10 Golden Rules For Making The Perfect Horror Movie

How to really get under fright fans' skins...

Horror Tips

October is a weird month for horror, isn't it?

On one hand, it is the month where everyone is ready to be spooked. On the other hand, the horror films we receive every October tend to be (charitably speaking) a bit disappointing. This year, we're getting another Ouija movie that no one asked for, which followed September's Blair Witch Project follow-up that precisely no one asked for. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Saw 8 is filming next month. Guess what month it lands in 2017...

It makes perfect sense why we always get at least one mediocre horror film in October. People want to be scared this time of year, so we're more likely to lower our standards when we go to the theatre in the vain hope. This is also why the best horror films tend to come out during the summer, because they won't need their audience to be suffering a seasonal handicap.

But this is not an article about how Hollywood plays us every year. That would be too easy. This article is about the horror films we're compelled to watch and re-watch every October to chill our blood and cause us and our friends to scream aloud in a dark room. The horror films that make you double check all the locks in your home before going to sleep at night.

What everyone finds scary is subjective, of course, but there are a number of rules that every great horror film abides by regardless of its subject matter. Not convinced? You will be.


Self-evidently a man who writes for the Internet, Robert also writes films, plays, teleplays, and short stories when he's not working on a movie set somewhere. He lives somewhere behind the Hollywood sign.