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Are Horror Movies Still Scary Without Special Effects?

Are Horror Movies Still Scary Without Special Effects?

Every film is an illusion, but some movies are more reliant on trickery than others. Since the dawn of cinema, special effects have been used to make viewers buy into worlds and places that aren’t real. Surprisingly, the horror genre was largely resistant to CGI until the last two decades; it was simply cheaper and more effective to use practical effects for monsters, slashers, and ghosts. But now that almost every studio film has access to green screens, the game has been changed. Looper recently released a video which examines 13 recent and semi-recent horror films and offers a glimpse of their monsters without the effects that brought them to life.

One of the films profiled in this video was Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak, which utilized a combination of practical effects and CGI to bring the film’s ghosts to life. Hollow Man also had an interesting approach way to approach Kevin Bacon‘s title monster. Each scene with Bacon’s character was shot twice: once with Bacon covered in green, and once without him to capture the background elements.

The effects artists behind the Christmas horror movie Krampus specifically shunned modern techniques in order to capture the flavor of ’80s slasher films. Puppetry and animatronics were utilized in that film, although the evil Gingerbread men did require some computer animation. Perhaps the most unusual project profiled in this video is Deadly Honeymoon, a Lifetime TV movie that only loosely fits into the genre. But it does illustrate that even a film made for television can use CGI to make a luxury cruise ship seem real.

What did you think about this video? Scare up a few thoughts in the comment section below!

Editor’s note: Nerdist is a subsidiary of Legendary Pictures.

Image: Legendary Pictures/Universal Pictures

The horror…the horror!

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