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What Makes Something Scary: Paying Attention to Details in Scary Movies

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What Makes Something Scary: Paying Attention to Details in Scary Movies

It’s that time of year when many of us enjoy a good scare. We visit haunted houses, dress in creepy costumes, and watch scary movies.

What makes something scary?

From the Stranger Things TV show to The Conjuring movies, effective horror is always about making connections to the audience and using precise attention to detail. Critical thinking strategies can be applied to any activity, including making horror movies.

Paying Attention to Details

Take a look at these two clips below. One is an upbeat, everyday scene at the office. The other is a scary version of that same scene. Pay attention to the details of the scary scene. What makes it scarier? Make a brainstorm map and analyze what exactly makes that scene frightening, at least in comparison to the first scene.

There are plenty of details that make a horror movie or even a Halloween haunted house walkthrough scary. One of the most important details to take note of is the use of the unknown. Many horror film directors are amazing at visualization. In addition, they also play around with the concept of visualization. They know that what a person visualizes through the direction of their own imagination is far scarier than anything that can be shown on screen. That is why great horror directors create scenes where your imagination can fill in the blank!

Critical Thinking Strategy

Another significant detail as to why certain scene is scary is the set up for anticipation. The critical thinking strategy of making connections comes into play here very well. If you’re shown a dark room, your mind will make connections to spine-chilling things that are associated with the dark. This is a result of what we’ve come to know, through media and even personal experiences, about the dark. What we can’t see is very haunting because we do not know what’s lurking in the darkness, which is why turning on all the lights in a dark room makes us feel instantly better.

Critical thinking strategies can be used anywhere and everywhere, not just in an academic setting. Contact The Family & Learning Center today to learn how we can help you improve your critical thinking skills.

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