Horror movies have been around since the early 1900s. Many filmmakers have tried to reinvent the genre, but very few have succeeded. Read on to discover the secrets behind the success of these terrifying productions.
This 1980 film was based on Stephen King’s popular novel and became a classic in its own right. It tells the story of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), who becomes the caretaker of an isolated hotel for troubled young Danny Lloyd (Danny Lloyd). He soon discovers that his new charge is more than just shy – he has lost his sanity and is planning a murderous rampage. In a bid to keep him alive, Jack fights back with all his might.
Based upon Robert Bloch’s 1959 novel of the same name, this 1960 thriller starred Anthony Perkins as psychotic murderer Norman Bates. In the opening scene, we meet Norman as he prepares dinner for himself and his mother Norma Louise Bates (Verna Felton) before killing her and disposing of her body in their swimming pool while playing online gambling games. As she struggles in the water, Norman watches through the window from upstairs. To add to the suspense, director Alfred Hitchcock utilized long takes and fast editing, and shot many scenes using mirrors. This created a sense of unease given the ambiguity surrounding Norman’s mental state.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
In 1974, Tobe Hooper made what some consider to be one of the most influential slashers ever. The original budget was $110,000, which is equivalent to about $750,000 today. The movie follows three friends (Norman Reedus, Danielle Harris, and Laura Palmer) who become stranded when their RV breaks down near a remote farm owned by sadistic entrepreneur Leatherface (Harris). After they attempt to leave, the group is stalked by Leatherface and his chainsaw-wielding pals until two of them escape after brutalizing their captives.
The first slasher film of 1975, this tale of sorority sisters being terrorized over 24 hours won cult status thanks to its innovative jump scares while playing casino Australia games. Director Bob Clark took inspiration from the works of authors Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur James Balfour, countess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis, and composer Krzysztof Komeda. His use of music also helped create tension during the numerous jump scares.
Horror films often focus on creating an atmosphere of dread, panic, and fear – emotions that play well on our reptilian brains. Most people believe that the scariest thing in the world is a person or animal about to attack you. Given the chance, your brain will do anything to protect itself from harm as it knows that screaming, crying and running away cannot always save you.
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