Horror: Seeing vs. Imagining

I’ve been working on an outline for a new horror screenplay the past couple of weeks (and neglecting my updates) and I’ve decided to take a different approach from my slasher/gore fest.

I got to thinking about what is scarier, what someone else thinks is scary, or what you personally think is scary. The answer is obvious of course, which is why when you’re laying in your bed late at night you’re way better at giving yourself the heebiejeebies than any movie could muster.

That lead me to come up with a list of movies that don’t reallyshow you anything scary but instead let your imagination run wild – and really create a much more memorable experience because of it. The monster isn’t the star such as a slasher movie, but the location, the feel; the sense that something is wrong and you want to get the hell out of there.

The Haunting (1963)

This movie doesn’t show a thing in terms of monsters/ghosts/etc. It merely sets up the scares, increases the tension and then lets you do the rest. You watch the characters reactions to what’s going on around them and they’re just as in the dark as you are. One scene that really sticks out is when the large, wooden door is being pressed in, almost to the point of breaking – you’re sure that whatever is on the other side is about to burst through and do something awful… and then it leaves. It was a very tense moment because the stomping through the halls had been building and building to that moment. The women were safe for now, but, what if it came back?

The Changeling (1980)

The scariest thing you see in this movie is George C. Scott, by and far. The only real representation of the “ghost” in this story is a wheelchair in a hidden room in the attic, other than that it’s the house that is the real scary character. There was no need for special effects (or if it were made now, a weird CGIghost) to represent what was scary, it was just the atmosphere and the sense of something being wrong that built the tension through the story. What I love about the movie is when things finally seem to be calming down, the problem had been solved and things feel like they’re going to be okay, one of the biggest scares of almost any movie ever comes. All it has in it is a mirror and a quick cut – and it was perfect.

The Wicker Man (1973)

From the moment Woodward arrives at Summersisle you know that something is wrong with that place but you can’t quite put your finger on what. I wanted him very much to just get out and leave that place but I also had an interest in him finding in the missing girl, so he couldn’t leave until his mission was fulfilled, one way or the other. There is a definite eerie atmosphere throughout the film that starts to get to the main character and the audience as well. Even though the remake has Nicolas Cage punching women while wearing a bear suit, this one is superior.

Les Diaboliques (1955)

A man’s wife and mistress conspire to kill him, and they do so fairly quick into the film… but did they really kill him? This story deals with guilt and deception and is very tense as the main character seems to be losing her mind over the course of the story. I wouldn’t say this is a straight horror film but it certainly delves down that path with the supposed haunting and hallucinations and it has a fantastic story taking place in a French boarding school.

It really comes down to what you don’t show in these films and the general discomfort the audience feels when watching the film. A good ghost story doesn’t have to have any ghosts in it, it just has to have the right feel, the right atmosphere, and some people that stick around to get to the bottom of things instead of getting the hell out of there.

There are a lot of other films that don’t reveal who is doing the killing/haunting until the end such as Psycho but I was looking more into the haunted house/place stories that really struck a chord with me. I’ve got my location all worked out and I’ll be starting on the first draft soon enough, and I’m really going to work on the feel of the story and the deteriorating mindset of my poor protagonist.

Related Posts

28 comments on “Horror: Seeing vs. Imagining”

  • News

    That is really fascinating, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and stay up for in search of more of your magnificent post. Additionally, Ive shared your web site in my social networks!

  • cialis online pharmacy

    I do not even know the way I ended up right here, but I believed this submit was once good.
    I do not recognise who you’re however definitely you’re
    going to a well-known blogger if you are not already.

  • נערות ליווי

    Good day! I just wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent information you have got here on this post. I am coming back to your blog for more soon. Good day! I just wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent information you have got here on this post. I am coming back to your blog for more soon. נערות ליווי בקיסריה

  • דירות דיסקרטיות נתניה

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you should write more about this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but typically folks dont talk about such issues. To the next! Cheers!!


    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes that produce the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  • מחפש דירות דיסקרטיות בקריות? המטפלות הכי חמות בעיר

    I need to to thank you for this good read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you book-marked to look at new things you postÖ

  • gralion torile

    I regard something really special in this website.

  • Content Generator

    Artificial intelligence creates content for the site, no worse than a copywriter, you can also use it to write articles. 100% uniqueness :). Click Here:

  • zoritoler imol

    Wonderful work! That is the kind of info that are meant to be shared across the web. Shame on the search engines for now not positioning this submit upper! Come on over and seek advice from my site . Thank you =)

  • vorbelutrioperbir

    As soon as I found this web site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  • zoritoler imol

    This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

  • zoritoler imol

    Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care

  • Krypto-Handelsstrategien bei

    The point of view of your article has taught me a lot, and I already know how to improve the paper on gate.oi, thank you.

  • binance announcement

    Thank you for your sharing. I am worried that I lack creative ideas. It is your article that makes me full of hope. Thank you. But, I have a question, can you help me?

  • Hello World!


  • binance margin

    Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks. I have a question for you.

  • Binance Registriere

    Can you be more specific about the content of your article? After reading it, I still have some doubts. Hope you can help me.

  • 에볼루션바카라

    I appreciate, cause I found exactly what I was looking for. You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  • একটি binance অ্যাকাউন্ট খোলুন

    Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

  • binance একাউন্ট তৈরি

    Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks. I have a question for you.

  • binance акаунтын жасау

    Can you be more specific about the content of your article? After reading it, I still have some doubts. Hope you can help me.

  • What Solutions Does a Professional Traffic Control Company Provide for Coquitlam Residents?

    One thing I would like to say is that before acquiring more pc memory, check out the machine in to which it can be installed. If your machine is definitely running Windows XP, for instance, the actual memory ceiling is 3.25GB. The installation of more than this would basically constitute a waste. Make sure one’s mother board can handle this upgrade volume, as well. Thanks for your blog post.

  • www paramanalo com login

    Thanks for your posting. One other thing is when you are advertising your property alone, one of the troubles you need to be conscious of upfront is just how to deal with house inspection reviews. As a FSBO retailer, the key to successfully switching your property plus saving money in real estate agent profits is understanding. The more you are aware of, the simpler your property sales effort might be. One area exactly where this is particularly critical is reports.

  • reformar tu casa

    It?s hard to search out educated folks on this subject, however you sound like you realize what you?re speaking about! Thanks

  • 注册Binance

    I don’t think the title of your article matches the content lol. Just kidding, mainly because I had some doubts after reading the article.

  • home junk removal

    I would also love to add that if you do not actually have an insurance policy or you do not remain in any group insurance, chances are you’ll well take advantage of seeking the aid of a health broker. Self-employed or those that have medical conditions usually seek the help of one health insurance dealer. Thanks for your blog post.

  • nuestros clientes

    I was very happy to find this internet-site.I wished to thanks in your time for this glorious learn!! I positively enjoying every little little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.