It can be a tricky genre to get right

We’ve rounded up the some of the best horror filmmaking tips from big Hollywood names to help you make your film.

It’s tricky to make a hit scary movie because you have combine lighting, sound, script and shots effectively.

Check out the tips below on how to get it right.

Guillermo del Toro – don’t forget about style

Guillermo del Toro is the director of some iconic films, like Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy and Crimson Peak. He gave his top three tips for making a good horror film to CineMovie.

He said: “You need to have an emotionally relatable character, I think that you need to have characters you care for. Movies where you are just there to see who gets killed next are for me not great horror.

“You have to have a style in the scares or the killings. And the third one is you need to try to find new ways to tell very classic stories”

Sounds good to us.

Wes Craven – think about audience reaction

Director of horror movie franchise Scream spoke to the American Film Institute about his horror filmmaking tips. He tells the AFI philosophically about the effect horror films should have on the audience.

He said: “Most of my career’s been spent scaring people. There’s a sense of pleasure to know you’ve gotten to that place, where people don’t like to talk about but you haven’t done it in a way that has bruised them so much as allowed them somehow to come out of the film happy.”



Sam Raimi – follow the rules

Director of horror films like Drag Me to Hell and The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi is a big name in horror filmmaking. He outlines certain rules that should apply to all horror pictures, which include that ‘the innocent must suffer,’ ‘the guilty must be punished,’ and they should follow a coming-of-age arc as ‘you must taste blood to be a man.’

Check out the full interview from the 1989 horror documentary series Stephen King’s This Is Horror above to find out Raimi’s process when making scary films.

James Wan – get your sound right

The Conjuring 2 director spoke to IGN about how he makes great horror films.

He said: “The soundscape is very important for movies of this genre to the extent sometimes where I actually, if I had to pick one, I would say sound trumps the visuals.”

“The music, the sound design, it not only creates this ongoing atmosphere that permeates throughout the whole movie but it also creates the emotion that you want your audience to feel as well,” he added.