• The setting is usually an isolated area. Urban environments and dark
streets work well as they are secluded which adds a sense of danger.
Narrow alleys and run down areas are also used a lot
• Places with a dark history such as abandoned houses, hotels and insane
• Locations for any good horror genre film could be : Lakes, roads, highways,
dark woods, houses, cabins, cities and subways. These are all areas that
could be made scary with added darkness which is a common theme in
• Examples of horror films set within these genres include, The Blair Witch
Project, Cabin in the Woods and Wrong Turn
• Camerawork is very unnatural and the movements consists of many low
and high angles.
• POV shots are important as they are used to show the world from the
monster’s eye. This type of shot is usually used at the end of a film as the
monster is trying to catch the protagonist.
• Handheld shots are useful when trying to make the film seem more
realistic as it makes it seem like it is actually happening than it being a
• Extreme Close Ups are common within horrors as they can be used to
show a change in emotion and they are useful when highlighting fear in a
• Editing can create unsettling tension and suspense. If the editing hasn’t
been paced up in a while then you know that something will pop out and
• Visual style – often dark colours like red and black (this
links will the themes of evil and danger)
• Lighting is usually not natural and low key lighting can
help create dark shadows and unfamiliar shapes in the
blackness. Lighting can be vital within film, especially
horror as the darker the shot is, it tends to be more
• Common objects include weapons, masks, icons of the
supernatural and religious icons.
• The iconography of the monsters help to connote
extreme fear, disgust and terror for example ,
Vampires, Mummies and Frankenstein
• Classic narrative structure is usually the main
narrative style in horror films but sometimes the
films are not ended as it can lead open a
possibility for sequels.
• There’s always an antagonist and a protagonist
who usually battle for control and decide their
fate, to live or to die.
• A common narrative feature includes the killer
revisiting his hometown where he first had his
traumatic experience and starts to kill people.
This is evident in movies such as Halloween.
• There are usually many main characters and supporting
characters in horror films, a few of the most iconic are,
• The main protagonist, often the “victim” of the movie
• The villain, often a supernatural monster or a serial
• Creepy children
• Police officers that can either turn out to be good or
• Many more monsters such as ghosts, zombies, demons
Good vs. Evil – Many horror films use this as a guideline to what they will put in
the film, which monsters etc.
Religion – These films are usually regarded as the scariest films, because of the
uncertainty of religion
Childhood issues – Films like Halloween use this technique to tell the storyline and
give us a clear view of what is happening
Science gone too far – Sci-fi horrors are usually also quite scary as they add a level
of uncertainty as some people believe things like this could happen in the near
Zombie Apocalypse – These films are very popular as people watching are
intrigued on how the characters survive and they would like to imagine themselves
being in that situation
Insanity – Mental patients are used a lot in films as they naturally scare people
Envy – There are a lot of horrors that include a level of envy between two main
characters, the antagonist and the protagonist
Suicide – Suicide is usually a main theme within horrors as it can obviously happen
in real life which scares people even more