How Approaches To Writing A Horror Movie Changed Throughout The Years

How do you translate fear from words to action? How do you write fear on paper in such a way that it could be made into motion? How do you make the motion created from those words transmit terror down the spine of any viewer? These must be burning questions in the mind of horror movie writers, because how on earth do they even craft the masterpieces we all know and love? From The Conjuring, Stephen Kings’ IT, The Nun, Annabelle, and the rest of them. What plagued the mind of the writers? 

If an essay writer had to come up with an essay on how horror genres have inspired fear in the last century, they definitely would have enough personal experiences to make a research gate worthy article. Just in case you’re looking to write an essay on this, you should probably hire an essay writing service to properly do it for you. 

Over the years, writers have changed their approach to writing horror movies, and this may just be because times have changed and people are a lot smarter these days. Some 1950s horror movies may just crack you up now because they seem very hilariously unrealistic. However, you would not have been doing a lot of laughing if you had seen it then. These days, writers and movie producers use a more realistic approach to inspire fear in the minds of viewers. They also go for the supernatural, because no matter how “woke” and realistic we become, we would always be caught off guard by supernatural movies. 

But how have the writing approaches changed over time to suit a constantly evolving audience? 

Let’s find out. 

Horror writing back then

Something about the horror movies of the 90s made them simple. The writers went for more simplistic approaches: something like someone jumping out of the wardrobe to scare you. Sure, that would scare you, but then in times like this, it would be more of a “there is a criminal in my house!” type of fear. However, back then, it would have been easy to scare you into thinking it was some sort of demonic action. 

People lived a more simplistic life then too. They did not overthink things and were rarely ever trying to over analyze a movie or a joke, so it was easy to make them laugh or feel scared, depending on what your motives were. That is why it was aforementioned that horror movies of the 90s would simply crack you up, rather than scare you into sleep deprivation, especially 1950s horror movies.

People in the 90s also believed in a lot of really funny stuff, so it was easy to make horror movies around those things. Back then, it was easy to find people who were afraid of a lot of things that an 11-year-old will shrug away now. So, if you were going to write a horror movie then, you could easily prey on those fears. 

This day in horror

Writing any kind of movie at all depends on the society it is being written for. What do they believe in? What are their fears? What are their values? These days, we are more afraid of realistic things, and some of these things cannot be made into horror movies again, so writers have found a new approach. This time, they prey on things that happen when our inhibitions are down. 

Some time ago on the internet, there was a question asked on Twitter about a picture that seemed like it was cut out of a scary movie. In the picture, a girl with torn clothes and dark hair was depicted. You know the stereotypical horror girl picture? Yes, that one.

 People were asked, “If you woke up and found her in your room, what would you do?” 

Most people simply stated that they would chase the girl out of the house. The figure did not seem scary enough to warrant you calling the priest at 3am.

However, you could try sending that girl back into their rooms when they are still asleep, or trying to fall asleep. That moment when melatonin kicks in and their inhibitions begin to drop. Better yet, do it when they are having sleep paralysis, unable to get up, but faintly aware of their surroundings. You would see that that fear will be very present, and that is something they cannot face. 

Horror movies have moved from scaring us with external factors to using internal factors as scaring tactics. Then, what they could not control scared them. However, in today’s world, what we should be able to control but suddenly have no power over scares us.

Final thoughts

Writing approaches change just as fears change. The people of this age are afraid of being powerless. They do not mind when someone or something is more powerful than them as long as they have some power or a fighting chance. 

As such, when writing scenarios for current horror movies, writers make their characters have lowered inhibitions. This can happen when they are on sleeping pills or alcohol. When their inhibitions are lowered, they then infuse elements of fear. At this point, the characters are powerless, so they are afraid. 

This is how the writing approach changed. It moved from using external factors as fear elements to using internal factors to scare viewers. 


Amanda Dudley is one of the most renowned writers and lecturers in her sphere. She received a Ph.D. in History at the Prestigious Stanford University in 2001. She has contributed to several academic assignments of different complexities and now works as a part-time essay writer. She also delivers good content for her customers on EssayUSA.