People are getting braver day by day when it comes to horror movies. It is harder to scare people today. And I mean the real scare, that used to creep to our bone marrow and lingered for weeks after the movie ended.
Then there are the other kind of horror movies that resort to cheap tricks to give us the thrill to make it just worth our money.
Both the types do use the same tricks, albeit in different ways.
1. Following the protagonist as a third person standing behind them
We are literally shoved into their place in the scene, and automatically, their fears become ours. A very neat trick.
2. Subliminal images that pop up for a microsecond
Blink and you may miss them. But if you can even spot them for the millisecond they are on screen, they creep you out. Because you are unsure, just like the protagonist, whether you saw it or not.
3. The soundtrack changes dramatically when the jump scare scene comes up
The music suddenly changes during the scary scene, which startles and scares us even further.
4. Infrasound – a very low frequency humming noise that fills us with dread
Low-frequency noises are creepy, and that is why a creaky door is thought to be spooky. We have evolved to be scared of low-frequency noises.
5. When the villain talks into the camera, staring right at us
It is just like he is talking to you, and that is super scary. If the actor is a good one, you will feel scared.
6. Underexposure, so that we do not really know what is happening in the frames
Underexposure makes everything in the frame creepy, because your eyes cannot really comprehend what is in there and what is not.
7. Extending the length of the scene to freak us out, keeping us at the edge of the seats
Extending the tension to a point that we are at the edge of our patience is a very common trick since the time of Hitchcock.
8. K-Y Jelly that is used to represent disgusting saliva
Dripping saliva also adds a disgust element to the already scared environment.
It adds to the menace if used properly.
9. The classic jump scare that shocks us out of the blue
And the directors are talented enough to pop the scene when we least expect it.
10. Tight frames to give you a claustrophobic feel
We feel the walls closing in too, after watching the scenes. Also, we realize the fear of not having any open space to really run away from the ghost.
Distorted reflection, glimpses in the mirror, and mirrors in general are a classic prop of a horror movie. It just increases the space in the frame from which a ghost can pop up, leaving you scanning and searching for it.
12. Ghosts running past quickly in dark rooms
And that too just when the protagonist has his/her back turned towards you.
Even though we do go into the cinema expecting all of the above tricks, we still end up enjoying the movie if it has a good script.
We sincerely hope they come up with new tricks to scare our socks off soon.