The 5 Best Films to Watch to Learn Horror Filmmaking (Part 8)

by Annie Kapur 11 months ago in how to

Know Your Sub-Genres

The 5 Best Films to Watch to Learn Horror Filmmaking (Part 8)

This is Part 8 of the 5 Best Films to Watch to Learn to Horror Filmmaking and now, we're getting to those films that will make you think of more obscure sub-genres of horror hopefully. Also, I want to make you really think about the sub-genre you're doing and what makes that sub-genre different from all the others.

How is it its own sub-genre?

One of the most iconic scenes of the Final Destination series is the very first premonition of the plane crash. It is iconic because of the fact it has the first dose of the sheer terror you get from watching something very realistic in the series and, it reflects what is going to happen later on in the FD film trend. Final Destination 1 is one of those films that started off the millennium gore craze and off it spun into many more sub-genres; especially the "body horror" vibe of the 21st Century.

Annabelle: Creation is one of the great pieces of modern horror and I hope you are as appreciative of this as I am. The scenes, though incredibly dark, are amazingly filmed and, even the slightest of things can make the greatest of terrors. Why? Well, in the film it's all about tension. The more the tension is built, the more effective the scare. Just watch the tension built in this scene entitled "Ghost." It truly is a masterpiece that draws on the 70s and 80s for inspiration.

A brilliantly wicked film to finish off a very memorable series. Watch the film and notice how many times people are thrown into darkness and how sudden darkness is portrayed as being. The scene entitled "Laser Collars" from the film shows us this in a very incriminating way. It forces the audience to be dragged in with the character as opposed to us seeing it from the outside.

Sinister is one of those films that creates great amounts of atmosphere. Yes, the film itself may be a bit on the boring side but, to learn about atmosphere, dimming and darkness, Sinister is a great film to watch. Just take a look at this scene entitled "Compelled to Watch" — there's a lot of things we can learn about the way atmosphere is provided in an incredible normal way but it's still highly effective.

A brilliant film made in 2008, known as one of the better vampire films and again, it has some incredible scenes. Just check out the scene entitled "You have to Invite Me in" and you'll see what I mean. There isn't much atmosphere, but everything is made at first, to look a perfectly normal as possible. This means that when the abnormality takes place then it's more effective for portraying the abnormality of the character. It's the scene that shows us this, not the character themselves. Half of the work is getting the scenery right.


I hope you're watching these films and staying up to date with what you could be learning about horror. I also hope you're exploring the sub-genre you wish to film by watching as many films as possible in that area. If I've said it once, I have said it one thousand times; the best way to learn is to watch. It doesn't matter if your idea has been "done before" it matters that you're trying a different method that is new and original with some ideas taken from other films.

Good Luck on Your Next Project!

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Annie Kapur

English and Writing (B.A), Film and Writing (M.A).

Musical Interests: Bob Dylan & the 1890s-1960s 

Favourite Films: I'm Not There & The Conjuring Series

Other interests: Cooking & Baking 

Instagram: @3ftmonster 

See all posts by Annie Kapur