The problem with a lot of modern horror movies is that they either operate on a very small and low level series of scares or are reliant on gore for effect.
While jump scares are effective in a cinema (that’s English for Theater American reader) they are short-lived and tend to be predictable and have little return to value. I often thought about writing/directed a film which has two edits, so the jumps are in different places in an attempt to reward and bamboozle returning audiences. Another problem with jump scares is that they don’t translate well to the television when watched on DVD/Blu-Ray and other home entertainment set ups.
Gory movies… Visceral body horror has always been a part of the genre, whether it be Vincent Price getting jumbled up with a fly while experimenting with teleport, the hapless Werewolf victim or even Frankenstein’s monster… But the ‘torture porn’ genre is simply gore for gore’s sake. Admittedly the first of the Saw movies does use a degree of tension and is benefitted by the small scale production.
But for me, for a horror movie to work, it has to have that psychology element to it to build the tension and horror. The original Halloween uses this technique well, we barely see Myers until the end and we learn more about him as the story goes, it is only in the final reel when we are truly in his presence as audience as he goes after the hapless heroine. The tension is built because we know it is the end game (the inversion of Donald Pleasance as a good guy shows the movie inverts the genre). Alien manages to mix both the tension and the visceral horror well.
I would still like to think both these movies have the power to frighten even now.
Your Daily Prompt: Frighten