9 times out of 10, fear of the unknown is scarier than any manifested monster, demon, or poltergeist. That’s why suspense is so painful while jump scares, though terrifying, are over in an instant (and are followed by a huge sense of relief). Talented fear practitioners understand this “more is less” approach, where sometimes, a shadow is worse than a maniac, a creak can be louder than a scream, and the look of abject horror on someone else’s face can be devastating.
For some excellent examples, check out the video below by The Film Theorist. He talks about how what’s outside the frame can be just as important as what’s seen. He uses 3 films to prove this point: The Innkeepers (2011, Directed by Ti West), The Changeling (1980, Directed by Peter Medak), and Let the Right One In (2008, Directed by Tomas Alfredson).
Have a watch and let us know what you think in the Comments section. What are some other examples of great horror movie moments that success because of the lack of what is seen? Like the climax of Rosemary’s Baby, for example. Let’s discuss.
Official Synopsis: Sometimes, the scariest thing in a horror movie is what you DON’T see. In this episode of Frame by Frame, Kyle takes on three horror movie classics — The Innkeepers, The Changeling, and Let the Right One In — to explore how directors oftentimes make what you DON’T see scarier than what you DO. The threat is outside the frame but it is very VERY real!
About The Film Theorist on YouTube: Hello Internet! I’m MatPat. Welcome to The Film Theorists. Do you love overanalyzing movies and TV? If decoding Game of Thrones lore, dissecting the physics of Dragonball’s Kamehameha wave, or figuring out how to win the Hunger Games using Game Theory sounds appealing to you, then welcome to the community of Loyal Theorists!
And when you’ve had your fill of theorizing, hop on over to Did You Know Movies, bringing you incredible facts and little-known behind the scenes moments from all your favorite big screen hits! And finally Frame by Frame, all about the ART of moviemaking and cinematography.