What Makes A Good Horror Movie
Film Criticism

What Makes A Good Horror Movie?

With the success of movies such as IT (2017), The Conjuring (2013), Jigsaw( 2017)… has made this genre an indispensable part of the movie industry.

What makes horror movies so popular? Well, most people like this genre have the desire to be frightened or want to get out of their safe zone, and horror movies are an excellent way to satisfy their feeling without being dangerous.

However, most people cannot explain the question: “What factor makes a good horror movie?’’

Keep it in mind and find the answer in this article. Hopeful, it will make you impressive.

The trailer of the movie

First thing first, let’s find out about the trailer. For the majority of the people, including me and maybe you as well, the idea that would motivate us to go to the cinema and spend our money to buy the movie tickets is the trailer.

The trailer advertising provides information that helps us know ‘’ Is the movie scary?’’ and also increases the imagination.

However, most horror movie trailers seen to show all of the scares and episodes in the short trailer. Therefore, the viewer can guess the content then reduces the scare-factor when watching the movie.

The perfect horror movie not only reveals the scares but also maintain the obsession throughout this short video. One of the best horror movie trailers is ‘’IT 2”: With a background is 27 years after IT, opening with an obsessive segment of an old woman in Derry town, the story is summarized at 2:55 minute that transmits fear to the viewer.

The setting

This factor is most important to maintain a tense atmosphere, which increases fear in your mind. At a majority of horror films, the scares are commonly set at ‘’safe zone’’ or ‘’ place we are easily hurt ’’ — ideal for setting that let the character in a quiet and dark situation.

Horror Movie

A Keith Larry shot is an example, dark and quiet setting with the main character sitting alone in the ticket booth that makes the audience keep an eye to the protagonist and become anxious.

The effect sound is also consequential to create an intense atmosphere. The standard sound includes the footstep, the owls hooting, bats, wolf howling, …and some time is complete silence.

By reasonably using sound in some situations, the episode will be pushed to the climax and ready for the next factor:’’ Jumpscare.’’


The following indispensable technique in horror movies is Jumpscare. In the primary, Jumpscare, which is a sudden scare face or loud sound on the screen, makes the audience heart-pounding.

However, the Jumpscare should not be abused because of the great horror movie should make us fear by the haunting, not only startle the audience. The excellent setting, effect sound then end off by Jumpscare will cause fear in the long run.

The scenario

While I agree that the situation of horror movie no must is coherent like a detective movie, but the scene still is logic. A great script must maintain the fear in the audience’s mind that depends on the connection between the viewer and the episode. Therefore, the characters experiencing must honestly describe conveying the tense feeling.

A bad scenario will break the entire movie; although it has a famous actor or practical effects, it still is a fail product. ‘’Slender Man (2018)’’ is an example. The movie circuit must is maintained with the fear and unrest in the audience, but the ‘’slender Man’’ script is boring with cliche chats from character.

In addition, the logic of this movie is not appreciated. Therefore, ‘’Slender Man’’ seem disappointing movie when it only received 2.9 points on IMDb.

Makeup and using special effect

What will the horror movie look like when using the deplorable effect?

We can find the high rated movies from the 60s to 80s, but now we hardly to appreciate one. Because the more we knew, the less we were scared of.

Therefore, the special effect must reality. CGI is ideal for a particular effect that makes for beautiful filmmaking, the circumstances coming to life.

Having said that, makeup is also an excellent horror effect that doesn’t take a lot of a budget like CGI. Sometimes makeup is the only way for an actor to art better. The more realistic, the more effect the viewer gets.


The great horror movie should put the audience into a sense of fear, nervousness. To successfully scare an audience, all of the factors above must to work together; otherwise, it will impact into viewer’s mind.

Now that you get the answer to what makes a horror film is scary. And the last thing, if you find this article is helpful, please share it with your friend and give us like and estimation.

Thanks for reading.

I’m Manuel Veach, the author at scrapple.tv in movie reviews and movie news section. I mainly focus on old film footage synthesizing and evaluating them so their values don't fade away. Then maybe I will make a separate section for modern cinema.

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