Entertainment

How do you make a horror movie?

Issac Ezban
Mexican screenwriter and director, co-founder of Red Elephant Films and Autocinema Coyote. His first film The Incident (2014) premiered at Cannes and 50 other festivals. His second film Los Parecidos (2015) won Best Latin American Film at Sitges, making him the first Mexican with 2 films in 2 consecutive years in official selection at the 2 most important genre festivals in the world (Fantastic Fest and Sitges). He is currently preparing the premiere of his new film MAL DE OJO.
T-W: @IsaacEzban
Facebook: Isaac Ezban – Film Director

part of your job
Ugly Things (2010)
Barbarian Mexico (2014)
The Incident (2014)
The Similars (2015)
Parallel (2018)
In September he premieres his next film “MAL DE OJO”, it is in the post-production phase. It’s a horror movie where strange things also happened!!

Top ten horror movies of all time, according to Rotten Tomatoes
PSYCHO (1960)
GET OUT (2017)
THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1919)
US (2019)
ALIENS (1979)
KING KONG (1933)
NOSFERATU (1922)
THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955)
THE INVISIBLE MAN (2020)
A QUIET PLACE (2018)

The best horror movie classics
‘Psycho’ (1960)
‘The Exorcist’ (1973)
‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1968)
‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ (1984)
‘Carrie’ (1976)
Saw (2004)
‘The Shining’ (1980)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Scramble (1996)
Cabin in the Woods (2012)

fun facts
The Exorcist was the first horror film to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture.
The color red is present in almost every shot of The Shining.
While filming Scream, the actors were never allowed to see the man who voices Ghostface (Roger L. Jackson). Director Wes Craven thought he would make his performances more realistic, and Jackson would hide on set and actually make the phone calls during scenes.
Sissy Spacek slept in her bloody clothes for three days while filming Carrie’s prom scene to maintain continuity.
While filming the opening scene in Final Destination 2, the actors had to ride the roller coaster 26 times.
The blood used in Night of the Living Dead is chocolate syrup.
Due to his previous experience as a volunteer firefighter, Jack Nicholson brought down the prop door with the ax in The Shining too quickly. They had to change it to a real door for that scene.
Church the cat in Pet Cemetery is played by seven different cats.
In The Exorcist when Regan (Linda Blair) vomits on Father Karras (Jason Miller) in The Exorcist, the vomit was supposed to hit him in the chest. But due to a misfire with the tube, the actor received a blow to the face. The angry face of him when he cleans up the vomit is real.
The vomit used in The Exorcist is mainly in pea soup.
The Michael Myers mask on Halloween is actually a modified and painted William Shatner mask.
On the set of The Exorcist, director William Friedkin had the prop man shoot blanks at random to surprise the actors.
Nuts and dead chickens were used to create the gory noises heard in The Evil Dead.
In The Shining, Jack Nicholson achieved his character’s courage just by eating cheese sandwiches

how fear is created
Well Developed Characters: Characters in horror and scary movies experience terrifying events, but if we don’t spend time making them believable and three-dimensional, the audience just won’t care what happens to them. You have to create empathy with the person, so that people feel related to the character.

The script: The situation is very important. That’s why there are many horror movies that start with a family that moves house, goes on a trip, and that implies that the character is discovering something new and the viewer does it with him.

Create the suspense: Making horror movies should create a sense of fear and scare the audience. Alfred Hitchcock once said: “There is no terror in the explosion, only in the anticipation of it.” The real secret to making a great horror movie is to spend time building tension and suspense first. Suspense is built when the audience knows or suspects more than the characters.

Creepy Sound Design: The way a horror movie sounds is a big part of how scary it is. Sound design sets the tone and atmosphere and may take a bit more work than other genres. THE TERROR ALSO OCCURS WITH THE PAUSES.

Music: No horror movie is complete without some spooky music: think John William’s ‘Jaws Theme’, John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween Theme’ and Bernard Herrmann’s ‘Psycho Theme’.

Using normal and familiar places as scary places: Instead of using worn-out horror backgrounds like a creepy European castle, everyday places like normal neighborhoods, schools, and backyards are better. This allows people to identify with the environment and imagine themselves in the middle of the action.

Make evil feel real: Whether it’s ghosts, vampires, zombies or sadistic serial killers, if what we see on screen fails to exert some credibility in the viewer, things fall apart very quickly. Horror in particular is a genre that can easily go from the sublime to the ridiculous in the blink of an eye. The clichés of the genre can often work against them if they are not taken on the right path.

horror movie genres
Slashers: Halloween, the Freddy Krueger saga, the Jason saga, Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Folk Horror: The Wicker Man (1973), and more current we have Midsommar (2019) or the series The Third Day (2020).
Gore: Saw and Hostel.
Classics: The Exorcist, The Shining, The Night of the Demon
Found footage: The Blair Witch Project (1999) and the Paranormal Activity saga.
Social horror: Get out, US

horror movie curses
The Exorcist: According to the production, on the first day of recording, two relatives of the cast team died, and that same day a security employee died. The deaths of actors Maliaros and Jack MacGrowran were also recorded.

Emily Rose’s exorcism: The protagonist Jennifer Carpenter stated that, during the filming of the film, strange things happened in her house. The radio in her room turned on by itself and always with the same Pearl Jam song “Alive”. She heard several noises in the closet of her room.

Poltergeists: Julian Beck and Dominique Dunne died days after the film was released in theaters. The actor died of stomach cancer and the artist in charge of bringing Dana Freeling to life was strangled by her ex-boyfriend in 1982. In addition, little Heather O’Rourke died at the age of 12 when she was diagnosed with an alleged flu that was really an ailment stomach that ended his life quickly.

Amityville Horror (1979 and 2005): During both filming there were paranormal phenomena. The one from 2005 has the strangest stories: the production staff claimed that many woke up at 3:15 in the morning, the supposed time that the murders occurred in the house. In addition, the body of a fisherman appeared near the recording area and to top it off, Kathy Lutz, the mother of the family on whom the book and films were based, died a week before filming.

The Prophecy (1976): Actor Gregory Peck and screenwriter David Seltzer took separate flights to the UK and coincidentally both planes were struck by lightning. The director Richard Donner and part of his team were going to take a plane but the company compensated them so that they waited an extra day or two for another flight because they needed those places and that saved their lives because that plane had problems with the engine and crashed All the people on board died. Months later, with the film in post-production, the special effects supervisor, John Richardson, had an accident on the road with his girlfriend, and she was decapitated.

The most expensive horror movies in history
5. Prometheus (2012)
With Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and Noomi Rapace, directed by Ridley Scott.
It was budgeted at $130 million and ended up grossing $400 million.

4. The Wolfman (2010)
Directed by Joe Johnston, and with the participation of Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving.
It was made with 150 million dollars

3. I Am Legend (2007)
The Will Smith film grossed $585.3 million, far exceeding its $150 million budget.

2. Van Helsing (2004)
With Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale he made 160 million.

1. World War Z (2013)
Brad Pitt’s film was made with 190 million in total and achieved a gross of 540 million.

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