 
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Captain Nick

Guest
For me I would have to say the ability to get into my head.
I'd have to agree with that. Remember Salem's Lot? (Not the new crappy Rob Lowe version; the original.) There was a scene where a little vampire boy is just hanging outside a bedroom window, lightly scratching at the glass and whispering "Let me in..." Now that freaked me out.

Horror to me is subtle and is far more effective when it sneaks up on you. One scene (in an otherwise bad movie) that scared the bejesus out of me was in Exorcist III - the part with that little old lady crawling on the ceiling. The shot is in a soft focus, so you kind of just see it out of the corner of your eye. Creepy.
 

Turbo

Registered Member
I actually can't remember the last time a movie scared me; except when I was a kid.

The problem being that there's nothing new and scarey that can be done that hasn't already been done in some form. Also, with my knowledge of script writing, I am capable of predicting various plot routes for the scenes and can often predict where its going. I've even been disappointed because the route I thought of was more intense and/or unexpected as the actual movie. Kinda sad for me since I love the horror/thriller genre.
 
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