Search icon


28th Oct 2019

How to create terrifying horror, by someone who has

Wayne Farry

Horror movies can be great, or they can be awful

Scary movies are for some reason one of the most divisive genres around. Like comedies, they are taken less seriously than dramas, and reviews tend to settle on a conclusion that regards the film as very good or very bad. There is rarely recognition of a middle ground.

The reasons for this are too great to go into any detail here, but they are likely influenced by the fact that fear, like laughter, is a natural reaction. They’re something we feel, not something we particularly think too long about.

But how does one, when making a film, evoke fear from those watching? And what differentiates a good horror film from a bad one?

We spoke to Mike Flanagan, director of Netflix’s critically acclaimed The Haunting of Hill House, as well as Doctor Sleep, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name, about what scares him and what he feels makes a good horror film.

Doctor Sleep is in cinemas October 31st.