The Main Rules in Horror Films

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Updated: May 08, 2023
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Horror films set of rules is not clearly defined like other genres instead the horror film genre is most recognizable by the emotional effect It has on its viewers. When viewers go into a horror movie, they expect a certain feeling of authenticity, a way for them to feel as if they are there so that they can feel the fear first hand. A successful horror movie is one that can take fairly ordinary events and then convince you that these scary supernatural (or in some cases very real serial killers) are able to invade and possibly happen to you.

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The secret to recreating this feeling on this particular genre is to first to set the stage and put an easy-going everyday ordinary scene before trying to scare you.

This can be anything from hanging out with friends, going to school, etc. In The Conjuring, we have a scene that shows a family moving into a new home. They use brighter colors to give you that sense of safety and to set the mood to that of peace and joy. Most of the children seem joyful, and the one teen girl seems to be very disappointed in the housing choice since it is in the middle of nowhere, which is nice because if all of the many kids liked the house, it would not feel as authentic because each child should have their own unique personalities. The setting also gave a good feeling of invisibility as well. They have many children, (which would be difficult to maintain them all) so the house they found looks like it needs many repairs. The paint looks old, the grass is too high, and there seems to be some water damage on some of the walls. This, of course, is meant to make the house look creepier as well, but it also works for this narrative presentation. 

However, invisibility or verisimilitude does not always have to do with how realistic a situation is. Invisibility is more about how the makers of the film make you feel as if the events that are happening on screen are unfolding before your eyes. For instance, the part when Christine (played by Joey King) one night encounters a demonic entity, she is dragged by her feet slightly the first time. She does not have her blanket on completely covering her, and although it might be just an irrational fear many people have when you are in the dark and are not covered all the way your feet always feel somehow unprotected. I felt that in this scene they did an excellent job in making the audience feel that same vulnerability. What I found interesting too, was how important the camera angles were to giving this scene a sense of authenticity.

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The Main Rules in Horror Films. (2022, Apr 29). Retrieved from