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  • This may not look that scary, but in 1896, the special effects broke ground.

  • This is Georgesliès' "Le Manoir du Diable", and it's credited as the very first horror movie.

  • These days, horror films are more popular than ever, defining an era of cinematic fears and obsessions.

  • But what lies beneath the surface of these sinister films is a formula guaranteed to make you squirm.

  • We have the facts.

  • There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to successfully survive a horror movie.

  • For instance, number one:

  • It begins with sound.

  • Filmmakers rely on disturbing soundtracks to heighten suspense and terror.

  • You may have heard the waterphone, a slicing sound that sends shivers down the spine, or the theremin, the defining sound of many 1950s horror movies.

  • Researchers discovered that harsh sounds used in horror soundtracks imitate the screams of scared animals.

  • These nonlinear sounds range from the distorted notes of a trumpet blown too hard to a stereo that is cranked up to 11.

  • Next, we have a technique that's used in almost every horror movie.

  • It's when a character feel like they're safe, but within seconds, are suddenly attacked by the film's monster.

  • Hello.

  • The jump scare.

  • Now, for a different perspective.

  • How does this angle make you feel?

  • Come and play with us, Danny.

  • Low angles are used to invoke fear in the audience.

  • How about this one?

  • Extreme close-ups that only show part of an object or a character's face are used to create an intense mood.

  • And this?

  • Oblique or canted angles, when the camera is tilted, suggest imbalance or instability.

  • This is often used as a point-of-view shot.

  • And then you have the handheld shot, a kind of shaky cam that makes the viewer feel a little unstable and out of control.

  • It also injects a scene with a sense of immediacy with the audience.

  • But the biggest trick of all is what's happening in your brain.

  • When we get scared, our body goes on high alert, a biological response to possible danger, and we snap into survival mode: Fight or flight.

  • But when we watch a scary movie, your brain knows that we're not actually threatened.

  • Instead, the dopamine released from your brain becomes euphoric, which means, "Hey, I'm terrified right now, and I like it."

  • So, if you are a horror movie fan, you're actually a sedentary adrenaline junkie.

  • Go ahead and put that on your resume.

  • The more fear, worry, and anxiety you feel, the more you like it.

  • Finally, there's a sense of catharsis once the movie's over.

  • People like the feeling of danger and fear during the film and a sense of accomplishment and survival once it's over.

  • This is almost over.

  • So you're probably safe now.

This may not look that scary, but in 1896, the special effects broke ground.

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