Free Daily Reads 2022: Article 135

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The fright stuff: What makes horror movies tick?


Article Summary

This interesting article investigates what makes horror movies scary. It highlights the devices used one by horror film makers to make horror films have a certain effect on the viewers. Since the early day of cinema, filmmakers have been exploiting our deepest, darkest and most elemental fears. In this article, the award-winning critic reveals the key techniques and conventions keeping us on the edge of our seat.

The first device that is described in the article is the scary place, the author says that location is absolutely key when it comes to frightening us. The next key technique that has been described is the Monster. Through various examples of iconic horror movies the author explains that there is always a monster, he might be a serial killer; a roaming demon; a stalking wraith; or a ravenous beast. The sound effects also play an important role in scaring the audiences as most horror films screened without sound would be vastly diminished without their troubling score there must be a contrast. The next two techniques used in the movies are a chase sequence in which the monster pursues its prey and a journey. Most horror movies show opposite sides like the old and the new, light and dark, good and bad- and a journey from one to the other is what makes these movies interesting.

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Words to learn from this Article:

Archetype: a very typical example of a certain person or thing.

Visceral: relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect.

Spawn: produce or generate a large number of.

Ravenous: (of hunger or need) very great; voracious.

Painstaking: Done with or employing great care and thoroughness.

Juxtaposition: the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.

Trope: a significant or recurrent theme; a motif.


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