How to Make a Horror Movie 1 comment


Just in time for Halloween, enjoy this tongue-in-cheek flow chart showing how to make a horror movie from Canal+:
tongue-in-cheek flow-chart showing how to make a horror movie from Canal+

Click on image for larger version

Alas, this is cute but also flawed and I need to point out I don’t endorse cultural appropriation: I’d like this flow chart a lot more if Canal+ hadn’t chosen to include Indian ghosts, feathers, teepees, and the titles “Screaming Sioux” and “Dead Papoose”. But I know that you, dear readers, are a respectful and culturally-sensitive lot who don’t condone or engage in cultural appropriation either, and I trust you to enjoy the rest of the chart while ignoring that unfortunate and offensive choice. I’ll also point out for the literal-minded that actor and stunt-person safety is paramount and no, you shouldn’t keep filming if someone on your set is injured (nor do I think any of you would).

If you were to write or make a horror film, what are some of the choices (listed here, or in the genre at large) that you’d like to subvert?

If you’ve ever been part of making a horror film (and I know at least a few of you have!), how does this chart match up with or diverge from your experience?

Horror fans, what do you love about horror? What are your favourite horror films, horror writers and horror filmmakers? Who are your influences when you write horror?

PS Happy Halloween!


One thought on “How to Make a Horror Movie

  • Mark Walker

    Creeping dread. I enjoy horror movies, whether out and out gore-fests or more subtle affairs I just love a good scare. But, for me, the ones that stay with me more than the others are those that have that feeling of dread that permeates the story; the feel that something bad is just around the corner. And these films are often subtle and have roots in reality. Recently I watched “It Follows” which tells the story of a young girl followed by an ever-changing apparition that is out to kill her. For most of the film this apparition is simply a person (often spooky looking) that just walks across the screen towards our heroine. Fairly low-key, but unpleasant and a perfect (and literal) interpretation of creeping dread.

    The Shining is one of my favourites and that is, for the most part, fairly subtle and well rooted in normal life – you could really imagine it happening. Black Swan, Ringu, Mama, The Babadook are further examples of subtle horrors that build dread carefully, rather than just going for shock and awe.

    Although, sometimes, a bit of shock and awe can be fun….

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