Let’s explore how pacing can create a feeling of dread that keeps your audience on edge and fully engaged.
Well-made horror films stick with you. The horror classics, they keep you up at night and give you pause at odd times during the day. It’s a lingering feeling. It’s not simple fear. It’s something more existential and heavy, something you can’t easily shake off. It’s a feeling that convinces you, even though you know better, that there’s got to be one more scare to come. Because you’re in its clutches. It’s right behind you. There is no escape.
What is that feeling? And how do you harness it for your own horror film and video projects?
That feeling is dread, creeping or otherwise, and it’s the product of editing. While there are indeed many elements that make horror films what they are, ultimately it’s the pacing created in editing that’s going to keep your audience on edge long after the end credits have rolled. Let’s explore the editing ins and outs that make the horror genre click.
1. Titles and Intro Animations
If you want to put your horror projects in the best (or darkest) light as soon as possible, set the scene early with some horrific/terrific title and intro animations. So, before we wander too far into the woods of editing for horror, download these 100% FREE assets (inspired by the M. Night Shyamalan film Split) for creating suspenseful title sequences in After Effects and a free Premiere Pro motion graphics template for No Hay Camino Streamen gratis titles.
2. Scripting and Understanding the Genre
Nailing a film’s pace actually begins in pre-production. To create a memorable horror film, one must first understand the genre itself. By studying genre theory, and specifically the horror genre, you should be able to turn your rough idea into a fully-realized concept.
From there, it takes a careful scripting and storyboarding process to really unlock what makes the story work, and how you might want to build it visually. Remember, to make good horror, one must study good animations The Addams Family 2 Streamen Nederlandse.
3. The Horror Film Story Arc
Building upon the previous point, your pacing will be tighter if you have a firm grasp on the tenets of storytelling. Horror films most often follow the principles of the Hero’s Journey to help outline their plot and structure. At the very least, you should have a basic understanding of storytelling traditions before you try to break the rules of the Copshop Streamen.
4. Creating Tension and Suspense
Tension in a horror film is created by both the characters and storyline, as seen here in The Silence of the Lambs. Image via The Ice Road 2021.
At every step along a horror film’s production timeline, the ultimate goal is to build tension and create suspense. When it’s time to actually get down to filming, directors and cinematographers will often shoot an array of options for each scene, including variances in shot types, lenses, and other compositional elements.
5. Don’t Forget Sound Design
Soundtrack and sound design—both of these audio elements are crucial when developing a horror film’s mood, theme, and pace. A perfect example of how sound design can help establish a film’s pace is found in John Krasinski’s 2018 horror film Escape Room 2.