I decided to collect primary research through the use of a questionnaire
as if done correctly, this method of data collection can help to
accurately generalise information and speak on behalf of the target
group being researched.
I based my questionnaire on 5 relevant questions which were age
specific to a target group of 15-19 year olds. The reason I conducted
Primary research and chose this target audience is due to Paul Well’s
findings of young people in this age group being interested in the horror
genre more than any other category as they enjoyed the blood and gore
the most. This research should help me gain a better insight on the
expectations that my target group have, enabling me to make my horror
trailer most appealing to them seeing as they are the main audience.
In order to save valuable time, I decided to only hand my questionnaires
out to people who enjoy and watch horror as the answers and opinions
provided by people who do not would have been irrelevant for this
Here are the questions that I asked:
What interests you about the horror genre?
When answering this question, most of the participants stated that they
like the build up of tension, uncertainty and how they are always on the
edge of their seats scared as to what might happen next. This shows that
horror films have a good reputation of keeping the audience engaged and
concentrating through out as they do not want to miss anything
important as they are drawn into the narrative. Some also mentioned
how they like the thrill of being scared and jumping out of their seat
when watching a horror.
I decided to ask this question as I felt it useful to know what it is that the
audience look for in a horror enabling me to know what aspects I should
include in my own. Because of these findings, I will now attempt to
include some of these points such as building tension and trying to keep
the audience engaged with an interesting narrative for the final horror
What type of horror movies are more appealing to you and why?
Psychological, Paranormal, Slasher, Fictional, Non Fictional or Other.
From my findings, I discovered that the majority of participants that
preferred to watch psychological horrors were female. Most of the
reasons given as to why they preferred this was because they enjoy
the way the hybrid genre is successful in playing on their worst fears
causing it to feel more realistic. I also discovered that the vast
majority of participants that preferred slasher horrors were male. The
majority also stated that they prefer this because they enjoy the
action, blood and gore that can all be found in this hybrid genre
e.g. Saw (2010). This also supports Laura Mulvey’s male gaze theory
which is the claim that men like to view more sexualized versions of
women in films which are found especially in slasher horror films.
I decided to ask this question in order to find out what subgenre of
horror would be most appealing to my target audience enabling me
to choose the most appropriate for my own horror trailer. Through
these findings, I have decided to incorporate some elements of the
psychological and slahser horror hybrids genres into my trailer.
In your favourite horror film what elements did it have that made the
experience more appealing? The majority of people stated that that the
storylines were believable which they enjoyed as it made the experience more
realistic. Some also stated that the narratives were creative and interesting and
they couldn’t guess what was going to happen next like many other horrors our
there which can be very predictable. Others also stated that the acting was
great and the actors/actresses fit the characters very well – again making the
horror film more realistic as they felt like they could relate to the characters.
In your least favourite horror film, what elements did it have that made the
experience less enjoyable? The majority of people stated that the narrative
was boring and very predictable causing them too feel unengaged and
disconnected with the characters involved – having a negative effect of the film
as a whole. Others also stated that some of the acting in certain scenes was
over done and unrealistic.
I decided to ask these questions so that I could incorporate some of the
positive elements mentioned into my own trailer in the hopes of making the
final product more appealing to my target group and ensure that I avoid all
the negative points. I will now ensure that I include some of these points into
my final product.
What typical features do expectations to find in a horror? Most of the
people who answered this question said the typical icons of horror that
you’d expect to find, e.g. gory scenes, blood, knives/weapons, hidden
identity/masks, murders, chase scene/running, fear, screams etc.
I decided to ask this question in order to gain a clearer insight as to
what people in this age group expect to see in a horror, enabling me
to create a horror trailer which will have appealing elements that
meet the expectations that my target audience have which should
help make my trailer be a success. From the questions asked, I have
found that people of my chosen age group expect a film of the horror
genre to have the typical icons of horror that they are familiar with
and because of this; I will try and incorporate some of these icons into
To conclude, I have now come to the realisation that I must incorporate
elements that will appeal to both the males and females of my target
audience as my findings showed that females prefer psychological horrors
and male’s slasher. I also believe that I have chosen an appropriate target
group of teenagers between the ages of 15-19 as some of the content
included in horrors would be unsuitable for any persons younger due to
factors such as the graphical nature and sexual references. This age group
will also enable me to reach a wider range of people/audiences. If I were to
carry out this research again, I would ensure to provide more open ended
and detailed questions to get more in depth answers. I would also try to get
a larger number of people to participate as most of my findings had to be
generalised and were not specific to an individual as there were not enough
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