What Makes a Movie Scary?

Not all scary movies are actually all that scary so what is it about the best scary movies that make them so much more terrifying than the rest? It’s in the editing.


Now You See It shows us how great horror filmmakers can make a scary scene stand out by slowly building out the suspense in a terrifyingly uncomfortable scene. It’s that extra second they spend on a shot, that camera angle they use, and the environment in which it’s set that makes a scene genuinely scary.

But too often, filmmakers use a bunch of quick and sudden cuts to scare us. That only adds up to a bunch of little scares versus one really big scare. To illustrate his point, he shows a scene from a current horror movie Lights Out and the original short film it was based on. The short film held a shot longer, showed a different camera angle, and put the scene inside the actress’ home. The theatrical release didn’t build up the scare enough, never showed the haunting perspective that the ‘monster’ sees, and places the scene inside some random creepy warehouse.


After you watch both, it’s obvious that the short film definitely had the scarier scene even if it was done with a much lower budget. Check it out below.

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I honestly can’t stand jump scares.

I know this doesn’t make sense, but while they make me jump out of my skin, they still manage to bore me. I know when they’re building up to one and I’m 99% right on what form it takes.

They work nearly all the time no matter the circumstances. It could be an horrific demon, a normal human antagonist in a thriller or a missing gerbil in a comedy. It’s almost impossible for them to not succeed in giving you a shock.